Trading in Backpacks for…Bliss

 

160bAfter a hectic yet enjoyable summer, Edwin and I decided to use up one of our week’s worth of vacation for a trip somewhere new!  After all the months of backpacking under our belt, we decided to try something new- an all inclusive Cuban resort!

We weren’t sure what to expect exactly, but we did our research and landed a great deal for the Melia Cayo Coco resort.  My body and mind was in desperate need of relaxation, and Cuba definitely delivered!

We arrived on a hot, sunny afternoon and were  greeted from a airline representative to usher us to the resort. (No haggling for tuk tuks here!)  Immediately upon our arrival, we were handed glasses of champagne to “assist” us through the check-in process (which was extremely simple and efficient even without champagne!) . We were allowed to settle into our room right away, and it didn’t take long for us to find the pool and some empty chairs to enjoy the rest of the day’s sunshine.

For the following few days, my hours were spent lounging by the pool, laying on the beach, diving into my book “The Voluntourist” and a “Women’s Health” magazine, eating, and drinking.  And eating some more.  And drinking some more.  I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the “buffet” restaurant, which seemed to keep up with providing fresh meal choices and amazing service.  The specialty restaurants, which were also included in our package, presented more great food and amazing presentation and atmosphere.

Aside from food, the ease of ordering a glass of wine or a fruity cocktail at any time of day without carrying a wallet full of cash made the stress-free experience that much better.  Now, we chose to stay away from the party resorts down the beach because we wanted strict relaxation; however, I was surprised at how much booze these 40 and 50+ couples could handle!

As a backpacker-at-heart, I used to look at the “resort” vacationers and think poorly.  “Why would anyone want to go sit at a resort and miss out on the culture of a country?”!  Yes, the resort offer tours off of the resort, but we can all acknowledge that you don’t get the feel of the locals on these tours.

However, after experiencing a week away to this paradise, I began to realize its appeal.  With very short vacation time offered to most employees in Canada, workers NEED down time!  Time without worrying about taxis, hostels, beggars, physical exhaustion.  People need to take a time out and sit all day with nothing to do but stare out into the horizon (possibly with a delicious drink in hand).  Without this time, people would go crazy with no escape from the city buzz.

Unfortunately, we experienced a lot of rain, due to nearby Hurricane Sandy.  Luckily the resort still offered areas to sit, listen to live music, play darts, or offer the chance to relax in our room with a great movie.

Far from the internet.  Far from our cellphones.  Far from work due dates.  Close to mental freedom.

I can no longer stick my nose up at these vacationers because I can now understand the value of a package vacation.

Therefore, if you are a regular backpacker:

— Know who you are going to travel with.
— Know what you want to do and what you don’t want to do on your vacation.
— Decide together at what type of resort you are looking for.

If you make sure you know what you’re getting into before rolling out proper luggage, you can have a blissful vacation at an all inclusive resort!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Harly504

 

One Response to Trading in Backpacks for…Bliss
  1. OutpostMagazine
    June 11, 2013 | 6:43 am

    Voluntourism is powerful, check out our short article on it and let us know what you think: http://www.outpostmagazine.com/2013/05/24/help-corner-world-voluntourism/

Leave a Reply

Trading in Backpacks for…Bliss

 

160bAfter a hectic yet enjoyable summer, Edwin and I decided to use up one of our week’s worth of vacation for a trip somewhere new!  After all the months of backpacking under our belt, we decided to try something new- an all inclusive Cuban resort!

We weren’t sure what to expect exactly, but we did our research and landed a great deal for the Melia Cayo Coco resort.  My body and mind was in desperate need of relaxation, and Cuba definitely delivered!

We arrived on a hot, sunny afternoon and were  greeted from a airline representative to usher us to the resort. (No haggling for tuk tuks here!)  Immediately upon our arrival, we were handed glasses of champagne to “assist” us through the check-in process (which was extremely simple and efficient even without champagne!) . We were allowed to settle into our room right away, and it didn’t take long for us to find the pool and some empty chairs to enjoy the rest of the day’s sunshine.

For the following few days, my hours were spent lounging by the pool, laying on the beach, diving into my book “The Voluntourist” and a “Women’s Health” magazine, eating, and drinking.  And eating some more.  And drinking some more.  I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the “buffet” restaurant, which seemed to keep up with providing fresh meal choices and amazing service.  The specialty restaurants, which were also included in our package, presented more great food and amazing presentation and atmosphere.

Aside from food, the ease of ordering a glass of wine or a fruity cocktail at any time of day without carrying a wallet full of cash made the stress-free experience that much better.  Now, we chose to stay away from the party resorts down the beach because we wanted strict relaxation; however, I was surprised at how much booze these 40 and 50+ couples could handle!

As a backpacker-at-heart, I used to look at the “resort” vacationers and think poorly.  “Why would anyone want to go sit at a resort and miss out on the culture of a country?”!  Yes, the resort offer tours off of the resort, but we can all acknowledge that you don’t get the feel of the locals on these tours.

However, after experiencing a week away to this paradise, I began to realize its appeal.  With very short vacation time offered to most employees in Canada, workers NEED down time!  Time without worrying about taxis, hostels, beggars, physical exhaustion.  People need to take a time out and sit all day with nothing to do but stare out into the horizon (possibly with a delicious drink in hand).  Without this time, people would go crazy with no escape from the city buzz.

Unfortunately, we experienced a lot of rain, due to nearby Hurricane Sandy.  Luckily the resort still offered areas to sit, listen to live music, play darts, or offer the chance to relax in our room with a great movie.

Far from the internet.  Far from our cellphones.  Far from work due dates.  Close to mental freedom.

I can no longer stick my nose up at these vacationers because I can now understand the value of a package vacation.

Therefore, if you are a regular backpacker:

— Know who you are going to travel with.
— Know what you want to do and what you don’t want to do on your vacation.
— Decide together at what type of resort you are looking for.

If you make sure you know what you’re getting into before rolling out proper luggage, you can have a blissful vacation at an all inclusive resort!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Harly504

 

One Response to Trading in Backpacks for…Bliss
  1. OutpostMagazine
    June 11, 2013 | 6:43 am

    Voluntourism is powerful, check out our short article on it and let us know what you think: http://www.outpostmagazine.com/2013/05/24/help-corner-world-voluntourism/

Leave a Reply

Awards

Kristin’s Backpack won 1st Prize for TESL Ontario’s 2011 ESL Week Blog Contest.
About Me


Welcome to Kristin’s Backpack! I jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2010 to share my Canadian-theatrical-backpacking perspective on my world adventures. With my return to Canada, I will continue to dig into my pockets and reflect on life as it has come to involve Teaching, Travel, and Theatre. Time to unzip the pockets!
Portfolios
Check out my past and current work here: 

Kristin's Library
Looking for some interesting reading material? Check out my Reading Picks and Bookworm post for some ideas! 

               
This is what summer is all about- finished a book yesterday and am on to the next today.  I just opened The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which has been on my shelf for ages.  I have been extremely interested in reading accounts that stem from true stories in a dark history that is often swept to the side.  
At the same time, I have been listening to The Maze Runner series as an audio book and have been extremely captivated by the young characters’ circumstances and their view on the world.  
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