Tucked away between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum lies a hidden gem of a bay known as Xpuha with a boho chic boutique hotel with a handful of rooms and a castaway stretch of white sand, sparsely populated and begging for our unplugged holiday.
See, while my husband and I have been together 9 years, 7 of those were long distance. And we'd come for a week to unplug from our phones, reconnect and be together away from the rest of the world that was quite literally between us most the time.
As any forever foreign femme that's fallen in love with somebody from somewhere else knows, love across cultures can be really, really complicated. Nobody tells you how difficult it may be to prepare paperwork, marriage licenses, visas, work, etc and nobody can prepare you for the conflicts that rear their ugly head at the most random and inconvenient of times about the most random and ridiculous things. The way you communicate, language barriers, family, cultural and societal factors are so individual and personalized. No one can prep you. No one can guide you. You both gotta navigate a stormy and unpredictable sea that is really no different from any other couple, but often more intense. Things that couples don't talk about 'til further down the line can sometimes side swipe a long distance cross cultural couple who HAS to think about these things early on to be fair and realistic about where things are going. Aside from the hurricane of a mess the details can be, long distance requires stamina. It requires real commitment. You have to really want it to keep a connection across continents. And I'd be lying if I said I never tired of scheduling my social life 'here' around the time difference to 'there'.
It was here, in this Mexican hideaway with no wifi/phone/radio/tv in the rooms and front row seats to the Caribbean, that we found some serious solace. The Al Cielo Hotel remains our favorite destination we've experienced yet with the most direct beach front location I've seen anywhere. It's lack of nightlife and peaceful grounds surrounded by open jungle and open sea made for long, leisurely strolls, star gazing, cocktail sipping and sun bathing in a sexy, serene and couple friendly escape I hope remains unspoiled. We played cards, watched birds visit our deck for bread crumbs, saw sea turtles hatch, drank wine for sunsets and lazed in hammocks without a care in the world.
The staff knew us by name and even remembered us almost a year later when we returned. We woke up to the most exquisite sunrises I've ever seen every darling morning (not that I'm up to see many of them truth be told). Any and all plans we make to venture out are usually quelled by the bliss of that bay. While it's definitely not the place for party goers or big adventurers, it's ideal for anyone needing some quiet or serious one on one time.
And while many didn't understand our desire to be away from regular life when we had a chance to be together, it was in those moments on a Mexican Hideaway or weekends spent vegging on the couch and ordering in that we were able to feel a little normal and be together like any other couple got to be on the daily. Now, whenever we go back to our slice of paradise for a seaside retreat, we unplug, reconnect and relax with an awareness of how lucky we are to be there together.
Linny | Founder & Editor