Join us for two upcoming Adventure Retreats! Tulum, Mexico and Machu Picchu!

Hola Enlightened Globetrekkers! 

We have been so busy this year developing our new Enlightened Globetrekker mindful adventure company, based off of our Enlightened Globetrekker philosophy. This new company is called Enlightened Globetrekker Adventures!

We are so excited to reveal this concept and so far it has been going amazingly well! We are offering global soulful adventure retreats in all of the most beautiful corners of the world! All adventure retreats include daily yoga outside in nature, fresh organic food, candlelight meditation, adventure, nature, and eco friendly accommodations. All of the bliss, paradise, personal soul quenching, drool-worthy health food, sunshine, fantastic landscapes, cultural immersion, and raw adventure that you can handle! We want to encourage you to destress, get away, unplug, reconnect with self, others and nature, rediscover personal balance, nature’s beauty and adventure, delicious natural foods, and meet like-minded fellow Enlightened Globetrekkers from all over the world, who love travel, simplicity, and life, the same way you do. Children are always welcome, and we have even designed and developed a Kids Adventure Club, which runs separately, during yoga and meditation. NO WIFI!!

Do something special for yourself and jump on one of our incredible adventures. We say ‘Retreat yourself. You deserve it!’

 

Tulum, Mexico April 3-9th. Tulum is our beautiful home base palapa retreat center. You gotta check it out! Peaceful paradise. And spaces are still available!

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Machu Picchu!!!! May 28-June 5. Bucket list trip!!! Space is still available! Sign up before March 15th for $1500, or bring a friend and pay only $1300!

Machu Picchu, Peru

Early morning in wonderful Machu Picchu

Please view our new website here with listings of all adventures! You can register right there too! So cool. 

Thank you all for being awesome, and patient with us as we are so so busy traveling the world, writing, scheming, working on humanitarian projects, and now running this company. The only breaks we take are when we are freediving the turquoise seas. This year we traversed 15 countries all the way from the South Pacific, through Australia, Thailand, India, Nepal, Europe, Guatemala, and back to Mexico.

We hope that you will join us on one of these incredible adventures soon, and we look forward to adventuring with you in body, mind, and soul.

We would love to see you in Tulum in April, or Machu Picchu in May! Don’t forget to make travel, and yourself, a priority. Life is too short..

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Thank you for being along for our ride. We cant wait to hang out with you all.

Mahalo!

Komol Tata,

Crystal Blue & River

The Enlightened Globetrekker

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Remember you can always email us at enlightenedglobetrekker@yahoo.com

And find us on facebook at:

The Enlightened Globetrekker

Enlightened Globetrekker Adventures.

Namaste!

 

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christmas morning adventure

This year for Christmas we are living in the Marshall Islands, a Pacific island paradise. Although the holidays bring nostalgia and missing my family, we have positioned ourselves to be a good $4,000 away from the possibility of returning home for a quick holiday. And so, even if it were a desire I don’t let it surface. What I’m doing here with River is the important matter at hand, and has the opportunity to kick into full-gear at times of holidays, and so I embrace that. For example, our Christmas isn’t about stuff. Getting stuff. Wanting stuff. Its about nothing. Having nothing and wanting nothing. Its about love and freedom and happiness and togetherness and making incredible memories in our beautiful world.

This Christmas we are on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean called Eneko. With a tent. And a bungalow. A generator to make coffee. Cold showers. A kayak. Yoga mats. A hammock. Masks and snorkels, fresh tuna, books, bathing suits, the brilliant Pacific lagoon, sunshine, sand, bare feet, and each other. All we need, and want, for Christmas.

When River makes a Christmas list, I tell her she can only list 10 things, and that 8 of them need to not be things, and all need an explanation. And then I tell her it has to be written in Spanish. Just so she doesn’t forget. So this year #1 was a sliding victory as An American Girl Doll named Caroline. Her reasoning: ‘She looks just like me, and I want to share our adventures with her. And no one here looks like me.’ Fair enough, and I like that reasoning, so I saved up. #2 a pink headlamp. Her reasoning: ‘I need one like you for when I am walking in the reef at night and when I am making pancakes. And I would like it to be pink because that is a good headlamp color for a girl. I would choose blue like my mommy crystal blue but then everyone will think its yours because your name and I am old enough to have my own now.” Fair enough. Agreed. #3 Candy cane hot chocolate. #4 The ocean #5 You (me). Yes. #6 Sunshine #7 Snorkeling #8 Kayaking #9 Chocolate #10 Love. All of the 8 latter I don’t think need her explanations, but she had very good ones, and I was sold on the entire list. Not one item was formed from commercials for useless products or comparisons to what others had. I felt that her list was formed from love and adventure and time with me and an American Girl doll, which, yes is a product, but is classic and she has been wanting a ‘real’ one for two years, and I was more sold on her reasoning behind her desire for it than on the actual overpriced item. She wanted it for an adventure friend, and for someone who looks like her while living in a land where nobody does. So I made it all happen. I ordered the doll from America and paid expensivev shipping costs to the Marshall Islands. I told my mom about the headlamp and she got us matching ones (not pink), and last, I booked a 2 week vacation on a private island here in the Marshalls, and then I even coordinated it with an adventure retreat, in order to share our world and life discoveries with others, to make even more memories, meet new friends, and teach, share, and grow. Alas, we are on Eneko Island for two weeks completely free from communication and stuff, alone together every minute unless I fall asleep in the hammock or she disappears to read her little books and write in her ‘adventure journal.’

