For my 31st birthday, I knew I wanted to take my very first solo trip. Taking an international trip by myself was something that I wanted to do for years, and I finally decided to make this goal become my reality. Tulum, Mexico has been on my travel radar for a couple of years, so I was ecstatic that I could finally visit this gorgeous city!
Tulum can be described as a peaceful, picturesque, relaxing, and rejuvenating city that offers amazing food and drinks, natural and holistic healing, some of the friendliest citizens ever, and a number of Instagram-worthy places to take photos! It is located about two hours away from Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo and is home to some of the most amazingly beautiful beaches the world has to offer. In recent years, Tulum has gained popularity.
When visiting Tulum, you should know:
Image via Sylvia Pettway
Since Tulum does not have an airport, you must fly in through Cancun International. From there, you can rent a car, use a private or shared transportation service, or do what I did and ride on the ADO bus, the cheapest option. The ADO buses are public charter buses that citizens and tourists use to travel to different cities along the Riviera Mayan coast. The buses are affordable to ride and super comfortable. Some of them even come with Wifi!
Once I exited the airport, I found the ADO stand and paid for my ticket using pesos. (Please use pesos instead of your currency when buying your ticket because you will get your change back in pesos, and it may be less than what you expect). When using the ADO bus, you can either purchase a ticket where the bus goes straight to Tulum or you can purchase a ticket where you will arrive in Playa del Carmen from the airport and transfer to another bus. (You can read more about the transportation options here.)
Money, Communication, and...the Plug
Their currency is the Mexican Peso, but some places accept credit cards. It is best for you to bring pesos to use. You either order your currency through your local bank or visit the Santander Bank in Tulum to exchange your currency. Avoid exchanging your currency at the Cancun International Airport, because the exchange rates are a lot higher than the above-mentioned options.
Most of the citizens speak Spanish, but I came across a few men and women who were either bilingual or understood me and could help me if I had any questions. With that being said, brush up on your Spanish! Even if you only know or learn basic Spanish greetings, it goes a long way in Tulum. The citizens appreciate it and it will help you learn and respect their culture even more. If all else fails, Google Translate is your friend!
For my fellow Americans, there is no need to buy a universal plug as Tulum has both plug type A and plug type B for all your electronic needs.
Image via Sylvia Pettway
Skincare Is a Must
Bring sunscreen and bug repellent. You're going to need them both. In order to accommodate Tulum's eco-friendly living and to protect the animals, try to use biodegradable skin products, especially when visiting the cenotes. I used these products: Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen and OFF Botanicals Insect Repellent.
Research your hotel accommodations. Staying in town is cheaper than staying on the beach, but it is all about your preference and your budget. I stayed in town on this trip, but when I visit again, I plan to do a couple of days on the beach and a couple of days in town.
Hot Spots for Lodging
Image via Sylvia Pettway
For my solo trip, I knew I wanted my accommodations to be close to the center of Tulum where mostly everything was within walking distance. I'm so glad that I was blessed to find Villas Geminis Boutique Condo Hotel as it absolutely exceeded my expectations! Each room is named and reflected after a famous artist. I stayed in the 'Gustav Klimt' room which came with a complete kitchenette area, a king-sized bed, a sofa bed, shower, and a very big and deep outdoor tub with another overhead shower.
The staff at Villas Geminis was very welcoming and accommodating to my needs, and they went above and beyond to help me to navigate the area with ease. A stay at this fabulous and very affordable hotel also comes with an outdoor pool (which I had all to myself each day), breakfast at no additional charge, and free bicycle rentals to use for touring the beautiful city. Villas Geminis have booklets inside of each room that describes the additional services they provide as well as restaurants, bars, attractions, and tours that helped me to experience one of the best hotel stays ever!
Image via Sylvia Pettway
La Malquerita was the first restaurant that I visited in Tulum. The restaurant has two menus--one with Mexican dishes and one with Italian dishes! The food and drinks at this restaurant are not only appetizing but super affordable. Like many other restaurants in the Tulum city center, they offer happy hour specials on their drinks (which were quite strong and tasty). The total cost of my first meal was $11.50--including two drinks! The restaurant also has a dining area inside that has swings instead of chairs. The quesadilla plate was really delicious, but the tacos needed a bit more flavor. Nevertheless, it was definitely worth visiting, even if you simply want to take advantage of their two-for-one drink specials.
Image via Sylvia Pettway
Burrito Amor is one of the top restaurants to visit in Tulum. This is one of those restaurants that you have try or your visit to Tulum won't be complete. The establishment has a variety of options, including vegetarian and vegan, to please the burrito-lover in you! The burritos are wrapped in banana leaves and served with a variety of sauces to appeal to your preferred level of spice! I got the vegetarian burrito with a margarita, of course, and the meal was fantastic! It's a busy restaurant, so if you want to beat the crowd, get there once they open. F.Y.I., they serve breakfast, too!
Listen to me...if you desire an authentic street taco with the most flavorful meats you've ever tasted in your life? Please, please, please make sure you visit Antojito La Chiapaneca. I've never had tacos that tasted so good. You know the food is good when you forget to take a picture of the meal (le sigh). I had a chicken and a steak taco, and they were both amazing! The restaurant is famous for their tacos de carnitas, or pork tacos, where they shave the cooked pieces of pork in front you and prepare it for you!
More Than Tacos
Image via Sylvia Pettway
Anyone who knows me knows I love a good, juicy, flavorful burger, and hot, crispy, well-seasoned fries. I needed my burger fix while I was in Tulum, so I researched some places and came across Bonita Tulum Burger Bar and it definitely exceeded my expectations! It was one of the best burgers that I've had in a while---huge, fresh, and perfectly seasoned. Along with the standard condiments, Bonita offers a cream cheese spread that was heavenly. I used that instead of ketchup to dip my fries in! Like the other above-mentioned restaurants, Bonita is affordably priced and offers vegan and vegetarian options.
Image via Sylvia Pettway
I have a huge sweet tooth, so I was glad that I came across Campanella Cremerie, a shop that sells a selection of gelato flavors and other sugary sweet treats. The staff members were very friendly and the gelato was extremely tasty! Try the hazelnut flavor and thank me later. I ended up visiting this place twice and was satisfied each time.
Batey is a very popular bar located in Tulum Centero that is known for its mojitos. What makes these particular drinks so special is that they are made using fresh sugar cane juice! I had the watermelon mojito and it was pretty good!
Life's a Beach
Tulum is known for its amazingly beautiful beaches, and there are a variety of them to enjoy. Each day I visited the beaches, the weather was gorgeous, the temperature was perfect, and the water felt amazing! The most popular beaches in Tulum include Playa Paraiso, Playa Ruinas (which surrounds the Tulum Mayan Ruins), and Las Palmas Public Beach.
Image via Sylvia Pettway
There are beach chairs and cabanas for a fee so that you can lie back and enjoy the serenity that the beaches have to offer. I didn't get the opportunity to visit some of the other attractions that Tulum is famously known for, but I have added them for future reference. Click on each one for more info:
- Dos Ojos And Grand Cenotes
- Tulum Mayan Ruins
- A Reiki Massage Spa Center
- Casa Malca (formerly known as Pablo Escobar's mansion
- Gitano Restaurant
- Farm to Table Restaurant
- CoCoTulum Hotel
I have already decided that I will be going back to Tulum again for my birthday this year, and I can't wait to relive these experiences and make new ones in this magical city! Where would you like to go for your first solo trip?
Article originally published on Living SILsationally
Featured Image by Shutterstock
Originally published March 10, 2020
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy