Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tulúm, CUBA, and…back to school

I haven’t posted for a while, BUT FOR GOOD REASON, I SWEAR GUYS!

Semana Santa (two weeks off of school) treated me oh. so. well. The last week of school before the break, I was super sick and missed almost the whole week of class. Bummer, but the break definitely made up for it!

On Friday, two other IFSA girls and I took off to Oaxaca. 21 hour bus ride through the mountains. I thought it was gonna be horrible, but it was a good bonding experience being stuck in one seat next to two people for twenty. one. hours. Trust me haha. But really, it was a beautiful trip driving through the mountains and different pueblos. Green everywhere! And Oaxaca was amazing! We stayed in a cozy little hostel that we shared with Argentinians, Spaniards, you name it. The first day we just explored the city, visited different cathedrals, etc. The second day was the best. We went to a sight a little bit outside of the city called Hierva el Agua, a hot spring in the mountains with a waterfall. Truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. There were various natural pools to swim in and take in the wonderful view. It required a lot of hiking up the mountains and ended with some funky tans, but it it’s one of my favorite experiences from Mexico so far!

Then we headed for San Cristóbal, Chiapas. Oh, Chiapas, Chiapas… Everything started off well. Like in Oaxaca, we took the first day to explore the city, eat good food, get situated, etc. And when I say “eat good food”, I mean GOOD food. The second day, we visited all 5 lakes in las Lagunas de Montebello on the southern border of Chiapas. Absolutely breathtaking. The last lake reaches all the way to Guatemala. Half of it is considered part of Mexico and the other half belongs to Guatemala. We are able to walk across the border and do a little bit of exploring of Guatemala! Soooo coooooool, y’all. That day I had a lot of, “Wow…I’m living the life” moments. It was all downhill from there on the way back to San Cristóbal, though, unfortunately…literally and figuratively. When we got back to the station, I got my phone stolen from my backpack along with all my money ($300). I won’t say I wasn’t completely devastated (there were tears, and lots of them), but it forced me to realize the fact that material things are just MATERIAL things. I didn’t let it ruin my trip even though it was rough. The real rough thing though, is that I lost a lot of my pictures from Mexico I hadn’t yet backed up. :( BUT it made me promise myself to do more amazing things so I can take more amazing pics. hehe.

From Chiapas, I went directly to Tulum where I met some of my friends from the university to go to a music festival called Mayan Madness. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. It was a 20 hour music festival RIGHT on the coast of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Sunset on the beach listening to beautiful music with some of the best friends I’ve made since I’ve been here. We didn’t leave until 5 in the morning, and even though I was completely dead for the trip home the next day, all I could think about was how incredibly blessed I was to have experienced those 20 hours.

FINALLY, return to Mérida…for 10 hours. At 3 in the morning, I had to head to the bus station to meet with rest of IFSA to take off to the airport in Cancun. From there, we would take our flight to Cuba. The trip there was dreadful; I was so tired from the week before, but as soon as we landed in La Habana, I knew we were going to be experiencing some amazing things. The first day, we toured all of La Habana, a city absolutely incredible. Old buildings, 50s cars, lively people, everything. The second day we took off to the beach and spent the whole day at a beautiful resort in Veradero. All included! Food, drinks galore! Haha I got the worst sunburn I’ve had in my life, but I refuse to complain about that. Sleeping on the beach was exactly what I needed.

The only thing about spending two weeks in paradise is that now schoolwork seems even more tedious. And this week we have midterms. (Who makes midterms the week after a two-week break? Don’t ask me, I want names too). It’s been really hard getting back into studying regularly, but I’ve been trying to keep up with all my homework because there’s only three weeks left of school, and might as well go out with a bang!

We’ll see how that goes as tests finish up at the end of next week!


One Response to “Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tulúm, CUBA, and…back to school”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Oh my goodness, that was an insanely eventful Semana Santa!!! Glad you kept perspective when your stuff was stolen… it happens to everyone who travels eventually, and you’re right– it’s the experience itself that matters, not the material things.

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