Christmas morning was quite an adventure. For two adventurers who seek it out, this was even an exciting adventure. It is rare for me to reach this level of adventure now, as I am almost ready for the Great White shark tank in South Africa, but it does sometime happen. And seeing adventure through River’s eyes gets me all excited all over again. Anyway, so Christmas morning starts a little lazy with gingerbread coffee in a hammock at the water’s edge.  Waking up and walking outside to a pristine Pacific island morning with a crystal blue sky and smooth, rich teal sparkling water, displaying the varied depths and coral reef walls, and palm trees showing off their strongest green hues. Puffy white clouds and expanding sun rays. The kind of morning that is a gift from the universe and makes you stop and look around in wonder of how these natural colors are possible, and how lucky you are to be there, and thankful for sight to see. Like that. Our Christmas gift. After the hammock I told River to run and put her Christmas dress on and I led her to a palm Christmas tree, with presents underneath and a stocking hung from bark. She ran ahead and devoured her little paradise pile and thanked me a million times for her doll, saying I didn’t have to, I didn’t have to spend my money on her. Well. The fact that she was right got replaced by the idea that my 7year old says and thinks things like that and I never thought or said things like that until I had lived in India for 5 years with a guru and a revised life perspective. This is exactly what I wanted to happen to her when I left home. Value system reversal. Proud mama.

Next we went kayaking. Lathered up in sunscreen, walked down the beach, dragged the kayak by the string into the sea, and hopped in. Enjoying a nice peaceful ride discussing the coral bottom of the sea, until I noticed something blue flapping in the wind up on the rocks, down at the corner of the island. This blue looked strangely out of place in a place of raw beauty. ‘What on earth is that?’ I asked River. ‘Oh my gosh, that’s our tent!’ I figured it out. That blue. Flapping. The wind had carried our home clear across the island, to the edge of the rocks just waiting to take off to sea, into the vast Pacific.

Just then the wind picked up dramatically and I was having a hard time steering, the tent began flapping incessantly but wasn’t moving. Wedged between reef rocks, filled with water. I paddled across quickly against the wind and finally made it to shore. Jumped out and dragged the kayak onto the sand and ran out onto the rocks barefoot. The sharp volcanic reef rocks make it hard to run. So I mean, I stepped out there, one wobbly coral at a time, one sharp foot puncture at a time, trying to salvage our tent. No one else around. No shoes. No life jacket or cell phone. Just us and our adventure. On Christmas morning.

Just as I made it out to the tent, I looked back at the kayak and it had been lapped up by the shore and was drifting out to sea. ‘River!’ I yelled. ‘The kayak!’ She looked over and ran and swam out to it as I grabbed and held onto the tent in the gale winds. I tried to free it. River made it to the kayak and swam it back. I got the tent deconstructed so as not a magnet to the wind any longer, and started trekking back across the rocks carrying the tent shards. I broke into a run as soon as I made it back to the sand, and grabbed the kayak from her, threw the tent in the back, and dragged it in the water all the way back.

And then we put on pretty Christmas dresses and hopped on the island boat back to the mainland for Christmas dinner. Like nothing happened. Across the lagoon past tiny islands of white sand and green palms. Through teal and turquoise and Pacific Ocean made of ten hues of paradise blue. We held each other tight and watched it all.

‘Merry Christmas baby,’ I said. ‘Thank you for this adventure.’ She smiled. Each freckle sparkling in the sun. Her eyes reflecting the water and twinkling like moonbeams and diamonds.

A bit late, but Merry Christmas. From our paradise.

Love,

Crystal & River

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namaste new year

Namaste, New Year,

Welcome to the universe. It is nice to see you.

I stand here at the water’s edge and greet you. Just you and I. Alone. You feel nice. And warm. The wind wraps you around me. I am ready for you.

I can feel your rush. It falls on me like satin. I am enamored by your weightless essence. And all you bring. New chances, adventures, lessons, smiles, loves, places, and accomplishments, all waiting to be discovered, experienced, and mastered. All this you bring. The thought of these glorious open-ended possibilities that you hold makes me shiver with delight, grin with anticipation, and bow with sweet joy and gratitude. Kneeling to the sand, I kiss the earth that you envelop. And bless you with my being. Establishing my connection with you. Saying hello. Letting you know I am here. Telling you I exist, and I acknowledge.

Namaste.

On my knees I feel your grounded secret that you may bring hardship as well as good. Your whispers of new worries, new fears, new failures, disappointments, sadness, lessons, and pain.

I greet you fully.  From deep in my heart outwards to my outstretched arms, embracing your sunlight, watching it shimmer on the water in droplets of glistening opportunity and joy.

Namaste.

Please keep me in balance with what I need. Please bless me and reward me and punish me the way I need to stay true to myself and on my right path. I trust that you wont hold anything I cannot endure, and I hope that you grant me with more goodness than I can handle, more fresh fruit than I can eat, and more love than I can manage, as you have this past year as well. I know now that my decisions bring fortune and fame or failure and deceit. And no matter what of the two I am experiencing, I am always glad to see you for all that you represent.

