You only regret the chances you didn’t take!

Isla Mujeres I am going to miss you

~ By Jo

Here I am at the end of my fourth month in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. We have been teaching in the public schools for nine weeks, and it has been the most incredible experience so far. Time has flown by and with little over a month and a half left on the island, the realisation that I am going to be leaving this little paradise in December is kicking in. I’m not ready to go yet… there is so much I am going to miss about life on Isla, this tranquilo and simple island that will forever hold a little piece of my heart.

I have recently been thinking of everything I am going to miss when I return to cold little Britain. Of course I am looking forward to a few home comforts… seeing my family and friends, wrapping up in a blanket with my cat on lap to watch a movie, a roast dinner, a big duvet and maybe wearing winter clothes for a couple of days.

But I know that it won’t take long for me to miss the tropical views, the food and good vibes, the laidback people, my new friends and the constant specks of sand on my feet. So I have decided to write my blog as a list of everything that I am going to miss about life as a Maestra de Ingles on Isla Mujeres….

What I am going to miss:

Hearing the word ‘teacher’ in a random place… a shop, on the street, at a restaurant or just at school and receiving a big hug from one of my students.

Listening to my students tell me the date in an almost British accent every morning.

Receiving little letters with pictures and the words ‘I love you teacher’ written on it (produced when they’re meant to be doing work.)

Going to sleep to the sounds of the ‘Pan Man’ beeping his horn as he rides up and down the street selling his breads. The sounds of the Queso Wakaka man as he walks up and down the street balancing his box on his head shouting the magic words for people to buy some yummy cheese.

Trying to learn Spanish from my little niños in recreo as they tell me their stories, and ask me questions.

New friends made on the island and through the programme.

Riding my bike along the road next to the Caribbean Sea, with the breeze cooling me off as it hits my face.

I will miss going on an adventure and exploring the Island.

Sitting on the beach with friends looking out at the sea and watching the sunset for another day and the colours that fill the sky afterwards.

Riding my bike downtown on a Friday morning as the sun rises over the Island.

Helping this small and beautiful community by giving its children English.

Living with three strangers who have now become some of my best friends and watching their confused faces as I say something completely British and new to them.

Celebrating and learning about Mexican holidays and traditions.

Riding around in a golf cart… I’m going to have to go to a golf course to do that at home.

I will miss going to sleep with sand in my bed (where has that even come from?)

The tropical weather… the blazing hot sun, or the crazy tropical rain.

Cheap, but yummy street food… Tacos, Tortas, Empanadas, Tostadas.

I will miss wearing constantly seeing my toes all day everyday… do I really have to go back to Ugg boots, slippers and closed toe shoes?

The views…. the sea, the beaches, Punta Sur, Selina Grande.

I will miss impromptu trips on the ferrie as we go exploring somewhere else along the Riviera Maya.

This beautiful paradise that I have called home for the past 4 months.

… And much, much more. They say that it is better to look back on an experience and say “I can’t believe I did that” rather than to look back on it and say “I wish I did that.” And I think this couldn’t be more true to my last four months here on Isla Mujeres… you only regret the chances you didn’t take.

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