Yesterday we returned from our first travel adventure of 2016. Remember in my “Get a Life” post, Steve ran off and booked us some travel? One of them was to Cancun for last week. The idea he had when booking it was to find a small boutique hotel, away from the party tourist spots, and to experience a relaxed, uneventful, quiet, warm beach get-away. I should note however that since I’ve been travelling with Steve, we have not yet once experienced an uneventful trip. They may be quiet and relaxing but they have always been blessed experiences beyond what we could have imagined beforehand. And Cancun was no exception. Almost every night I found myself sitting in our hotel room, dumb struck, asking Steve aloud “What the heck is going on?” or “What is happening here”?
Steve and I are both creatives. I’m a visual artist using digital and traditional mediums and Steve is a creative photographer. Our creative work has been a source of connection between us and our hobbies most of our lives. It is not something that we had pursued as a career or as an income stream, but it is most definitely our passion. In addition to sharing this passion for art, we both share a passion for people and their stories, especially different cultures. In my travels with Steve we are drawn to connecting with the local people and understanding their life style, their culture but particularly their stories. The most joy we found on our Italian honeymoon was from the connections we made with the street artists, the hotel staff, locals and the elderly people that we crossed paths with. Many times an encounter that should have been a quick interaction would instead turn into an hour interchange of conversation about life, struggle and dreams. We would walk away from these experiences feeling so blessed and inspired and often moved to tears. We have learned that people want to be seen and heard and when someone is interested they light up. Our Cancun trip was all this and more. Not only did we connect with many of the locals but also with several of the other guests at this incredible little artsy hotel. By the end of the trip I felt as if we were staying amongst family but in addition we felt changed. The connection with these people, their stories, their love has changed us to the very core.
The hotel is a very unique place in that the prestigious eccentric hotel owner is a lover of art and an avid art collector with over 1500 pieces valued at $20-30 million USD. Quite frankly the hotel is an art museum where sculptures and art work decorate the grounds, the lobby, the stairwells, the hallways, the dining areas and the individual rooms. Of course a 30 room hotel cannot display 1500 pieces, so there is also a little gallery on the premises that contains another 100 pieces and then the rest is stored, sadly gathering dust, in a storeroom. Most guests come and go without noticing the unusual diversity of artwork, but not us. Our inquiries about the art led us to hours of conversations with the hotel manager, Mustafa aka “Moose”, the Cuban art curator for the owner’s collection, Carlos, and an onsite Cuban emerging painter and gallery manager, Pedro. This led us to additional experiences with the rest of the staff, a tour of Moose’s home including lunch, an invitation from Carlos to accompany him to Cuba and an offer to Steve and myself to exhibit our artwork at a show in the hotel.
The universe proved to us very clearly that all things are possible and that all people are divine. I am not sure why we only have these experiences when we travel but I need to figure that out! This is how I want to live my life always: Present, connected and open to all the possibilities that the universe has for us and to always see and feel the light that shines in each person. We both feel blessed and awestruck by our simple trip.
*The pic is of a sculpture and a Mayan art piece that were in the lobby.