Tulum didn’t always welcome us with open arms! Our Mexican Paradise or a Tourist Trap? [AED-S01E06b]


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In the previous episode of the “Adventure Escape Diaries”…

(https://youtu.be/LvNLDUQWX0Q) we arrived at the #Caribbean coast of Mexico and “tried” a variety of beautiful places on the #Yucatan Peninsula.
Now we finally made it to the long awaited #TropicalParadise of #Tulum.

But is it really all that wonderful?

Actually it took us a while to warm up to that very special place. Devided into the #InstagramWorthy #EcoHotel Beach Front and the not quite as wonderful but still interesting busy backbone city further inland.
We’ve had a love-hate relationship with Tulum, we were even close to leaving may times but eventually we found the right place for a perfect balance between work and beach life.
Casa Guayaba was our idyllic home base and with its owner Patrick we managed to have THE #Christmas and #NewYearsEve time of our lives.
Tulum held such a magic spell on us that we soon forgot about our plans to go to #Paraguay and considered #Mexico to become our second home. Learn more about our change of plans at the end of this episode and in the coming episode about getting our #PermanentResidency!
Tell us in the comments about your favorite place in #QuintanaRoo!

How it continues…

Our Escape Journey is moving forward. We chose Paraguay to get our residency there but the country was still closed so we escaped Europe to Mexico instead. We now had just over 2 months until our Residency Documents would expire. After checking out the Mexican West coast, we were now in the Caribbean in a small town that had gained in popularity over the past years. 


The area of Tulum is really separated in two parts. The natural reserve ocean front and the backbone city further back inland that handles Tulum’s resources. Hotels at the ocean front do not have connection to electricity nor water, so all the “Eco Hotels” have to run diesel generators all day for electricity and import their water with huge trucks from the main city.
Tulum’s waterfront is truly one of the most magical beach experiences one can encounter worldwide. The white sand, turquoise water, green palm trees in combination with the organic looking eco hotels, that are focusing on Instagram beauty, you will get a dream like vibe. A beauty that one would love to soak in and keep as a permanent companion.


real life was catching up with us every time we had to step beyond the hotels, back to the street and back into the city. The Tulum beach front hotels are not affordable for long term travelers like us. A few days and you can already be set back by 1,000 USD or more. The more budget friendly option is to take a hotel in the backcountry city and its surroundings.
Once stepping beyond the beach hotels, you will be confronted with the logistic nightmares of Tulum. The tiny street that is connecting the beach with the city cannot bear the heavy burden of all the incoming tourists, water trucks, supply trucks and the herds of employees that have to journey back and forth twice a day.
Off Rush Hour a car might be able to do the journey in just under 10 minutes. But when the madness breaks out, it can take you more than an hour. Rental bikes are an offered option, but even for them the path can be congested at times. We ended up walking most of the time. That can be achieved in half an hour.

Finding a place to stay in town

As beach front hotels for us where off limit, we gave all kinds of other hotels in the city a chance. I really don’t wanna burden you with all our experiences there but i can tell you that we moved around a lot and were close on giving up on Tulum.
We felt frustrated. Hotel prices were high and some of the people we saw had a shallow touch to them. On the one hand, many tourists come to Tulum to find their “Spiritual” nature and live out their positivity and connection with others. But soon that facade fades and some resort to just seconds of “instagram spirituality” that just leads to treating others with superficiality or disrespect.
Nevertheless we were also positively surprised by some of the international travelers we met. Notably the German / American couple Christoph and Sarah who gave us a ride from Tulum beach one day and later on invited us for a great beach day together.
Then there was the the Polish / Mexican couple Tom and Stephie who were at the same hotel and joined us for dinner during the night of the dead, the Mexican Halloween. For learning more about that, check out Alexandra’s video about the festivities around the Mexican day of the dead. (Day of the Dead – Tulum – https://youtu.be/pv4jdCoD17c)

We wanted to leave Tulum!

Despite these positives encounters we were close to leaving Tulum. It didn’t provide an affordable base that made it possible for us to work on our projects. By that time we were living in one of the cheapest hotels in Tulum, the Tulum City Hotel but the friendly owner Mariana made us feel completely at home.
At that time we told our friend Ole about our discomfort with Tulum. He shared our dislike of the situation in Tulum but told us about a friend of his relatives. One wouldn’t guess it but  Northman Ole’s mom is actually from Ecuador. So he is fluent in Spanish and has many family connections, even here in Mexico. These are the connections that will get you very far in Latin countries in general.
For Ole though, the Mexico experience was coming to an end already. Mexico is full of temptations and one is venturing a thin line when working and traveling. It is hard to remind oneself that this is not a vacation. It’s more than just relaxing by the beach and partying at night. It is the choice of being free but still being responsible for ones own progress. We were sad to see Ole leave but his advice made us reach out to his contact, Patrick, and were wonderfully surprised.

Our host Patrick

Patrick turned out to be godsend. He is a German guy around our age who had already lived in Mexico for several years. Patrick is running a big guesthouse and is a part time Scuba Dive Master. Our friend integrated well into the Mexican structures. With his Mexican Spanish slang and his Mexican way of driving his car he is getting to all the right places with local prices treatment.
When we arrived at his house, conveniently located just a few minutes off the main Tulum Boulevard, we felt like we were in a Beautiful Oasis, off the dirty streets of Tulum city. A beautiful swimming pool and the green view of palm trees and other exotic plants, we found a place to relax. It was off season and not too many tourists in town, so Patrick offered us a studio apartment for an amazing price. We agreed on staying for two weeks, but ended up staying two months.

