There’s nothing quite like spending time on a beautiful white-sanded beach, with clear blue ocean water behind it. Our family recently spent an amazing week at the Barcelo Maya Resort on the Rivera Maya. While on the beach I reflected on a couple of experiences we had on our trip and thought I’d share my thoughts, experiences, and lessons with you.
The first thought is to be happy. Sounds simple, right? But it really isn’t. We have a way of complicating our lives and comparing ourselves that easily leads to unhappiness. While on the beach I couldn’t help but notice how happy everyone was. We instantly became happy once we landed and could smell the ocean air. Everyone we encountered–whether they were fellow vacationers, taxi drivers, or service staff–were incredibly nice and happy. The bartenders, servers, entertainment people were incredibly polite, friendly, helpful, and nice. The same can be said for all of the people we met who were also on vacation. Why can’t it be this way all the time? I think the world would be a heck of a lot better place if we all just took the time to smile and be nice to another. It shouldn’t require us to be on vacation.
The second thought comes from one of our servers we had at the beach side restaurant, Alfredo. We meet Alfredo on our fifth day of the trip, and he was the nicest person we encountered all trip. Alfredo was in his late 20’s to early 30’s, stood around 5’8, had black hair, and a slender build. What made Alfredo stand out right away is that he took an immediate interest in us and our son, and began to strike up a conversation that lasted all throughout lunch. It seems simple, almost too simple. But being nice and showing genuine interest in others makes you stand out, and makes people gravitate toward you. Although some people may not think being a server at a resort beach grill is a great job, Alfredo treated it like it was the best job in the world. He was extremely helpful and friendly. He asked about our family and through conversation we got to learn about him and his family. The following days, rather than walk to the restaurant with better food, we decided to go back to the grill to eat and visit with Alfredo. One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is the opportunity to meet and connect with people from different countries and cultures. Once you do, you realize that we’re really all the same and want similar things out of life. We should all be more like Alfredo: treat our job like it’s the best in world, be quick to be helpful, be nice, and show genuine interest in others.
My final thought comes from a rainy afternoon on the beach: life is what you make of it. We were very fortunate to have a beautiful first four days in Mexico. On the fifth day a storm moved in around lunchtime and we had rain the rest of the afternoon and clouds the next day. We could have let this ruin our mood and the great time we were having. Instead, we chose to roll with the punches and alter plans and mindset. We actually looked at it as a good thing too because if we had been out in the sun much longer, we would’ve probably burned and not have been able to be on the beach the final day. It was nice to go up to our rooms, read, and nap on the rainy afternoon. The following cloudy day we spent at the pool and had a great time swimming with our son. There are many things we can’t control in life, and weather is one of them. Instead of trying to control everything all the time, we should be more adaptive. That way when things don’t go according to plan, we are quick to move onto something else without our trips, attitudes, and great times taking a hit. Always remember, life is what you make of it. There’s an old coaches saying that says, “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.”
Vacation is always nice because it gives us time to relax and reflect. For me it was nice to unplug and get away from everything. I didn’t want to come back. Having this trip has motivated me to come back and work harder than ever, because I want to turn this one-week vacation into longer, more frequent ones. My long-term goal is to turn this site into a one-stop shop for the athletic family. I would like to get more public speaking opportunities, and we’ll have a big announcement in August through the ECA. Updates and changes are in the works and will be coming soon to this blog and the ECA site. If you know of anyone along the Rivera Maya looking for a basketball coach and social studies teacher, let me know!
Thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!