Fresh, motivation, do-overs, do betters, and do mores. Lessons, perspectives, and sunshine

This year I was blessed. Yet I am still glad to see you. Not to make my wrongs right, no, not for that. But to continue my blessings and improving myself, an ever-learning and evolving human. In the past I have been glad to see you for safety. To free me from the current year. I have realized that all years are different, and that they balance out into life, and reflect our energy flow, and our soul contributions and sacred spaces. So I am thankful for mistakes and opportunities anew. And always, excited for achievements to come and dreams to be realized.

This new year I vow to be myself. Honest, honoring, and healthy. Focused, productive, selfless, and kind. I will make every use of you and run across your rainbow with my bare feet, sprinkling gold along the way. Leaving it to mark my path, and to guide me home if I ever lose my way. I am excited for all that you hold. Bitter surprises and miraculous wonders.

I welcome and embrace you in my soul.

Namaste, New Year.

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Guest Post ‘Why Timelines are Needed on Someday Projects’

Brilliant Guest Post Exclusively for Enlightened Globetrekker

by David Knapp-Fisher

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Why Timelines are needed on “Someday” Projects

When I was eight, the Navy posted my Dad in the south of England; and before we knew it, our stuff was packed and we were all on a plane over the Atlantic, headed to our new home. Actually, it wasn’t completely foreign; since both my parents were ex-pats, the move meant they’d be close to various relatives scattered all around the country, something that pleased them all to no end. In addition, Dad’s brother lived in Holland, so every once in a while we’d cross the English Channel to go visit Ted, and then Amsterdam – in that order. Looking back, I’m pretty sure my life-long “love affair” with world travel was born during these years living in/visiting Europe.

After three years were up, the Navy returned us to Canada; and in no time I longed for the interesting and unique cultures I’d left behind… The Fish & Chips! The trips to London & Amsterdam! Those crazy English & Dutch accents – I missed them all! Recognizing we wouldn’t be returning anytime soon, I decided to go back on my own one day – a plan that actually stood the test of time! Yep, thirteen years later (1985) I flew back to England, and began a 3-month backpacking adventure, visiting 9 countries! Besides England & Holland, I went to Denmark, Greece, and a bunch of countries in between. The trip was awesome, and I vowed to return again, someday.

December 1995: On this day my son Tristan (“T”) was born; and man, was I ever excited to finally become a dad! Besides, being an avid traveller, all I could think about was a future of world travel with my boy at my side! I was excited for a time when we’d see amazing sights and share incredible experiences while traveling the world together; and with Europe already on the radar, I pledged that someday it would become the first destination we’d travel to together.

June, 2000: Something unexpected happened; Tristan had been struggling physically to keep up with other kids, so we took him to a doctor. That day he was diagnosed with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative disease that had been wasting away his muscles since birth, and was making it hard for him to walk. The diagnosis brought to light something else: Within five years Tristan would be unable to walk, or take care of himself. My dream of “Father and Son” travel hit a major brick wall; and now – with the clock ticking – I knew if it was going to happen, it had to be soon.

At the time, I was financially unstable, recovering from an expensive divorce; but with this new development, none of it seemed to matter anymore. I was now on a mission: In the short time life had allotted us, I WAS going to take Tristan on a European adventure; in other words, “someday” now needed to have an exact date.

Not long afterwards (and in a stroke of luck!) I met and married Paula, an Aussie who shared my passion for hard work and travel. She was excited to join us in our quest, and so with everything falling into place, we began figuring out how to manifest the epic “European Adventure” I’d always dreamed of taking… someday.

We ran the numbers, and figured that our month-long dream trip had a price tag of around $18K; worse still, by this time, we only had a couple years left to make it happen! We began working every angle possible to (a) earn more, and (b) save the large sum of money we needed – Heck, we even lived in a 420 sq. ft. apartment to save on rent! It all worked out, and we hit our target 18 months later; all that was left to do was pack our bags, and jump on a plane. Tristan was 8 ½ years old.

July 2004: “Someday” finally arrived! We boarded a plane and flew into Rome; this was the first of 16 cities in 7 countries we visited, being: Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Holland, France and England. We saw and did the most incredible things, like feeding pigeons in the Piazza de St Marco, taking a gondola trip through the canals of Venice, touring the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris… Heck, Tristan and I were even able to “sneak” in pint together in a London pub!

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Since his muscles were rapidly deteriorating, T was often tired and therefore spent much of the time riding on our shoulders. Unfortunately, while in Austria he tripped and fell, landing headfirst onto a marble floor, resulting in the biggest lump on any head I’ve ever seen. It was pretty scary – I felt helpless, panicked, and wondered if taking the trip was a huge mistake? The doctor soon arrived, and after calming me down, prescribed two aspirin, a cold compress and a good night’s sleep. He cautioned us that Tristan was very weak and could easily fall again, so we needed to be extra careful with him. Despite all he was going through physically, Tristan was a trooper; never once did he stray from his trademark “Rock Star” can-do attitude.

