Like most of the world in December 2021 I finally got COVID. After 2 years of dodging it in Australia, it only took me 3 months to contract it in America. Perfect timing as most of America was flying around the country to see their families. I had been taken a PCR or rapid test basically every other day because I was planning to be in Mexico for New Years.
When my positive PCR came back I pathetically cried and canceled my flight. Half of the group was already down with COVID so it was a long shot anyways. When my sister came we all retested and oddly I was already negative. My corona turned into a coronita. I rebooked my flight to Cancun that night.
2 days later I was checking in to the Selina in Cancun. After arriving in the chaos of the Cancun airport, I negotiated my fare down from 1600 pesos to 720, around $40. The driver brought me to the hostel was a sweet man, telling me I was too pretty to be single. Thanks bro, but we have places to go.
I worked from the out air kitchen and ordered some tacos and a couple beers. When you have an event activating the first week of the new year you do not get a Christmas break. I went to sleep that night in the private bedroom that was way too expensive for a hostel but considering it was the last bed left and New Years and I booked this 36 hours ago I took it. I went to sleep excited to see what Cancun had to offer for me, it was time to find some friends.
The next morning I went to the 8am meditation class followed by the 9am yoga class. I thought this would be a beautiful way to end 2021 and remain grateful for all I was able to see and experience. Waiting for the class to begin I met Lisa, a German traveling solo. While we were talking Tuyen joined us. She is French and had 2 more friends meeting her for the class.
The class took place and it was beautiful to meditate with the water surrounding you and the warmth of the sun against the cold tile. Between meditation and yoga we met the other two French friends, Loann and Sarah. I convinced everyone to stay for yoga, even though no one was particularly interested. Breakfast afterwards! From that moment on I spent the next 3 days with this group.
We ate together, swam together, and then starting planning together. Loann, Sarah, and Tuyen had plans to head to Tulum for a week, did I want to join? I reserved this bed in a 6 person dorm, the same door Loann and Sarah were in, for 3 nights. I wasn’t sure, should I go with these new friends to Tulum? I didn’t have any real plans besides wanting to visit Mexico City. Let me see if I can cancel I say.
New Years comes and we have no plans. The clubs all have insane parties costing hundreds of dollars. We are all on the same page though. We bought a case of tecate and drank on the beach, watching the acts from the cool sand. Cancun was packed. If I didn’t just have covid I am sure I would have gotten it there. We walk towards the main street for the countdown. One of the billboards has been converted to a countdown clock with 2 minutes to spare we join in the chaos. The streets are body to body, buses and cars try and drive through, street patrol people try and navigate but are not listened to by anyone.
The screen changes to 30 seconds and starts to count down. Everyone in the street is screaming. The surrounding clubs are blasting music and challenging each other for control of the airwaves. 10, 9, 8, 7, the clock breaks. Static covers the screen and a number 7 flashes. We look at each other, did it happen? We check our phones. Still 11:59pm. Confused and unsure until the fireworks at the resorts start going off. HAPPY NEW YEAR we scream along with the thousands of people in the streets.
The energy levels explode, people are dancing, singing, cheersing, and constantly moving around the endless sea of people. We all hug happy to enter the new year together. Crazy to think we had just met that morning. We post up at a bar and dance while people watching. Saying goodbye to 2021 was hard, it was such an incredible year for me exploring the entire continent of Australia sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. That coupled with the sadness but accomplished feeling of returning home to America and reconnecting with friends and family, even my old job. I smiled looking on to my new friends. 2022 adviso, estoy aquí.