living in cancun, mexico

You may have noticed my mentioning I live in Mexico. This is true. More than a decade ago, I moved to Cancun, the popular tourist destination along the country’s east Caribbean side. I lasted a year-and-a-half before moving further south to, what has now become, another popular tourist destination, the city of Playa del Carmen.

I disliked Cancun for many reasons. One was I found there to be too many tourists and the other, a lack of beaches. Those were the two more prominent issues I had living there. The rest are relatively superficial and not worth mentioning.

When I lived in Cancun, friends and I would make the 60 milometer weekend drives south to Playa del Carmen to enjoy the beach. The city of Cancun is situated mostly inland with a small sliver of the city being along the sea. The major beaches and sea access points are in what is called the Cancun Hotel Zone.

You guessed it. The Cancun Hotel Zone is 27+ kilometers of side-to-side hotels completely blocking all beach access with the exception of a handful of narrow passages that require a local map to find. Yes. They have beach access maps.

You can see an example of that in the main photo. In the foreground is a blue and white sign that says Acceso 5. That is a public beach access point.

I wanted more than what Cancun was able to offer, so the kids and I moved to the small city of Playa del Carmen. During my eight years here, the city has exploded in size and population (not to mention popularity), with more than 240,000 now calling it home from the barely 124,000 that lived here when I arrived.

Central downtown Playa del Carmen. Beaches everywhere!

Luckily, we still have easy and ample public beach access, something that has made the expansion bearable. There does seem to be room for everyone.

I say that now…

I ended up here after losing my security-blanket office job of 10 years. I accepted the (then) part time job during my first year of university. Gosh, that was a lifetime ago. The job paid well and kept me in the city I loved. I had moved there just to go to school.

I never did use my university degree, however, that job allowed me to pay back my student loan, buy a nice car and travel.

I have no complaints.

When the recession of 2009 came around, my job, along with thousands of others in my city, was eliminated. That was what I, years later, came to believe was the force for me to make my way in another direction. Content with the travels I had done, I decided to sell everything and move…to Nice, France, a city I’d visited and loved.

Funny how that didn’t materialize. Nice, that is. It truly is an amazing story how I ended up living in Mexico.