The last leg of our journey went without a hitch, (meaning no more tumbles) and included visiting my childhood home in England, a hovercraft ride to the Isle of Wight, and a few days in Amsterdam. With our holiday wrapping up, we were excited to get back home, and proud we’d completed such an epic journey; a journey, it turned out, to be bittersweet. Just two weeks after arriving home, Tristan fell again, only this time he never got up. He has used a wheelchair ever since.

Two Weeks. I still can’t believe it – two weeks after the biggest event of his life, Tristan’s legs stopped working for good. When this happened, something became crystal clear to me: If we’d not made this trip a priority, or didn’t apply ourselves to every aspect of the project, or just waited for “someday” to take this trip, the fact is that it never would have happened; and if that were the case, Tristan would have lost the only opportunity he’d ever get – in his whole life – to see the world.

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If I learned one thing from our experience, it’s this: If there’s something – anything – that any of us wants to have, do or learn in our lives, the time to get on with it is right now, TODAY – because none of us know what tomorrow will bring. Things put off until “someday” usually all fall under the same category, which is never.

And that’s the point: If we truly want to have, do or learn something “someday”, then we need a plan, AND a timeline for completion. Otherwise it’s not a goal; it’s just a hope or a wish; oh yeah – and an opportunity lost.

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Visit and Follow David’s Travel Life Blog at www.davidknappfisher.com

Gracias David for sharing your powerful story and inspiring lesson!!

happy thanks giving.

Tis the season for giving thanks for stuff.

Despite its historical complications, there is an ounce of goodness to this day.

We are celebrating gratitude. And all of the many reasons for our gratitude.

Best to start at the earth and work our way up. Being thankful for soil and oceans and sunlight.

Then we can move to the next step, maybe giving thanks for the food that grows in the soil and sunlight, and for the fish that swim in the ocean: edible, beautiful, and free.

From there we have humans and family. Children. Children’s laughs. Dreams. Justice. Clean drinking water hopefully. Sanitation. And one can hope someday, peace.

Out if this is Love. Understanding. Balance. Compassion. Hope. Respect. Health. Beauty.  Happiness. And choices.

We have millions of blessings, no matter who we are. We are alive. We have choices. We can sink or swim. We can love or hate. We can have gratitude or expectation.

Today is for gratitude. Let it filter into our souls and heal us until next year. Let us feel its power and kneel down to the earth for giving us the opportunity to be here to experience this life. And love. And these blessings. And this gratitude.

Happy Thanks Giving.

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the magical cenotes of tulum, mexico

The cenotes of the greater Tulum area are a natural spectacle like no other. As this is one of the only regions in the world they exist, they are well worth a visit or two or three when traveling through this region.

Cenotes (pronounced cen-o-tays) are exclusive to this part of the world, and date back in history as ancient Mayan watering holes and very important to Mayan culture. They are tranquil, mysterious, and unique, and serve many varied interests for visitors. They are comprised of different environments, sizes, and depths, and offer different recreational activities, and fun for all ages.

Whether one is seeking solitude in nature and inspiration from silent jungle cenote settings, to sit, think, write, and gaze into their placid waters, or adventure: jumping into them from zip lines, rope swings, snorkeling them, cave diving them, platform jumping, picnicking, photographing, swimming, exploring, or simply bird watching, there is a cenote for everyone, and everyone loves them. Although, I do find that many people don’t know what they are (and definitely pronounce them wrong).  For the record, cenotes are gifts from nature. Please, if you are in the area, go see what all the fuss is about. Cenotes are incredible. Go conquer some!

So what is a cenote?

A cenote is a sinkhole in the earth, sometimes a small circle, sometimes an islet of caverns, full of freshwater: natural pools in the rock. Cenotes are located in jungle environments around the Tulum area. The water is so fresh that is usually cool, and the water colors range from turquoise to green to deep aquamarine blue. Some are very deep, some are shallow. But all are magnificent, especially when enjoyed in their ancient magical context. All house incredible wildlife, and if you close your eyes and listen to the sounds of nature at a cenote, and be in the moment, the experience will transport you to a different universe. Birds, crickets, leaves swaying, fish jumping. Cenotes are truly amazing.

When traveling in and around Tulum, you will notice cenote signs with arrows everywhere, all with Mayan names as Zacil-Ha, and Tamcach-Ha, providing directions. People say Tulum is like ‘swiss cheese’ because of all the cenotes holes in the earth. I was always thankful to see the names of cenotes being Mayan, symbolizing their natural state, and not haven been bought out by corporations and capitalized on, turned into Disneyworlds and massive adventure parks. Instead, they are quietly protected and respected, for having historical significance to the traditional indigenous roots of this area, and also for being secrets of nature, lying still in simplicity and beauty, and giving the present-day users the freedom to experience them in their own manner, in historical awe, silence, fun, adventure, exploration, and bliss.

Although still preserved in natural state, the private landowners whose land the cenotes fall on, do charge small fees for use and upkeep. Some have no fee and are open all times, but some charge a fee, open and close at certain times, and even rent adventure gear such as snorkels, masks, life vests, underwater cameras, and snacks. I shy away from these types, as I prefer the quiet empty wild ones. However, I was not a tourist, I lived there, and I understand that tourists often need these things. I will break it down for you both objectively and subjectively so you can find the cenote best suited to your needs. If you do enjoy them as a tourist, please remember to appreciate them in their natural state, and be sure to take a moment of silence to give thanks to nature and for this gift of a beautiful blue natural water pool in a wonderful country, while you are exploring them, and before you leave.

