April in Playa – Taking What Comes

The thing about plans is they rarely turn out as you expect. This is often a good thing. I didn’t plan to take on another job, visit an ecological community near Playa del Carmen, or experience the ins and outs of the Mexican medical system, but you know what? I did, and everything turned out alright in the end.


I took on a temporary, two week role as a social media manager for the company I write for, as they were in between employees. I’m actually pretty bad at self-promotion, and social media is probably my least favourite aspect of being a blogger, albeit a necessary one.  So why then, did I accept a two-week temporary social media role for a company that owns five luxury hotels, with a Facebook and Google Plus page for each of them, two twitter accounts and a Pinterest page? Here’s why:

Playa del Carmen Jacuzzi

Instead of being paid for my work, I requested a hotel stay for when Tyrhone’s little sister comes to visit later this month. I expected maybe a night or two, but was offered a week for all three of us in a two bedroom, luxury apartment with a private jacuzzi overlooking the ocean.

It was actually more work than expected, but I learnt a fair bit and tried to be creative with my FIFTEEN updates per day across all the different pages. Thankfully, I had access to a program called Hootsuite which co-ordinated all the posts from one ‘control center,’ and allowed me to schedule them in advance. By the end of the two weeks I had quite the hang of it, but I must say it was nice to come to the end of my responsibilities and reclaim my free time!

Bring on that jacuzzi!

I’ve also continued my volunteer English teaching, and have published some information on my new Community Page about the three not-for-profit organisations you have helped me support. I hope you’ll check it out!

Tyrhone recently redesigned his web and graphic design website, Eye Pudding, which I think reflects his personality well. I’ve never met someone who has both sides of the brain (creative/technical) firing simultaneously as his does. I’m happy to see him showcasing some of his digital art in the design of the site. When I first met him, he worked as a security guard at the London Stock Exchange, and would create art during his night shift. For his birthday one year, I printed out some of his pieces (which he’d never before seen in print), and held a mini exhibition in his bedroom for his housemates and family.

A few years later, we moved to Perth, and he landed a job with a building company designing original art for new display homes. His art was even featured in their TV commercial which was quite a thrill considering that at one point he never intended to show anyone his work!

Eye Pudding art

One of my favourites… See more of his art here.


I got a bad cold last month, which was rather annoying when the sun was shining. I woke up every day thinking, ‘Okay, I’ll be better today, surely,’ but it lingered around for much longer than I hoped. It really knocked me around, and, as all illnesses do, made me grateful for my usual good health.

Tyrhone was also in the wars, throwing his neck out in an unfortunate snorkeling incident (Zoolander reference).  A Doctor performed weird examinations on him (she pricked his arms and legs with a pin to see if he could feel it), and a couple of jabs in the bum later (I’m talking anti-inflammatories, people!), we found ourselves down at the clinic getting X-rays done on his neck.

He still hasn’t received a clear diagnosis, but after visiting a Physio whose recommended course of treatment was for me to massage him for one hour every day (!), then a Chiropractor who Tyrhone calls ‘three clicks’ due to the nature of his course of treatment, he seems to be on the mend. He is continuing his treatment with the Chiro, so fingers crossed it continues to heal.


We haven’t ventured very far from home this past month. Our friend Nicole was in town for a few days, which was a nice surprise. We took her to Akumal bay to snorkel with the turtles, then Tyrhone hurt his neck, which kinda put an end to that day out.

Akumal snorkel Playa del Carmen

Nicole and I returning from a snorkel, while Tyrhone sits on the beach in pain… And still took photos!

Previous to that, another friend invited us to the ecological community of Sacbe, located in the jungle 20 mins from Playa del Carmen.  She hopes to build a retreat center on a piece of land she owns there, and takes friends over sometimes to walk through the jungle and swim in the natural fresh water cenotes.

An artist from Cancun has built a spectacular ‘castle’ in Sacbe, which is straight out of a fairy tale. He has also donated some of his beautiful, whimsical sculptures to the community which are spread throughout his property and the neighbouring grounds.

Sacbe castle

The top of  ‘the castle’

Sacbe castle

The entrance (I really wanted to go inside!)

Sacbe statue

One of the many cool statues in the jungle

It was a magical day in a very unique place, where people live in harmony with the natural environment. We finished off with woodfired pizzas at one of the resident’s homes, which was of course, the highlight.

sacbe pizza

Hmm… pizza….


We caught the tail end of The Riviera Maya Film Festival, which was absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately I didn’t decipher the finer details of the event until the final few days of the week long festival, the most important ones being that it was FREE and had films from all over the world, translated into both Spanish and English subtitles.

We saw a French animation, a Chinese gangster flick and another French comedy, ‘The Big Night’ which I highly recommend. My only regret is that I didn’t see more movies – I am seriously considering extending our stay so I can participate more next year!

I love movies, so an international, independent, FREE film festival is my idea of heaven. Next year I will be ready.

Of course we also attended our neighbour’s beautiful wedding, which was a special day we were blessed to be a part of. We had no idea what to expect as we didn’t know Alex or Leah too well beforehand, but it was a wonderful day and will always remain in my memory.

So that about wraps up our third month in Playa del Carmen! The month brought with it a range of unexpected opportunities as well as challenges, none of which we planned for or expected. I’m grateful for everything we have experienced here so far, and excited for the month ahead.

Sacbe cenote

I’m doing these monthly updates to record our ‘Year in Playa’. Read my previous posts about February and March in Playa here!

Subscribe here for more updates, and come over and say hi on Facebook!


April in Playa – Taking What Comes — 28 Comments

    • Oh, and another follow up…have you tried other Twitter apps besides HootSuite? I am using Tweetdeck at home, but it doesn’t always allow me to tweet a photo from both accounts, which annoys me. Did you find HootSuite to meet all your needs?
      Carmel recently posted..FINDING MY VOICEMy Profile

      • Hey Carmel, not yet, our week of luxury begins on the 26th of May! There will be photos, don’t worry about that! As for Hootsuite, you can do all your social media from one place, including Facebook and Google+, but I’m not sure about 2 twitter accounts at once (don’t see why not though). Not sure if there is a free version, I know the Pro version (which the company used) is paid.

  1. Hi Sarah, that was so kind of you to ask for an accommodation for Tyrhone’s sister instead of being paid. And look what happened! You were rewarded with a good karma!
    Tyrhone’s work is AMAZING! So love his work that you posted here. II took a peek at his website. Tthere’s a lot of amazing things in there and I’d like to spend time later to see more of it.
    That place is Sache is incredible! Glad to hear your April was productive.
    Marisol recently posted..Kbal Spean: The River of Thousand LingasMy Profile

    • Thank you Marisol, yes, I’m thinking I’ll walk around town with a ‘Will Work for Fun’ sign on… though maybe that could be misconstrued! It really will be a nice treat and I will be making the most of it for sure! I have passed on your compliments to the artist, thank you so much :)

    • Hi Patti, it really couldn’t have worked out any better, we live in a studio so it will really break the trip up nicely for her, and it is her first time traveling on ‘her own’ so we want it to be a really special experience. And I’m not complaining that I get to enjoy it too!! :)

  2. There’s so much amazing inspiring stuff in this post that I don’t know what to comment on. What a deal for your social media stint! The place looks amazing.

    I was so inspired by Tyrhone’s story too – it just gave me goosebumps – and your birthday present was just awe inspiring.

    That forest looks unbelievable. I would love to visit it.

    THanks for sharing! And hope both of you are feeling better x
    Karen recently posted..Are your dreams safe from your friends?My Profile

    • Thanks Karen, I wasn’t sure if it was a bit boring recapping everything, but I really want a record of this year in Playa del Carmen so I don’t forget anything! Thank you for reading :)

  3. Wow, you’re keeping busy, even without the impromptu medical visits! Well done on the social media management stint; fifteen updates a day over thirteen different pages sounds kinda stressful to me, and I do that job for a living! But I think it’s awesome you requested the hotel stay over money, often experiences are so much more valuable. Plus it’s a lovely treat to Tyrhone’s sister! I hope all three of you have a blast!
    Charlie recently posted..Travel blogging fail: Enjoying some time unpluggedMy Profile

    • Yes, it’s funny the things that happen when you stay in one place for a while, I’m enjoying the balance of life and work at the moment :)

  4. Hey Sarah, I’m getting so excited now. I have all my clothes packed and all the essentials bought. Its going to be a truly amazing time with you guys in Mexico. Both yours and Tyke’s photos look amazing. Looking forward to my 3 weeks in paradise! xxx

    • Hey Lauren, thanks for reading! I learned that I don’t want to be a social media manager!!! But it also made me realise I have quite a problem with promoting myself. Doing it for a business is one thing, and even though I am my own business, it just feels different! I am a little ambiguous about the whole Facebook thing anyway, something I probably have to get over… maybe try to be creative and fun with it instead? :)

  5. The free film festival sounds amazing. I’m already missing my fave art-house cinema in London; I was really spoilt with film festivals while I lived there (although none were free!)and am now adjusting to watching occasional films on our tiny 11 inch laptop while we travel. I like the look of the ecological project too, what a quirky day out!
    Amy recently posted..Bad Travel Days and the Ocean RoadMy Profile