Office in paradise 

We found a home base that offered us the possibility to focus back on our work and also get a routine with cooking at home, do regular sports and visit the beautiful beaches. We also got the best neighbors we could wish for.  Andrew, a young business man from the UK, was able to put his high society lifestyle in the US to a rest and came to Tulum with his parents Anthony and Doreen. They took the two apartments beneath ours and soon became good friends and a spiritual light in this confusing world we live in right now.
Anthony, a retired doctor was able to confirm our suspicions about all the questionable information that is currently circulating on the worlds news outlets. His down to earth medical advice should be a role model to the Pharma-confused majority of the medical establishment.

Finally visitors!

So with fresh ocean air, sunshine, local Mexican fruits and vegetables and naturally sourced meats and fish we thrived in our Mexican village. Things were in fact going so well that i started reaching out to my friends asking them to join us in the beautiful villa. My friend Jeff from California joined us with his friend Parinaz for Cenote cave diving and a water park Adventure. 
Also Kim was getting ready to come back to Mexico and move his whole life with him. Ole also expressed interest in giving Tulum another try, and then there was one ore spot in the other, bigger apartment of our tropical villa.
Ever since High School, my dear friend Theo and me felt a brotherly connection. Both fascinated by forging lands and early travel experiences, we kept in contact over the years no matter where we ended up.
With me currently the one who is in my exploring phase i kept on motivating him to leave his current “home office- Lock down lifestyle” in his dead end job behind and join me in literal paradise in the Caribbean coast of Mexico.
The sad reality of Lockdown number 3 with the pending forced tracking and regular physical molestation of his so called “progressive” employer, finally changed Theos mind and he was joining us for life in Tulum for Christmas and New Years.
With Patrick on our side, and the new arrival of Kim and Theo, Tulum opened up a whole range of new activities.
(Watch Alexandra’s video on Tulum Ruins in the Rain – https://youtu.be/RvGYSPpONEI) Mayan Pyramid trips, Cenote diving, Waterparks and much more for prices the locals would pay.

A new diver was born!

Now, as far as I’m concerned Tulum offered me my first time scuba diving in a decade and Alexandra even completely started her scuba experience with Patrick and graduated as a PADI diver. We were truly able to make the best out of our stay in Mexico. Watch out for here newest video on her Youtube channel Alexandra Allover where she explains how she obtained her PADI open water certification in Tulum!

Paraguay was still on the table…or was it?

But as much as we loved our stay, Christmas and New Years came and went with beautiful memories,, but Alexandra and me were still worried about our unresolved Paraguay situation.
At some point we were thinking about just leaving that Paraguay project behind us and just focus our energy to a New Mexican Life. Mexico is a country that has lots to offer and especially in confusing times like these it was one of the very few countries that was not playing along with a oppressive worldwide agenda. Mexico let their borders open and let the Mexican people the liberty to decide for themselves how to deal with the seasonal flu.
Alexandra and me made a contingency plan for a possible life in Mexico, a great option that fate kept us open for another day. But then suddenly the political climate of Paraguay changed, and the borders were officially opened again. Foreigners were allowed to enter again and we still had a few weeks left to continue our Paraguay Residency process.

Preparation for our move

By the beginning of January, we left Tulum for Playa del Carmen one last time. Our friend Nickthel let us stay at her house so we were able to make preparations for our coming departure to South America. This gave us the opportunity to meet up with Moni from Austria at a German Beer Garden. Moni too made the big escape from Europe and successfully started her business as a Virtual Assistant for Artists.
With that our last days in Mexico came to an end. With our flights booked and necessary documents organized we were on our way to the Cancun Airport.
Our Experiences in Tulum have brought us together with some amazing people. Thanks to Kim, we made it to Mexico and met Ole, thanks to Ole we found our place in Tulum with Patrick. Thanks to Patrick we had our wonderful Neighbors Anthony, Doreen and Andrew.
In a way, our wonderful experiences in Mexico made us regard it as our second home now. We decided to move forward to get our residency in Paraguay but we will definitely come back to Mexico and will spend some more amazing time there.

How will we continue?

As for the next part of our journey though we had to make sure that things work out as we planned, and the time was ticking, we barely had any time left till our documents would expire. We still had to do translations, notarizations and have all kinds of official appointments in Paraguay to get the process started and we weren’t sure yet if we would even make it through Paraguayan customs.
See in the next video what inconvenient surprises were waiting for us right after landing in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay.
Hear more about this in the next episode of the ADVENTURE Escape Diaries.
  • Ole @olekvammen
  • Nickthel @nick.lc.5
  • Christoph @christophmwagner
  • Sarah @hippieprincess824
  • Tom @tomekmitan
  • Stephie @stephieportillo
  • Patrick @pato_pats_world
  • Jeff @getjeff
  • Parinaz @parinazeti
  • Kim Park @coachkimpark
  • Theo @theophilkr
  • Moni @moniechristinez
  • Andrew @andrewsmarshall
  • Anthony and Doreen

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About Paul Trausner

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