A Few Tulum Area Cenotes

Cenote Cristal

Situated in an overgrown jungle setting, Cenote Cristal is a shaped as a big circle, filled with trees, lily pads, birds, and green water. It feels like the lush jungle areas of Vietnam. There is a high platform jump which I love, and a few hammocks strung lazily into the sagging trees. There is a cave diving access to the right of entering the cenote at the stairs. This cenote is good for adventuring: jumping, diving, snorkeling, as well as meditating: thinking, journaling, photographing, and being immersed into the heart of beautiful, wild nature. 

Directions: south through Tulum town on the road to Chetumal. Directly off the highway a few kms down on the right, hidden in the jungle paradise. Watch for the sign.

Fee: Entrance with Escondido (across the street) is $100 pesos for both. Plus $100 peso taxi ride from town.

Setting: Raw, private, empty, wild cenote. No developed areas, lockers, rentals, etc. Just you and the cenote.

Worth it/not worth it? Worth it! Awesome jumping platform! Extremely peaceful, natural environment.


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Cenote Escondido

Situated in a jungle setting a few kms in from the road, it is an adventure just getting to this cenote. The actual cenote reminds me more of a natural creek than a cenote. It is long and narrow, down a long cliff, with the entrance on one end down some stairs. The water is dark and it is kind of creepy, which makes it all the more adventure. Like Cristal, there is a cave diving access here. This is definitely more of an adventure cenote, like Cristal. It has some ropes to swing out over the cliff on and its kind of hairball. I like this cenote but I wouldn’t go alone. There are wild dogs, lots of mosquitos, and it is really far into the jungle. That being said, it is a very fulfilling day of adventure for a couple or a few adults. But I would leave the kids at home.

Directions: south through Tulum town on the road to Chetumal. Directly off the highway a few kms down on the left, hidden in the jungle paradise. Watch for the sign. After you park, look forward to a 30 minute trek through the jungle to reach access.

Fee: Entrance with Cristal (across the street) is $100 pesos for both. Plus $100 peso taxi ride from town. Pay at Cristal.

Setting: Raw, wild, private, empty cenote very deep in the jungle. No developed areas, lockers, rentals, etc. Just you and the cenote.

Worth it/not worth it? Worth it! A great day of adventure, for those who seek it out like I do. Fills the adventure void that we crave. Fun and thrilling.

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Zacil-Ha Cenote

This is a different type of cenote. It is a circle pit of piercing blue aquamarine water. I love love the color of the water in this cenote. It looks like a bunch of food coloring was dropped into it. This is a smaller cenote with a less natural feeling because the fact that there are chips for sale and lifejackets and towels for rent, but it is better for families, is closer to town, has fewer mosquitos, and has cold drinks. It does get crowded though, mostly with locals and not usually with tourists. I have had it all to myself, but I timed it that way. And when that happened, it was incredibly still and quiet and wonderful. There are a few platforms for jumping, and there is a zip line that goes over the cenote which is always fun. The water is very fresh and cool. You are able to snorkel this one and see some fish but they are contained in the circle shape cenote. This cenote also has a cave diving access. There is a rope to hold onto that runs across, in case you have small children or cant swim that well. This is a nice option should you need it. I have spent many days jumping into this fresh cenote. It was the best one to go to with a 2 hour window for some adventure, without making the whole day commitment. And, no matter how many times I went here, I was always amazed by the color of the water, and never got sick of jumping from high into the fresh, cool water.

Directions: in the center of town, at the 711, head away from town and the beach, towards Coba, on Coba road. Directly off the highway about 6kms down on the left, after Gran Cenote. There is a small sign but watch for it. The sign has a picture of a cenote with some very blue water. That is it. Watch for the sign.

Fee: $50 pesos, $30 for locals. Closes at 5.

Setting: Stone circular pit in the woods. Surrounded by palms. Semi-developed area, lockers, rentals, snacks, changing rooms, lounge chairs, zip line

Worth it/not worth it? Worth it! Beautiful colored water, freshest feeling water, zip line is fun, jumping off the rock platform is freeing, relax and lounge or jump in.

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Gran (Grand) Cenote

This is the most popular cenote in Tulum, as it is the one most advertised to, and visited by, tourists. It is the least secluded and least private cenote, and also most expensive. It is usually busy everyday with people from all areas of the world coming to catch a glimpse of a magical cenote. However, it is still worth a visit and hasn’t lost its charm as a beautiful and unique cenote. The setting is very beautiful, located on a farm, down steps into a magical oasis of lush nature, birds, and picturesque cenote views of waterways wrapping around and caverns full of stalactites and stalagmites and bats, a true tropical paradise. Gran Cenote is also the main entrance to the 2nd longest underwater cave system in the world, which is how all the cenotes in the area are connected underground. Therefore, you are likely to see cave and cavern divers emerging at Gran. The way the light hits the water as seen from below is truly amazing. There is snorkel gear to rent, and the snorkeling area is protected, safe, and fun for all ages. Gran is the best place to bring a family to snorkel and swim a classic cenote. There is no cliff jumping here, only swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Great place to bring some beers and have a fun day in a magical cenote.

