Escape winter – and responsibility – with a beachside getaway


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]— Aaron Clark
— Aaron Clark
While some call December the most wonderful time of the year, I would argue it is, in fact, the most terrible time of the year. It’s a horrible, nasty time when the days get shorter and the sun is veiled behind a nearly impenetrable layer of smog, and of course it’s so very, very cold. That, combined with the daily drudgery of waking up early, walking across a frigid, ice-laced campus to class, followed by hours of homework makes for a rather dreary existence. Perhaps Bill Murray’s character in the movie “Groundhog Day” put it best when he said, “It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.”
Yet there is hope on the horizon for you sun worshippers. There is a place where the water is a calm turquoise blue and the streets are paved with sand, an exotic beach paradise that has never experienced winter’s frigid touch, a place that even on a student budget could very well last you for the rest of your life.
Why waste the best years of your life slipping and sliding through the ice cold slush on campus just to listen to another boring lecture when you could be enveloped in the soft warm sands of Isla Holbox with a cold drink in hand while your toes are teased by the gentle rhythmic surf of the Caribbean? Located a mere three hours north of Cancún in the Yucatán region of Mexico resides the small fishing village of Isla Holbox. Relatively undiscovered by mainstream tourism, this hidden beach is the perfect combination of sun, surf and sand that will fit any student budget. So really all there is left to do is drop out of school and take the money you would’ve otherwise wasted on a worthless education and convert it over to the Mexican peso. Don’t forget your passport.
According to the U website, the average cost for a resident student to attend Spring Semester — including tuition, books, expenses and on-campus rent — would come to roughly $12,500. That amount could fund the beach bum life long enough for you to forget the harsh feel of winter’s chill on your face. While you could easily sleep the warm nights away on one of the many secluded beaches on the island and bathe in the cool, calm waters of the ocean why not instead hang out with other likeminded travelers at the Tribu Hostel?
Just a stone’s throw from the beach, the Tribu Hostel has a tree-house-style build and wooden walkways that connect the bright yellow, orange and blue-colored buildings. With its thatched rooftops, dozens of gently swaying hammocks and a cool sea breeze rocking you to sleep every night, the Tribu Hostel will leave you feeling like you are living in a tropical heaven. The brightly painted, comfortable dorm rooms have beds for as little as $10 a night and there are private rooms for as low as $32 a night. But the best part of the Tribu Hostel is the social aspect — it is a magnet for young travelers from Europe and South America who all gather together in the evening at the hostel bar for cheap drinks, live music and games.
The Tribu Hostel is also your gateway to activity on the island, as it offers an array of fun, exciting things to keep you occupied during your endless days of no responsibilities. You could rent a bike and cruise along the dirt roads to the other side of the island and then swim across a shallow inlet to Isla Pajaros, a natural bird preserve where pelicans, flamingos and iguanas live. For the more adventurous at heart, there is plenty of water and wind to enjoy some of the best kiteboarding in Mexico or, depending on the season, you could find yourself swimming with the whale sharks. But for those who want to experience the relaxing tranquility of this quiet island, look no further than the miles and miles of deserted sandy beaches that are waiting to be explored.
Imagine collecting sea shells until you can’t hold any more and collapse in the warm embrace of the sand for a long, lazy nap in the sun. When the heat is too much to handle you can cool off by walking into the ankle-deep, translucent waters that stretch out for hundreds of yards where shimmering sandbars appear to serve as your private island for an afternoon. On most days you can walk far enough out into the aquamarine waters that it’s impossible to tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins. It’s like being inside the world’s biggest blue marble.
After an exhaustingly peaceful day of lounging on the beaches like a lazy lizard, what better way to greet the oncoming evening then by sipping a cold margarita while watching the sun set into the horizon in a fiery orange and red blaze? After a refreshing shower, it’s time to hit the small town of Isla Holbox and indulge in its many culinary delights. Dozens of independently owned and operated restaurants light up the town in a soft gentle glow as sun-kissed tourists feast on freshly caught fish and piping hot corn tortillas while toasting their good fortune with yet another cold cerveza. A delectable dinner composed of the catch of the day smothered Yucatan style in a perfectly spiced salsa with an endless supply of tortillas will only cost you $10 to $15.
The money saved by escaping the shackles of our educational system for just a semester could easily last you at least a year or more, including airfare, lodging and more fresh fish then you could ever possibly eat. Plus once you brush up on your Spanish you may find yourself gainfully employed leading kayak tours into the dense mangroves of Isla Holbox, pointing out the diverse multitudes of birds to tourists and maybe even coming across a crocodile or two. So why waste your time freezing your buns off and frying your brain when you could be relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches of the picturesque image of tropical life that is Isla Holbox? It’s not like you need a master’s degree to make that decision.
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— Aaron Clark[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]