If you haven't gone to Mexico, ya needa do it with your best friends. The first three days we were there, it was pouring rain. What did we do? We bought cigars, rounded up some pina coladas, and made our backyard bath into a hot tub! Would you honestly do this with your family? LOL. I want y'all to have a great vacay...so here's a list of my need-to-knows before ya take off!
the nine things you need to know-
1. Check for travel warnings in that state, EVEN if you're using a travel agent. Advisories in Mexico change often, so take a look at this website to make sure you're in the clear. This is a website I trust and it's run by the U.S. Department of State.
2. On the plane, the flight attendant will hand out your Mexico Visitors Permit. There is a top and bottom section- fill out BOTH of these. (Yes, I know it's the exact same info., but they'll tear off half and keep it on file.) If you don't do both, you'll have to hurriedly find a pen and awkwardly fill out the bottom as a custom officer watches you. Don't be me lol.
Tip: These permits only allow you 180 days in Mexico. To read more about the permit, click here. If you're planning to stay longer, you need to apply for a visa!
3. If you disregard every tip, at least read this one! Seriously, bring antibiotics. The whole don't drink water thing slipped my mind like everyday. Even if you think you'll remember not to, bring them anyway.
I promise you there's gonna be a day when you've been out in the sun for hours, you sit down at a nice table, and forget you're suppose to be cautious. You'll gulp down an entire glass of water and realize what you've done. Also, please understand in no way am I saying that you will instantly get sick from drinking the water. I've talked to many people who have neverrrrrr gotten sick and been to Mexico multiple times. Like, that's super great!
However, my three friends and I, unconsciously drank it quite a bit. You may say, well it could have been the food? Only, we ate at different buffets most of the time, so that's nearly impossible. So before you head out, stop at your doctor, and request antibiotics to take with you.
I kid you not guys, we were gulping down tylenol, in and out of the bathroom, and unable to move from bed. Brittanie and I strongly considered buying new plane tickets because we couldn't fathom being sick on a long plane ride. IT WAS HELL. If we had antibiotics, we might've been good after a day or two. Be smart and bring some pills!
4. If you don't have a major credit card, GET ONE. Guys, I'm like totally not for them, especially after worshiping Dave Ramsey, but you need one here. If our friends Brittanie and Jereme weren't there, Trey and I probably woulda been screwed. They brought a couple with and we didn't.
I would even go as far as calling your resort beforehand and ask what credit cards they accept. I remember as we were checking out, we were paying our room bill, and they said they didn't accept American Express. Thankfully, we were able to split it up on different cards. Do some research and invest time into finding the right card for the trip.
5. I thought about brushing up on my Spanish and then I didn't. Before you say...I don't know if I'll have time for that, let me tell you a few stories. One night we went out to a restaurant and I was ordering a glass of wine. The lady was asking me what kind I liked and I said "Moscato," which I didn't see on the menu.
She said something like "Ah, yes" and other words I didn't know. Moments later, she returned with A BUCKET FULL OF ICE, ON A STAND THING, WITH A BOTTLE OF MOSCATO. We tried to voice to our waiter that I only wanted a glassand t hat was unsucessful, lol. Then, since we charged most of our things to the room, we couldn't get a receipt and see how much the wine was! So, you bet I drank that whole thing. Fortunately, as we checked out, we found out the bottle was around $15-25, lol. SO GET STUDYING! If you like wine, maybe memorize some wine terms to avoid this situation. HA!
Another instance, was when we were flying out of the Cancun airport. I wasn't able to check in at the mobile kiosk, so we asked a man to show us to the full service check in. He pointed and then motioned me to start jogging after him. Once the chase was over and we were in line- he asked me for a tip, lol. Which I was totally unprepared for and barely had anything. So again, this totally could have been avoided if I could have read Spanish better.
6. If you're staying at an all-inclusive resort, pick a reasonable amount of spending money, and then triple that. I thought I brought a smart amount and boy, was I definitely wrong. A few things like accidentally ordering that wine, time at the spa, and buying a lot of room service slipped my mind. Every single thing we did was totally worth the money, I just could have been better prepared.
7. A little run down of eating at an all-inclusive. This may have just been our hotel, but the food really wasn't great. Most of the time, we ate at buffets, and rarely found items with any flavor. It was a little disappointing, but next time around I know to look for resorts with awesome food reviews. Our drinks were normally fire though, so that's good, lol!
8. I remember when I was younger, I heard a lot about bargaining at Mexican markets. The idea kind of slipped my mind, since we were at a resort. However, before we booked our excursions, Britt and Jereme brought up how we should try it. Y'all know I like to save, so I was all for that.
