Zentraveler chills in a backpackers hostel in Isla Mujeres, Mexico!

Are you like a fellow American who hopped the train, rode the rails from Texas, and somehow found the least expensive place to stay in a Mexican paradise? According to Mike he stayed in the Isla Mujeres Backpackers Hostel nearly three years. If it isn’t entered into the Guinness Book of World Records— It probably should be. He paid one dollar a day, which translated to $30.00 a month to live in paradise, plus he had to pay for his food, which cost him two dollars a day. The rest of the benefits came from fellow travelers sharing their beer etc.

So for a grand total of three dollars a day which is 90 dollars a month— let’s add in emergency items $10.00, and he has lived there for approximately 100 dollars a month, which is 1200 per year times three, which is 3600 dollars to live in paradise for three years. Well that’s his story! We all have one. As it was told by management, he left in the middle of the night owing the hostel owners two or three months back rent plus a tally at the food bar.

Do we Americans every get enough of ripping people off throughout the world? No wonder we are getting a bad reputation. While we travel we should all be ambassadors of our Country and try to give more than we take. It’s a simple rule that we all should follow while traveling about.

Isla Mujeres is only minutes from the resort town of Cancun and was the sacred area where the Mayan Women were instrumental in elaborate fertility ceremonies. It has been reported that the women did all of the work and the men drank beer and fished. Who would disrupt such a culture?

At any rate you take a ferry to get there and let the adventure begin. A scenic fisherman’s village with funky fish restaurants, streets for shopping, beaches to sunbathe, and an idyllic island that explodes when tourists come from Cancun, but otherwise is a sleepy village, where you can walk and find everything you need. There are some beautiful resorts dotted around the island or you can stay right in town with some of the less expensive accommodations.

You can either rent a motor scooter or travel by golf cart for the entire distance of the island. When you travel by golf-cart you can purchase a package which includes a typical Mexican lunch on the banks of the backwater of the Caribbean. At the luncheon you sit at picnic tables and eat with the local Mexicans, where you learn about their culture and heritage.

At the extreme southern end of the island they were shooting a television commercial using the dramatic rocks against the sea splashing water high up on the cliffs. Talk about a photo shoot— with models dressed in flowing pastel gowns against the brilliant blue backdrop. That will sell almost anything—- I only hope they don’t sell their soul before big developers take over.

The water is a brilliant jet blue, where you can swim and find your own private pool, where the water laps around you like a jacuzzi. You can arrange to go sport fishing with professional guides and will fish some of the best waters in the Caribbean. They have guides set up on the Northern most point of the island. You can also rent snorkeling gear and swim in some of the purest, blue water in the world. And If you won the lottery or money plain doesn’t matter, why not rent a villa with a bridge located on it’s own tiny piece of land surrounded by turquoise clear waters.

As the sun starts to go down in the late afternoon you will see the backpackers hostel visitors head for the long beach bar, equipped with rope chairs and a fantastic view of the Caribbean. Thinking you might have swallowed too much spring water, you see a monkey in a swim suit hop up on a bar stool. One of the tourists hands the monkey a fresh brewski. He also hands his owner-handler a fresh brewski. Owner and monkey kick back and enjoy a few beers as the evening progresses.

You see this native Mexican didn’t have the advantage of graduating from the London School of Economics, but I can assure you he will drink for free for the rest of his life and has a good time enjoying himself and meeting new and old fellow travelers every evening for the magnificent sunsets at the bar. Shakespeare said it: “The entire world is a stage!” and someone recently said: “Everyone is selling something.”

The following day I am rubbing my eyes in the bright sun, when I see the monkey and his owner ride a bicycle through town and stop at the local market. You guessed it! But tell me this isn’t funny looking! The monkey and his owner come our of the market with a large brown bag full of vegetables and edibles. The owner gets on the bike, the monkey gets on the bike behind the owner and hands the brown bag to the monkey. The monkey proceeds to hold the brown bag under his left arm against his chest and puts his right arm around his owner. Before they take off on their bicycle, the owner reaches in the brown bag— peels two bananas, puts one in his mouth and puts a banana in the monkey’s mouth and off they go. I might add the monkey is wearing a different colored swim suit today. It pays to be fashionable I always say!

So if you want a different island experience and would like to spend some time there— Isla Mujeres may be just what the travel doctor ordered. They have different places for rent to suit most budgets, wonderful weather, very good restaurants, good fishing, an outstanding food market, inexpensive transportation, and just a great place to chill. Plus Who knows— maybe you can marry one of the Mexican Isla Mujeres ladies and drink beer and fish for the rest of your life.

QUOTE: “The unenlightened person does not understand his own true nature, does not realize the Pure Land in his own body, and thus petitions all over. The enlightened person never differs no matter where he is. For this reason the Buddha says, “Wherever I may be I am always in comfort and bliss…If only your mind is pure, your own nature is itself the Pure Land of the West.”

– Platform Sutra——dailyzen.com

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: How long have people been eating candy? Pictures and written records show that candy was made and eaten in Ancient Egypt over 4,000 years ago. These records show that honey, figs, and dates were the chief sweetening ingredients, since sugar was not yet known. As the taste for candy spread, each tribe had its own candy-maker, who guarded his secret recipes very closely. ——bigsiteofamazingfacts.com

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Lithium Batteries, GE new saver light bulbs, electronic waste! Since you almost need a creed from the government and permits from the manufacturer and at least a nuclear waste permit from Russia— might as well save the stuff until they figure out what to do with the potentially hazardous, and dangerous waste created by man.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Downsize until you have the Basics!

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free.

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