March in Playa: Change, Progress and a Bit of Madness

Another month has flown by. Sitting down to write the monthly update that I hope to do for each of our 12 months in Playa del Carmen, I am finding it difficult to sum up what March was like. The truth is, it was a wonderful month due to the changes we experienced, but also quite a trying one for the same reasons.


As most of you know, Tyrhone quit smoking, which was a HUGE deal for us. I had just come to accept his smoking, and never really expected him to quit, selfishly quite happy that I too could could indulge in a puff or ten when the urge struck (sometimes more often than others). So when he decided to make a serious attempt to quit, I was extremely surprised but also excited.

If he quit, then cigarettes would no longer be a part of either of our lives, a strange concept but also a very positive one. So of course I abstained also, no longer feeling right about being a ‘social’ or ‘occasional’ smoker when he was doing it really tough to quit.  Whilst I reveled in the freedom of being able to eat inside at restaurants, kiss him without asking him to clean his teeth first and of no longer worrying that we may both die of lung cancer, poor Tyrhone reeled from the physical and mental effects of being without the crutch of cigarettes for the first time in his adult life.

Whilst I am an exploder when overcome with stress or anxiety, he is an imploder, and implode he did, into a very dark place that I was completely powerless to help him out of. It was a great lesson in faith for me, because even though I hated seeing him like that, I also knew he would come through it, just as he had come through many previous challenges in his life.

I knew that every day that passed without a cigarette, he was one step closer to feeling good, and that hopefully due to the severity of his withdrawals, would never want to go through the awful process of quitting again!

I am pleased to say that the worst has passed, he is one month smoke free, and whilst not out of the woods yet, is getting stronger and happier every day.


Uxmal Yucatan

Our road trip through the Yucatan to Merida, Izamal, Uxmal and Ria Lagartos was an absolute God send, and we were very very lucky to be put up at the luxurious Hotel Hacienda Merida – such a lovely treat. The trip reminded us how much fun we have together travelling, and how much we love exploring without making firm plans. We confirmed the hotel and booked the car, but everything in between was an exercise in taking whatever came, and what came was a microcosm of experiences that encapsulated all of the things I love about Mexico – its people, nature, history and culture.

A few of you have said that Mexico is now on your list of places to visit, and I really hope you do. I am falling further and further I love with this country, and don’t think I will be able to experience all it has to offer even if I spend my whole life trying.


Learning Spanish

Our Spanish is improving organically, but so far I can understand it a little better than I can speak it (which isn’t great!). I have recently bought a really good course, however, which focuses on daily Spanish and the most commonly used words, rather than grammar. We have begun to do the audio lessons together, which have so far been really helpful, as well as the written exercises that accompany them.

I wish I could say we have been doing them every day, but alas, we have not. Discipline is not our strong point, but at least we have something to work towards! One thing is for sure, this course is more beneficial than the school we went to last year, the tutor we got after we dropped out (!) or the Rosetta stone course we tried after we fired him! It is far more practical and accessible, and let me tell you, if I can get Tyrhone to do the lessons, they must be doing something  right.

Here is the link to the two courses I bought: Synergy Spanish and Short Cut to Spanish. I signed up for their emails first and bought both as a package, for $77 with this link.


It was a good month on the blog for me, and I had my biggest month traffic wise. Blogging is a strange beast – I absolutely love it, but sometimes it can feel like I’m not progressing as fast as I would like, or making the sort of money from advertising I hoped for. But the truth is, I am making progress, not just financially, but also in my writing and photography. I am committed to producing something of quality that entertains and possibly inspires you, because the truth is, I just love telling my stories!

I hope that by continuing to be open and honest, being willing to admit my failings as well as my successes, I can contribute something good to the world, and continue to do what I love which is write and travel. Although I have a lot of dreams and goals I’d like to achieve, I am just so very grateful to those of you who continue to read and provide me with feedback via the comments. Also for those of you who I don’t hear from, it really is an honour to invade your inboxes every few days, so thank you for the privilege.

Oh, I got a job!

No, not selling timeshare but writing for a luxury hotel website. I write one article a week for them, drawing on my experiences in Playa del Carmen and the surrounding Mayan Riviera. So far it’s been going well, the people I work for are lovely, it’s been good experience for me to have a deadline to meet each week, and it helps pay the rent!

El Taj Pool

We were taken on a tour of some of the properties they manage and got to see how the other half live…

It wasn’t something I sought out, but came via the blog, which reaffirms to me that we cannot control the outcomes of what we do, we just continue to ‘show up’ and do the things in life that bring us joy, and opportunities will come our way (even if it’s not as fast as we would like sometimes!).


All in all, it’s a been a month of progress and change. It hasn’t all been easy, yet we are both the healthiest we have been in our lives. We’ve managed to maintain our attendance at the gym, I’ve begun Tai Chi lessons, and the other day I had the best yoga class of my life!

As a chronic over-thinker, I said to myself, “I am going to give my full attention to my breath for just this one hour!”, and as a result I was filled with this amazing energy and a physical strength that seemed to come from nowhere. Poses that I was struggling with a few weeks ago came easier, and my attention was more focused than it had ever been. It was such a relief not to have a million thoughts competing for space in my brain, that I floated out of that class as though carried on a pink fluffy cloud!

