Let’s clear this up:
With the overwhelming crowds of tourists that flood the streets and beaches, I didn’t think it was possible for me, or anyone, to make local friends. If anything, it was more likely that I would meet a westerner than the actual community.
However, the beautiful Cancún proved me wrong. She showed subtle hints of her authentic culture through the locals that were working at restaurants or vendors selling goodies. Her greatest masterpiece is combining the locals with the tourists through the jaw-dropping natural gems that she has. Amazingly, I could see she tried her best to blend in both communities. And, I applauded her.
But this story doesn’t go to her artwork that extends past the horizon. Instead, it goes to her awkward, yet effective blend of the local nature and the touristy demand.
Well, I utilized the natural blend of both communities!
I was staying at my hotel (sorry :(, I forgot the name) and one of the timeshare sellers approached me and my family. He was fairly young and had an enormous amount of positive energy. Maybe it was just because he was trying to make us buy a timeshare.
His positivity was overwhelmingly enjoyable, and I cherished his friendliness.
But, that wasn’t all…
There was definitely more to him than what he showed us. His friendliness was genuine, and I knew he was someone who I could befriend. I wasn’t wrong. One of the few factors that led me to try and befriend him were the age relatability. I knew he was more willing to connect with me, and vice versa, rather than someone twice or even three times as older as I am.
So, I approached him:
Me: Excuse me. I was apart of the family that you talked to earlier.
Alfredo: Oh, hey! How’s everything?
Me: Everything is well! I just wanted to try and talk to you because I thought your friendliness was wonderful. Not everyone is as friendly as you are, and I would love to get to know you.
Alfredo: My friend, thank you so much! Yea, of course. We can hang around the hotel beach for a bit with your family, and we can talk there.
Me: Sounds great, thank you!
So I told my parents the plan and they were all for it. We got to the beach, and he followed soon after.
Me: Hey! Thank you for deciding to meet with me!
Alfredo: Of course! So, what do you like to do?
I’m not going to narrate the whole entire conversation because it’s too much and I’m writing a post, not a book. Basically, we asked each other what we like to do on our free time and what things we enjoy. Our hobbies, our interests, and our likes or dislikes. We were bonding, and he made me feel welcomed.
One of the things that I really loved was how he made me feel exclusive. He was telling me funny stories that, he claims, has only told his best friends. This was an example:
Me: Tell me about Cancún. What’s one thing that many locals do on the weekends?
Alfredo: A lot of my friends go to Coco Bongo! It’s one of the most famous night clubs here in Playa del Carmen.
Me: Yea!!!! I’ve seen it! Makes me want to go dance. 😉 haha
Alfredo: It’s a lot of fun, my friend. I remember I went with one of my friends, and we were dancing. It’s common during night clubs that guys grab girls’ butts, but sometimes they accidentally grab guys’ butts. What you are supposed to do when you accidentally grab a guy, is to say, “I’m a guy!” So when I went, someone grabbed my butt and I called out, “I’m a guy!” But then I heard, “I know.” I never went back ever since.
I seriously could not stop laughing!
I constantly reminiscence about that funny, joyful moment. But, I learned that I carefully choose who I want to befriend. I find myself attracted to nicer, friendlier, and positive locals rather than the counterparts, but then again, who doesn’t?
While Alfredo wasn’t a local off the street, he was definitely a friendly and memorable local that I could never forget. I encourage you to reach out to locals, whether a staff working at the hotel you are staying at or on the streets of every magical city you trek through. You may be able to share funny stories!
P.S.: If you would like to contact Alfredo, he is willing to help everyone find the best things to do in Cancún. He is also up for a couple of drinks at the bar! Contact him here.