Learning to love the quirky aspects of life on an island…

It is never too late to adjust the mold you’re made of.

~ By Jessica

These last 7 or so weeks have flown by, I sit here and think about how much I have been stretched. Many of the things I have experienced or done here are firsts. At this point I have gotten to know my roommates really well, we all have had time to adjust to the lifestyle here and we all have changed in ways that will forever humble us just from being immersed in a lifestyle so different from our own.

Summer camp and I had a love-hate relationship. I loved it because I was teaching and having a blast with the students, but I really didn’t love the heat. This is something I have started to enjoy, or maybe just become accustomed to. I can sleep without AC now, that is a miracle and somewhat hard to believe. I look forward to the sunshine on my skin in the morning, it is like the perfect cup of coffee (although don’t get it twisted, I still have my morning coffee on the daily). The heat here is a scorcher, but it is a beautiful reminder of a brand new day, every day.

Opening up to “strangers”. Honestly, here no one feels like a stranger. I have felt welcome and loved here. From the first minute you meet someone you feel as if you have been friends for a while. Talking about your life with others is normal, it is refreshing to know that there are places like Isla Mujeres where conversation with a not-so-familiar-face is comforting. I may be from the south (Howdy!), but expecting a smile from a passerby-er is not something you see daily, let alone someone who genuinely wants to know how you are doing when they ask “Como estas?!”.

The ocean and I are best friends now. I would’ve never said this before, and maybe it is because the waters here are absolutely stunning and the beautiful creatures take my breath away, but either way I am not complaining. Before I moved here I didn’t like the sand on my skin, swimming, the smell of sunscreen or the smell of salt water. I can say these are all things I now love and appreciate. Also, during summer camp I had a mini-lesson over whale sharks with my class, Isla Mujeres is known for whale sharks, and although I was completely intrigued I didn’t realize just how amazing these gentle giants are until we swam with them. Swimming in the open seas, marveling at these creatures is something I wish I could do all year, but the season is ending and I will forever remember the day I was face to face with the beautiful creations in the ocean.

Daily walks. This activity I am still learning to appreciate and love. I realized just how spoiled I was back home in Texas with a car, something most families here don’t even have. It really isn’t a large island, but as I grow my love for the summertime, my love for the long walks here are growing as well. My favorite part about these long walks from place to place is seeing my students, being greeted by neighbors and taking breaks to love on the dogs who are all around this island. I am sure by the end of this term I will love to walk, and I will have killer quads (that’s just the cherry on top of it all).

Taking my time was foreign within many aspects of my life prior to living in Mexico. Whenever people say that Mexicans really love to take their time, it is true, but this is something I have learned to appreciate as a positive aspect within this culture. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is frustrating, but when you remember everyone is usually never on time you aren’t so worried about it anymore. I love that loving to wait has proven to be a blessing in disguise and a natural pill for my anxiety, I feel less pressure in general living here.

It truly is a beautiful life here in Isla Mujeres.

The sunsets here are amazing
We earned our fins after our swim with the whale sharks