It was proof to me I am definitely someone who needs yoga and meditation in their life, as my thinking can often be all over the place and send me mad if I let it! If giving my attention to my breath for an hour a few times per week will improve my mental and physical health, then I think that’s a pretty good deal.

Thanks for reading about my journey! I wish you all a wonderful month, wherever you may be in the world.

Sarah xxx

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March in Playa: Change, Progress and a Bit of Madness — 33 Comments

  1. Congrats on having some new opportunities come your way! I, too, am feeling elements of the blog regarding readership and money are coming too slow but would love to get any helpful advice you have on how to get the word out there and monetize things more for us. Would have it if you could shoot me an email and we can talk blogging.
    Rhonda recently posted..Foto FridayMy Profile

    • Thanks Rhonda! I’m afraid I have nothing original to offer or no easy path to follow except, work, work work… and don’t give up :) Chat soon!

  2. Sounds like a great month, Sarah! And well done to your partner on being a month smoke-free! I hope April is even more amazing for you both x

    • Thank you so much Gem, it’s lovely to reconnect with you after all these years. Seems like only yesterday we were practicing in your parents backyard :)

      • And writing plane letters! They are probably a fun read again after almost 20 years x

  3. Hey Sarah,

    It was especially great to read your last few paragraphs about yoga and meditation and the powerful effect both have had in your life. I also can’t talk enough about how great meditation is for soothing and calming one’s mind.

    Enjoy the tropical paradise!


  4. Thanks for the fantastic read again Sar! As a fellow over-thinker I hear ya regarding the meditation and am getting it regularly back into my life at the moment too! I meant to comment on Tyrhone’s last blog and congratulate him on a month off the ciggies too. Impressive effort. X

  5. Hi Sarah, that’s quite a month! So happy for you for all the good things that have been happening. Big big cheers to Tyrhone for being smoke free! Thank you for taking us to your beautiful road trip and congratulations on the new job! Please provide the link to your articles; I’d love to read them. It’s good that you feel that your making progress in your writing and photography, but I always think that they are great! Thanks for invading my inbox every few days; I’m always excited to see notifications for your blog. More power to your blog; I’m sure more advertising$ will come knocking soon.
    Marisol recently posted..Memories of Buenos AiresMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Marisol, I am just so grateful you still enjoy reading, as I love reading about yours and Keith’s amazing adventures (and drooling over your exquisite photos!!). should get you through to my little articles :)

  6. Sounds like a great month! Some unwanted advice: when Kim and I were trying to learn Spanish in South America, I would use the “Coffee Break Spanish” podcasts. They are 10-15 minutes long (the length of a coffee break) and were good supplements for Spanish lessons when the thought of flash cards made me cringe.
    Brian recently posted..ChallengesMy Profile

    • Hey Paul! It’s funny isn’t it? I guess things we are passionate about are bound to give us the shits sometimes!! But I know I wouldn’t be without it, its such a great outlet for creative expression as well as a way of connecting with like minded people like yourselves :)

  7. I can’t believe I’ve never been to Mexico. Its shameful really, considering my relative close proximity to it (I’m in Vancouver.) You make it look so lovely and refreshing, I might have to make it a plan for the dark days of a bleak Vancouver January!
    Andrea recently posted..Travel Painting Week 1 Versailles, FranceMy Profile

    • Hey Andrea, yep when places are in our backyard we tend to overlook them! I’m jealous it’s so close for you, I am pretty much as far away from home (Australia) as possible! It’ll be here waiting for you :)

  8. Hey Sarah!
    Ive recently come to your blog via so many places and I love reading up on what you are up to in Mexico.
    I am currently doing a year in Canada, and with Mexico so close you are really giving me some ideas on where to travel next!!

    Kepp it up :)

  9. It sounds like you’re both getting fit and healthy – just goes to show that getting out of the rat race leads to a healthier lifestyle! I’m finding being out of the office and travelling has done so much for my fitness levels already, it really does make a difference having the time to pay attention to what you eat and how you live. Congrats on the new job too by the way!
    Amy recently posted..Adapting to TravelMy Profile

  10. Hi Sarah
    Thanks for the update. Sounds like March has been a great month for you. We hit the road again yesterday, such an awesome feeling. Keep enjoying Mexico & life. Jill
    Jill miller recently posted..Three’s A CrowdMy Profile

    • Hey Jill, that’s awesome! Looking forward to following your epic adventure, I really enjoyed your first post about it. All the very best my dear, you CAN do it!!!! xxx

  11. What a nice wrap up Sarah!
    COngrats to Tyrone for quitting smoking and to you for being so supportive.
    the beauty of doing what we love and having things fall into place…

    As a blogger myself I know how much time, dedication and love goes into maintaining a blog but recently have been appreciating those who go above and beyond… because of recent, I’ve been neglecting mine due to travels and being too tired. For the first time I feel I just need a break and finally allowing myself to do that. Good for you to keep on writing and honing your skills!
    Lauren recently posted..Flashback Photo Friday: La feria de AbrilMy Profile