I am mortified by how long it’s been since been since I picked up my camera – let alone blogged. I knew work-life balance was always going to be a challenge as a lawyer, but what I hadn’t anticipated was how much I would enjoy my work and my colleagues, and how easy it was to slip into a habit of constantly working without taking a break. It’s not that I work for slave-driving partners and clients who push me to the brink of exhaustion – it’s just that I really like what I do. But even work that is enjoyable is still work. Work that pushes other passions such as quality time with the people I love, photography, and travel into the back seat.
Around early April – I started to really feel the effects of burn out. I was exhausted, frustrated and could never seem to fully re-charge. I rolled off one big case onto another, with back to back filing deadlines and trials (or rather, “hearings” as they are called in my practice area). It was exhilarating but exhausting. The turning point came at dinner on a Friday night, when I met up with my husband and within 10 seconds, nearly burst into tears without explanation. It was then that Simon and I decided we needed to get away – even just for a few days. We found an opportune moment, and took off for Tulum.
- La Vita e Bella: a beautiful little hotel right on the beach. The cabanas were only a few meters away from the water – and was the best beach we visited on the trip.
- Azulik: an incredibly romantic, eco-hotel and spa. It is singularly unique – a chain of two-story tree houses connected by bridges. Rooms are spacious, candlelit at dusk, and complete with large baths and comfy beds with mosquito nets.
- Gitano: a beautiful garden restaurant and mezcal bar, lit by chandaliers hanging from trees. Amazing band (consisting of a sitar player, a guitarist, a violinist and a trumpeter – which sounded amazing and had me hypnotized for much of the night).
- El Tabano: casual outdoor seating and traditional Mexican fare. We loved the slow-cooked Yucatan pork.
- Mateo’s Mexican Grill: we stumbled across this place on our way back to the hotel, for a lively and casual night out.
- Tulum Mayan Ruins: within walking or biking distance from many hotels in Tulum, and was one of the last cities built by the Maya. Overlooks a beautiful beach which should not be missed.
- Coba Mayan Ruins: located about 1.5 hours from Tulum. Unlike Chitzen Itza, you can still climb the pyramid. The apex towers over the jungle canopy and has an amazing view.
- Tamcach-ha Cenote: located near Coba. This cenote (natural sinkholes which expose groundwater) appears to be a small hole in the surface, before descending into a massive cavern filled with crystalline water with 5m and 10m dive boards (if you are feeling brave!)
I’m so thankful for the break, and for a chance to explore beautiful Tulum. It felt so good to be behind the camera, and to use the artistic side of my brain. I never wanted to be a lawyer who “used to be” a photographer, or used to travel, etc. This trip was a good reminder that I don’t need to choose one over the other – but that it is about finding a balance, and making sure I am living life consistent with my priorities and passions.