Directions: in the center of town, at the 7-11, head away from town and the beach, towards Coba, on Coba road. Directly off the highway about 4kms down on the right, you will see a big sign. You park right there on the road.

Fee: $120 pesos. Plus a cab ride from town is $70 pesos.

Setting: Tropical oasis of lush foliage close to town. Down some steps into the earth opens up into a beautiful cenote of winding waterways, caverns, and beautiful, incredible nature.

Worth it/not worth it? Worth it! Beautiful colored water, freshest feeling water, zip line is fun, jumping off the rock platform is freeing, relax and lounge or jump in.

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Tortuga Cenote

Tortuga cenote is yet again a different type of cenote. I love Tortuga so much. There are rumors that it is manmade. I am not sure. But it is one of the most peaceful ones, mostly because it is a hidden gem. So, shhh.. I am about to give you an inside scoop. Tortuga means turtle in Spanish. This is an enormous green cenote in the shape of a turtle. The guy who owns the land has built a little smoothie hut in the middle of the center rock. They will crack coconuts for you and you can buy fresh natural drinks. This coconut smoothie caretaker lives in a tent on the property and cares for the cenote. He always has on perfect soothing or reggae cenote music, so that when you get out of the car and walk up, your mind immediately melts into a paradise mindset of natural beauty and relaxation. The cenote has a yellow kayak you are free to use, a very high cliff jump, and a rope swing. Or else, you can float around the perimeter, jump off the dock platform, or walk around taking photos and spotting Motmot birds, beautiful protectors of the cenote, with turquoise tail feathers, exclusive only to cenotes. And they are everywhere in Tortuga. This cenote is especially fun for kids as it is more of a lake setting with lots of room to swim and goof around. This cenote is not possible for diving or snorkeling. A good picnic day for a weekend with kids. 

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Directions: Drive towards Playa del Carmen from Tulum. On the left off that highway is a very small sign that you will probably definitely miss. For this one, you will most likely need to ask someone where it is, and then they will most likely not know what you are talking about. No one really knows of this one. I dont know how to explain it any more than that. But, just find it.

Fee: Free

Setting: Deep drive into the jungle, the land opens into a large stone circle filled with green water and Motmot birds and serene nature.

Worth it/not worth it? Worth it! Amazingly serene, worlds away from everything, the cliff jump is thrilling, the kids swim around, the kayak is fun, rope climb is awesome, the music is always perfect, and fun for hours for everyone. Bring a picnic and some beers, lie in the sun, float, climb, and love life.

Tamcach-Ha Cenote

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This cenote is near Coba. At Coba there are three known nearby cenotes to explore after the ruins. This is one of them. This cenote is a fully enclosed cave. This cenote is for thrill seekers and brave, fit souls and none other. The entrance is literally a small hole in the ground that you climb down into, and follow the steps straight down into the earth for a ways. Be careful if it is slippery, and is not good if you are scared of heights because it goes straight down. You must shower off before entering the hole so as to keep the cenote water free of chemicals so that the fragile environment down there is harmed only as little as possible by cenote visitors. Once down the stairs there is a small bench to ut your things on, but the water can get high and get it al wet, so best to leave everything in the car. You cannot dive or snorkel here, so leave that all up there too. This is just a thrill seeking cenote. It is dark and there are black blind cave fish slithering everywhere. The water is an amazing fresh turqouise, under a big cave dome. There are 3 levels of platform jumps. You walk up the spiral staircase until the level you want. The highest is 30 feet and is so scary, jumping into a dark abyss, stomach dropping. Truly amazing! This is not for children.

Directions: At Coba, you will see signs to follow to the nearby cenote. Follow them. 🙂

Fee: I cant remember, but I think $100 pesos for entrance to 2 Coba cenotes of your choice.

Setting: Deep pit in the earth, fully enclosed cave with piercing aquamarine water and blind cave fish.

Worth it/not worth it? Worth it! Incredible thrill jumping, and fascinating underground cave environment.

For all cenotes, take bug spray, sunscreen, cameras, and towels.

Please note that there are many more cenotes in the Tulum area, and this is just a few. Enjoy! And find some bliss and adventure from these pieces of fascinating nature.

Follow our international adventure on facebook! The Enlightened Globetrekker

 

the secrets to finding real happiness.

Happiness comes from within. We have all heard this by now. But, what does this trendy phrase really mean? And how do we create true happiness within? Inner happiness that is pure and true and not fake, not a front for unhappiness, not a phase or temporary disposition or five yoga class enlightenment, but real, true, unwavering internal happiness, unable to be affected by the trials and tribulations of life, unable to be affected by relationship dramas or stressors, unable to be taken, but a true balance of happiness in the soul, that exudes out and never falters, no matter what. In today’s society, in the West, in this really possible to achieve?

 Yes.

Then How?

1. Love yourself. Care for yourself, tend to your needs to be, and stay, balanced. Sports, hobbies, habits. Respect yourself. Stand up for yourself. Be confident. Trust yourself. Remember that you are beautiful and unique. Feel good with yourself. Own your own skin. Own your own heart. Keep your head up. Find your power, and exercise it. Do things that make you happy. Do things that keep you healthy. Do things. Pride yourself on the little things. Travel. Love. Live. Smile. You deserve it.

