Despite the many tips and guides, I’ve shared with you guys on how to become a local in Cancún, I haven’t shared my experience. Cancún can make you feel like a local if you look in the right places. This can be tricky since Cancún has branded itself as a getaway for foreigners and tourists.
Fortunately, I was able to experience the local culture. I want to share my experiences with you, as well as motivate and inspire you. If I can do it, I’m positive you can too my friends!
I headed my way over to La Isla de Mujeres. Arriving by boat, the waters were crystal clear and ever so blue! It was so clear that you could see sea turtles, different species of fish, and rays gliding through the warm waters. On my way to the island, the captain decided to surprise me with an unusual stop. It wasn’t above the clear, blue water but rather under it.
This was an amazing and jaw dropping experience! Although this wasn’t an activity that made me connect with the local people, it really brought me closer to the local marine life that housed these beautiful underwater sculptures. But that’s the whole part of constructing an emotional bridge with a location, to bond with all types of local life even wildlife. I built a connection with the colorful fish by feeding them tasty crackers! But, then again, who doesn’t love food?!
As I’m arriving at La Isla de Mujeres, I walked all the way to the shore from the boat since the water is very shallow. Once I stepped out of the water and onto the sand, I was greeted by many families. The first thing that caught my eye was how large the numbers were of local families. Many of the children were playing in the white sand and splashing around in the crystal waters.
Moving on from seeing all these families, I came across a local ice cream vendor. As he was walking by the beach trying to sell ice cream, I asked him if I could take a photo with his cart.
- Me: Excuse me, sir, do you mind if I take a photo with your cart?
- Vendor: Yes, of course.
- Me: Oh, thank you!
- My Dad: Now you have to work for him.
- Vendor: I do need a helper, haha.
We all shared laughs. It really amazed me on how open the locals are. It just took one joke to bring us closer. Fortunately, you can have fun with locals as well! You just need to put yourself out there and approach them with an eager and enthusiastic vibe. Even approaching them with a simple greeting is more than enough to start a conversation! Nonetheless, this picture was the end result.
I know, my facial expression doesn’t seem very enthusiastic, but I assure you I was having a blast! It was uncomfortably hot, and I had to constantly jump in and out of the water to stay cool. Nonetheless, having a short little conversation with a local was more than enough for me to smile while looking at this photo. We actually ended up buying a tasty ice cream from him! It was definitely refreshing in the hot, humid weather.
The next day, I headed over to the cenotes. This was the adventurous part of my trip. After talking to the taxi driver, he agreed to take me to the many different cenotes they had. It took about an hour to get there, but it was completely worth it. The cenotes have two secret gems.
- It’s a local hotspot for many, many local families to take a dip in the chilly waters and just have fun!
- It truly represents how beautiful nature can be.
Arriving at the first cenote location, I came across lots of families. Trekking through the jungle, I had finally spotted my first cenote. It was gorgeous, for it’s surrounded by green, lushes plants that reflected off the mesmerizing turquoise water. Furthermore, 90% of the people there were locals! Perfect for us (you and I) to easily approach them and have a good time. And, that’s exactly what I did!
Cenote after cenote, I just kept approaching the many locals. Simply smiling at them was perfect for me to start talking to them. At one point I even started to dance with some locals at the cenotes. The music that was being played livened up the experience. Everyone was laughing and talking while cooling off in the fish-filled waters. It was like a normal weekend at the beach in Miami. However, the only difference was that we were all united and there was no feeling of seclusion to be found. Endlessly, there were more laughs and smiles exchanged. But that’s the key to bonding with the locals, and that is making yourself available to participating in the local activities.
The Result of My Day as a Local
The little and unexpected places that I visited made me feel like a local. Interacting with the locals truly made me feel like one of them. It wasn’t just a simple conversation or a simple song, but it was the bond we made because of it that was truly magical. The best thing about this is that anyone can do it. Anyone can approach, adapt, and learn from the locals. Just smile and say hi!