I don't know about you, but I’m not a fan of the cold weather. I need little to feel happy and the hot sun and a sea bath are at the top my short list. Guess where I ended up: in Michigan! Have you heard about Michigan? It is one of the 50 American states, located in the north-northeast region of the country, bordering Canada. Detroit is its most famous city and it was once one of the most developed cities in the country. It is the capital of the national automotive industry. That is the reason why I have lived here for almost 3 years. My husband has been working in this industry for over 20 years and after we lived in Paris for 4 years, he was transferred here.
Michigan's winter is cold and long, especially for a Brazilian like me. If it weren't for the passage through Paris, which has four well-defined seasons, I would have turned around and gone home during my first winter here. My city in Brazil has only one season: Summer – with and without rain. This winter was especially difficult for me. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to go to Brazil at the end of last year, as we used to do, since we embarked on this adventure of living abroad. Result: no heat, no beach, and no warmth of family and friends which, warms the heart.
In the end of February I reached my limit. I was already discouraged and my heart started showing signs of anxiety knocking on the door. As I did not want to take the risk of going to Florida and not having guaranteed sun and sea bathing, we decided to go to Cancun, Mexico. My husband managed to take 1 week of vacation and we embarked happily!
When I got there, I almost wept with joy when I was hugged by the heat that many would call “hellish”. It was all I needed! Due to the structure we had at our disposal, we didn't need to leave the hotel for absolutely nothing. Especially by the beach (one of the main reasons we were there) being less than 50 meters from the pool.
The next morning, we went to the Concierge to inquire about some hotel services and when we realized, we were buying “an exceptional tour to the most beautiful island in Cancun - Isla Mujeres” (words of the salesman). I bet if you saw the pictures that the seller showed me, you would also have said yes and pulled out your credit card without batting an eye. I have already imagined myself in that paradisiacal place, with the sea of a color that I have never seen before, delighting me in that warm and crystalline water. He showed me some pictures of hammocks at sea and I already imagined my posts lying on one of those hammocks...
I don't know how I fall into these kinds of traps!
I felt like a foreigner in a taxi where the driver strolls around the city to charge you more while the ride should take less than 10 minutes. Then I wondered what made me believe that the salesman was really offering me something worthwhile. As I mentioned at the beginning of the text, I left Brazil 7 years ago to live in France and the United States. In these countries, situations like these are not very common. Especially here in the United States, where the consumer has the right to give up the purchase without having to justify and get his money back. Or of not liking what you bought, claiming and being compensated. People very quickly get used to good things! Unfortunately in Brazil consumers rights are limited or no respected.
Some people who were in the same boat as us started to question each other about the quality and price of service (each one paid a different amount!). In a matter of minutes everyone felt cheated. Everyone's expectations and the service that was delivered were totally misaligned.
As we were already there, my husband and I tried to enjoy the little piece of beach that was not crowded. After all, we were there to enjoy the beach and it was the only option we had at that moment. Even though I was disappointed with the smell of the water and the soft consistency of the sand (which reminded me of the mangrove), I stayed a long time at sea. If I were in Michigan, I would have neither the heat nor the sea.
Have you any idea about why I wrote this text? Because I realized that we are always looking for what we don't have, instead of valuing and enjoying what we do have, whatever that is! Places, people, moments.
What made me decide to buy the tour, in addition to the salesman's chat and the photos he showed me, was the fact that the hotel's beach was closed. Due to a tornado in Alabama, an enormous amount of seaweed reached the coast of Cancun and it was impossible to enter the sea/water. So I had no other option.
However, I was pondering if even with the hotel's beach cleared for use, if I would be able to contain my curiosity and simply take advantage of that wonderful structure that I already had at my disposal. In times of social networking, the neighbor's beach is always more transparent, more beautiful and warmer.
Even with all the unsatisfaction of the people who were on the boat, what I saw most were selfies (always looking for the best angles, of course!). Do you have any doubt that the subtitles were something like: “a paradise called Isla Mujeres”? Now imagine yourself as an Instagram follower of some of these people, drooling over seeing those wonderful photos “of the most beautiful island in Cancun” and answer me honestly: if you had the opportunity, would you resist the salesman’s offer or you wouldn’t miss this opportunity to get to know this paradise on earth for nothing, like I did?