2. Be positive. Search for the good in every person, place, and situation. View life half full and not half empty. Everyone on this journey has something to teach us, every place shows us something new, and every situation introduces different perspectives. Don’t get sucked into drama or gossip or sadness. Remember all the blessings in this life, and charge each situation with a smile and happy heart. No matter what.

3. Be adaptable. Life is not always perfect. But it is up to us how we deal with those imperfections. The more open-minded and adaptable to all occasions we are, the less room there is to get upset about things not going exactly our way. Remember that life is life, and 9 million things usually get in the way of our ideal day, or event, or life. But when those 9 million things happen, it doesn’t mean they need to get the best of us. We can remember that this is life, that we are human, that shit happens, but its our reaction to that shit that makes the difference. Not whether or not it is there. Be able to bend and flow with upsets and schedule changes and misfortunes. Its usually not the end of the world, and getting upset will not change anything anyway, so you may as well stay happy. Be patient. Be smooth. Choose your battles, if you will.

4. Be strong. Don’t let others bring you down. No matter what. Be strong in your heart and don’t give anyone the power to affect that strength. Be strong in your convictions, wants, needs, ability to whether storms, and desire to retain your happiness, and not let anyone steal it from you when your eyes are closed.

5. Be thankful. Gratitude. Major importance. The people who are really happy people have an enormous amount of gratitude. For big and little. For simple and complex. For beautiful and unpolished. For smells and tastes and sunsets and movies and health and happiness and moments. For all parts of life.

6. Be kind. Being kind to others makes us happy. It brings joy to our heart. Always be kind.

6. Live in the moment. Be happy in the moment. And not waiting for life to happen. But embracing life everyday.

7. Set goals. Be active in your life. Challenge yourself. Seek out new things. Set goals for new accomplishments. There is so much to learn. Crave that. Don’t be lazy. Learn. Grow. Love. Stay inspired by whatever inspires you. Make plans. Set goals and achieve them. And then be proud of yourself. And then set more. And go achieve those too. And if you dont achieve those goals, try again. Dont let life defeat you. Ever.

8. Fulfil your dreams. Listen to your heart. Realize your dreams. And work to make them come true. As a gift to yourself. As a way of honoring and rewarding yourself for being a truly happy person. And experience this happiness that can be cultivated and reached when dreams are achieved. This is the greatest example of happiness coming to life. Everyone has a dream. Take a path to happiness, and make it come true.

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a love letter to earth

was just reminded of the beauty of nature again this morning during sunrise

enlightened globetrekker

earth day

dear earth,

gosh how do i even start this. i am so nervous to write to something so big, so powerful, and so amazing. i am intimidated to write to something that i am so blessed and grateful for, something that gives me life and brings me ultimate happiness, peace, adventure, and continuous amazement. but i will try. because i really want to say thank you.

you amaze me everyday. your beauty i cannot even put into words. your grandeur and natural beauty and gentle balance and ever changing adaptations are beyond comprehension. your fish and forests and ocean and cliffs and lakes and mountains and flowers and rivers… ohh rivers how i love.. and the way it all flows together. apart, yet coming together in peace, is truly remarkable..

i have to say my favorite is the ocean. and you know what, i have given my life for you. not to…

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Enlightened Globetrekker Adventures Announces Christmas Adventure Retreat in the South Pacific!

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Join us for dream coaching, adventure, paradise, sunshine, yoga, solitude, and soul shifting.

December 22, 2014-January 4, 2015

The Marshall Islands

Contact me here or at enlightenedglobetrekker@yahoo.com or Facebook page The Enlightened Globetrekker for more information

life lessons of gratitude from a disappearing nation.

From the front lines of a nation struggling with climate change.

So my daughter and I live in the Marshall Islands.

Wait.. where??

Well, the Marshall Islands. A tiny island nation in the middle of the Pacific. Halfway between Hawaii and Australia and nothing. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

We live here for adventure, culture, weather, paradise, simplicity, and inspiration. We live here so that we can live at the grounded level of life, leaving room for amazing moments and realizations found in the simple beauty of nature, and quiet, and among a culture of different, in order to be strong and challenged everyday, and in order to see gratitude from a healthy angle. In order to swim in azul seas and lagoons and eat coconuts five times a day, and fresh tuna and other fishies and feel the sunshine and wear no shoes. In order for soulshine and amazing memories, in order to meet native Marshallese with incredible stories, in order to live at the edge of the world, and in order for our life to be a moving adventure and continuous learning experiment of what happens when we give it all up, and follow our dreams.  We live here so that I can teach kindergarten to Marshallese children. And the last reason, to conduct PhD research in a spectacularly peculiar place, during a once in a lifetime opportunity to document a disappearing nation, because of climate change.

Here on the last frontier, a place that will be gone someday, we can say, that we lived that life and saw that land and loved those people. And this very fact keeps life very humbled everyday. And I feel that that is a good way to live. We had already very thankfully been living this way in Mexico. And oh do I love Mexico for teaching us this. And now, being a part of the Marshall Islands makes these lessons even louder, the humbleness even more humble, the adventure even more of an adventure, and the life even more real. Because here, rather we are thankful just to have land to walk on. Land that has not yet disappeared into the ocean. And when you are humbled and grateful down to the ground like that, life looks very different. More beautiful, more fragile, more blessed. And the other world far far away looks very different too. Because there, life is so different. And because those people dont know. They dont see the global destruction first hand, they dont know the people whose worlds are in danger, they dont stand to loose their beautiful enchanted land of kings and coconuts and coral and sunsets and flowers and palm trees.