We got the price knocked down a reasonable amount too. Britt and I said, "Yeah that price seems a little high for us," and ended up with a good deal. The guy who helped us worked with our hotel too, so don't be afraid to ask for a discount.
9. This one is kinda dumb on my part, but it's rough running around Mexico and keepin up with homework. One day, I accidentally left my laptop out when they were suppose to clean our room. When we came back, there was a note sitting out that said, "Since your valuables were not out of sight, we were unable to clean your room." It said something else about how I should use the safe, which was broken! Anyway, stow your things away because you may have to go without clean towels for a day, lol!
There ya go! You're ready. I hope this post helps you plan a smart + super fun trip! Also, if you've already been and have a favorite resort, drop it below! I wanna know the best places :) We stayed at the Catalonia Riviera Maya and it was decent, disregarding the food. Our trip was mid June and besides a few days of rain, it was beautiful! Overall, I might visit again with a different resort. Thanks for reading sweeties!
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In 2017, I considered writing this post, but I was an anxious mess. I remember writing the intro and halfway through being like, "This won't be any good. I should just trash it." And so I did.
Normally I'd say, "Well that was a crappy perspective, I should have kept writing." However, in this case, I strongly believe I was not ready to write something like this.
Last week, I had been praying for a post idea that involved faith. I liked the idea of doing a 2018 wrap up of some kind. A few days had passed and finally, yesterday, God threw a title at me during an Elevation sermon. Let's jump into How Journaling + Jesus Helped with My Anxiety...
When I google the word "anxiety," four commonly asked questions pop up-
These are a bit scary. Then again, it's an honest depiction of how dark our minds can go. We have questions and we want answers. Anxiety can be broken down by this two part equation. Without the answers, things start to boil. In 2017, I cranked up the heat on my simmering pot. I swam in anxiety daily and often chose tears over trust in Jesus. As 2018 unfolded, Jesus taught me how to exist differently. It started with a journal.
Now, this isn't gonna be a story of how I first started journaling and never had a crazy thought again. You guys know I've been journaling for years. Although, God decided to help me make a few changes to this routine.
Currently, when I start to write, I spill onto the page. I use to pick the prettiest parts of the previous evening and draw them in cursive. Today, I quickly push my heaviest emotions on the page. I scrawl down ugly details, selfish discoveries, and gross questions. The phrases that ride around my head like a carousel.
I like to start writing as early as possible, because I know my anxiety is at its peak in the AM. (or at night when you know you're getting 0 sleep) As I write, I try to picture myself sitting at the kitchen table and having a conversation with Jesus. An Elevation sermon I watched Sunday, sparked a valuable reminder about this. He is the wonderful counselor, so talk to him.
After I ramble, I read a devotion and spew any last thoughts. From there, I begin silent time. I do it in this order because I won't be distracted by anything. I've had my time to rant and it's easier to be all ears for Jesus. I often ask myself, "Is there anything else I may possibly want to write down?" If the answer's no, I know I'm ready.
*To watch the COOLEST Christmas church service ever head to: The Path of Peace
prince of peace:
As I write this, I'm still in awe of how God put these words in front of me. This sermon spoke to every area that I ached to talk about in this post. My favorite example Steven Furtick (Elevation pastor) mentioned was, "you have to take peace in pieces." He talked about his three kids and how if he waited for all of them to have a GOOD day, to sit down and find peace, it'd never happen.
I love that story because it really shadows how Jesus is our prince of peace. Have I touched on how much he loves puns lol? Also, I like this example because it reminds me to not expect peace MY way. God wants us to call on him during the shaking, sobbing, and screaming.
When you start to make journaling a habit, you train yourself to store your anxiety in a book. Morning after morning, you send that weight up to God. 2018 has been so special because I kept my attention on important thoughts, and important thoughts ONLY.
Months ago, I heard a voice say, "Don't think of anything at all." I focused on white walls and calm lakes- only reacting to the action in front of me. I can't tell you if this is healthy, but it works. I haven't felt this type of quiet before and I never want it to leave.
This may not work for everyone, because I know I enjoy writing more than most people. However, it dramatically shook up my thinking process this year and made things SIMPLE.
Whether or not you buy a journal, God can heal you, if you're open with Him. And I don't mean heal as poof! your anxiety's gone. I mean He will sit with you while you over analyze and say slow down. Anxiety is no different than other sins. It is WORK to say no. It is the devil tempting you. It is invisible, but it can be removed.
If you enjoyed this post, pin it and save it as a reminder!
*What are your anxiety tricks? How do you calm down?
*Do you have any spiritual practices that bring instant peace?
Travel bucket list:
Countries visited: 5