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Part of the reason I started this blog was to share my adventures, whatever and wherever they may be. I LOVE to travel, explore, and share my experiences with others. All that coconut talk in today’s earlier blog entry got me thinking about one thing I can cross off my bucket list: my travels through the Mayan ruins.
Talk about history and culture! There are few places that make you feel as though the past is actually frozen in time, and the ancient Mayan ruins is one of them. These can hardly be called “ruins,” as these great masses of stone are still standing strong and sturdy after all this time. In my travels, I visited Tulum, Xcaret, Coba, Ek Balam, and the largest, most widely known city of Chichen Itza.
My interest in Mayan culture came about when I took a cultural elective course as an undergrad. From then on, it was on my bucket list to see the Mayan ruins in person, and not just through the pages of a book or images on the internet.
At first I just found myself taking in the size of these massive structures surrounding me from every direction, all the while asking how on earth these things are still standing so strong and tall today. I felt like an ant! I learned that some maintenance and upkeep does take place, but not nearly enough to take away the awe I was struck with.
Then, as if I wasn’t impressed enough by the size of these towering manmade cities, I learned that when the Mayans built their cities, they planned VERY carefully, and the layout was perfectly calculated, mostly for religious and spiritual purposes. I had read some info about this in my studies, but to actually witness the sun and the time of day work so intricately with the formation of each Mayan structure was fascinating. It felt surreal.
Just think about it for a minute. With no modern technology, the ancient Mayan civilization built huge pyramids, temples, stadiums, and homes, and planned with an advanced mathematical system to effectively maintain daily functions and the progression of a society. How insane is that?! This phenomenon is what got me hooked on Mayan culture in the first place.
My adventure through the Mayan ruins was life changing. It was a truly genuine historical experience. I stood in the famous stadium at Chichen Itza, climbed up (and back down) a 100 step pyramid at Coba, ate authentic Mayan food in Tulum (made right in front of us by a Mayan family in their hut in the rain forest – sooo good), dove into an ancient Cenote, snorkled through a cave at Xcaret with traces of old symbols on the walls, and went ziplining through the rain forest (the brake system: two men wearing leather gloves to stop the rope – I just prayed one of them didn’t get a hand cramp). I visited the palm tree covered beaches of Tulum, where explorers from foreign lands would come ashore for trading with the Mayans. I even sat in on an ancient Mayan ritual that takes place deep inside a cave with spices, herbs, and a Mayan prayer for well-being and protection.
I can’t wait to see where my future travels take me!
Please comment back and share a story of travel and adventure, or something that you’ve checked off of your own bucket list! Nearing the top of my list is skydiving…
Much love, stay adventorous 🙂