The Marshall Islands are very fragile. Atolls as thin as roads, and a culture on the brink of political destruction from the past, globalization of the current, and geographical destruction of the future. But tucked away from time and space, we live day to day in this sunshine. Soaking it all up as we go, embracing the peace of the pieces of culture and environment that are unlike any other place, and seem too beautiful to be real.

Living in a place unknown to the world is a strange phenomenon.

We wake up to the sunrise outside our door. We fall asleep to the crashing of waves five feet from our window, barricaded by a wall of rocks full of crabs and coral. Nearly everyone lives on the water, because water is everywhere. On one side of the atoll is the Pacific Ocean, with waves and coral reef formations too rocky to walk barefoot and too beautiful to ignore. On the other side is the lagoon, with rainbow fish and coral gardens and turquoise water and puffy clouds. We see rainbows everyday. Coconut palm trees are everywhere, and we eat coconut in everything, and drink it straight with a straw. We wear beautiful flowers and pretty dresses. The waters are everywhere and life is based around that in every way. An ancient Micronesian seafaring nation of spearfishermen and canoe geniuses, and palm fronds basket weavers, and fish and coconut eaters. The breezes are unreal. As a Pacific breeze is, gusting perfectly from the ocean to the lagoon, flowing the palms and filling the air with bliss. The fish are amazing and the coral is spectacular, like a magical adventure through the sea. Purples and pinks and blues and greens and formations that seem from another planet. I call it my daughter’s Disney World ride. The water color is captivating and the sky a piercing blue, the sun rays scorching down in powerful rays of capture. Ukeleles are everywhere, and the sound is a normal part of everyday. Walking here and there, groups of teenagers or adults or children, gathered around a ukelele under a palm tree, sitting relaxing or swaying to the tunes of the beautiful simple machine.

With all of this amazement comes strange sidenotes, that make this an interesting place. We live on one road. There is one road on this atoll, in a nation with a population the size of a town. Taxis anywhere are 75 cents. As there is only one road, as long as you get into a cab heading the direction you want to go, there is no need to tell the driver where to go. You just ride on the road until you are ready to get out. The groceries are all imported and very expensive. Expired as well. Think of the journey they have taken to be here. Produce is hard to find fresh and when you do it is very expensive. Marshallese culture is caught in a midland of before, current, and future, and rely on foreign sources for mostly everything. I feel that they are a nation of waiting until the next change occurs. Much of their culture has been abandoned for globalization and much of it remains. They are at a crossroads, with no one really knowing what to do. The impending doom of the climate change issue is a sensitive subject, which will be a challenge during my research. It is known to exist but not wanted to be true, and the people all live here for the beauty, as it is a homeland as well, but a homeland trapped in a space of nowhere, and not knowing where they should go. And not wanting to leave their precious land. And so living each day as it is, as life in normal flow. As life goes on as normal here where we laugh and sing and swim and work and be, just like the rest of the world. Saying, its no one’s fault. It’s just that our nation and the land we live on happens to be in the line of fire. The way the tide floods in and then disappears at low tide. Here on the edge of the world, we see nature changes moreso, we see more stars in the sky, and we see change more directly, because of the geography, because of the location. Because of the place in the world.

The times I am proud to be here are many.  When I wake up to the sunrise on the water every morning, and go to sleep to the crashing waves. When I drink coconuts and swim with fish too amazing to be real. When I step into the hot ocean, and swim in a turqiouse abyss, when I float for hours on end, gazing around me at endless sea. When I look at the stars in the sky, not clouded by lights of a city. When we sing the national anthem and raise the flag, and dance and sing in Marshallese, knowing how united and fragile the life is here. When my daughter laughs with her native friends, and I know she is learning about life. When we boat to tiny islands and freedive, and bask in the spectacular Pacific sun. When I hear a ukelele, when a day is beginning, and when a day is done. When I teach my students about life, and I know they are listening to every word. And when I remember that I have choices, and goals and dreams, and that they led me here. To be part of these challenges and blessings, and to see a life that most will never see. When I plan my PhD research as a voice for a nation, and enjoy all the moments of this adventure. For every overpriced grocery item, I think of these things and I am proud. In moments of isolation, I think of these things and I am proud. For all moments of personal challenge in paradise, I am proud to have dreams that bring me to such beauty and blessings.

So I can at least help to get the word out. I can write and research and share, and try to be any voice I can. And I can also live this. And at least my daughter will know. About the delicate balance of life. And the blessings we have when we start at the humbled position of being thankful for the very land we stand on.

A Marshallese poet said it way better than I can here: Matafele Pienem  Please watch this. Please share. Please be aware. Please remember. The effects of climate change. The Marshall Islands. Us all, way over here. On the edge of the world. Under a coconut tree. Without a car. And maybe you can make a change too. We are one world. And we are all in this together.

With love, from the Marshall Islands.

Join our international journey on facebook. Enlightened Globetrekker

Cheers.

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