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Snorkeling the Reef at Akumal Beach

Location: absolutely perfect. The crowds, the water, the reef, magic!
Queer Rating: friendly
Beach: White sand beach leads to a coral reef with lots of colorful coral, fish, turtles and rays.

Swim With Sea turtles and More at Akumal Beach

Do a Google search for “top places to Snorkel” there will be a number of lists that speak of great reefs and blue waters to snorkel. There are literally pages of articles about where to go for great snorkelling. Akumal Beach, is a part of the Mesoamerican or Great Maya Reef, is located just North of Tulum/South of Playa del Carmen,  in the Riviera Maya.

When you arrive in Akumel (travel there from any of the many all inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya resort for less then $20 USD) head to the Akumal Dive Shop. Here you can decide if you want to rent equipment or do a group tour with the dive shop. The other option especially if you have your own equipment, is to go by yourself (life jacket required) or use a guide (life jackets provided with guide for $12 per person).  When you use the guide you can also go out to the deeper reef areas. Here you will see more of the reef’s inhabitants.

Rules are strictly enfoced. Our guide shouted at a few unvested swimmers to head back into the shallows. Paddleboarders were also in the water keeping charge.

The Underwater Adventure

Three species of turtles call Akumal home, the Leatherback turtle, the Loggerhead turtle and of course the Greenback Sea turtle.  While out on the reef I have seen the Logger and Green. I have yet to see a Leatherback. Generally you will see a turthle as soon as you are swimming over the sea grass. The turtles here  range in size. One about a meter wide swam along side of me as swam down to get closer pics.

The Turtles here are protected. Each spring they are known to return back to the beach to lay eggs. Part of the reason there are strict rules to snorkeling this reef is the ecological protection of the region for the rebirth of the reef and the turtle population.  Several sections of the reef are dead, all that remains is broken coral.

In addition to the turtles, the reef is alive with lots of other sea creatures. I believe by far my favorite is the spotted eagle ray! In general I am a fan of rays, the grace and beauty in the way they almost fly through the water. I followed one for some time just watching it move across the sand bottom.

I suggest if you are planning a trip to the Riviera Maya, you make a point to visit Akumal Beach. It is an adventure worth having. Beautiful beach, gorgeous underwater life and an eco-tourism pholosophy.

Have you snorkeled in Akumal, post a pic or leave a comment!

The Travel Backpack

There is just a little more then 7.5 months until the departure window opens. Seems like a long time. Yet, it is really just around the corner. Being super organized this is probably the first in a series on the travel back pack!

With a reduction in personal belongings the backpack and the contents inside become life’s possessions. The most important thing is to pack right. When it comes to getting information the answer is simple, “Google It!” If you cannot get the infomation you need on Google, the chances of you finding information online is slim. So I Googled “Best World Travel Backpacks“.

The top 3 sites on page one that helped me decide:

  1. Snarky Nomad
    Deuter BackPack
    Deuter Traveller

    My top picks and the first place I found the backpack I want to travel the world with. Mr Snarky gives you his top 5 picks for world travel packs.

  2. The Savvy Back Packer
    The most comprehensive list online for travel backpack information. I liked the Deuter,the Totuga and the Patagonia as options.

  3. A Little Adrift
    In this article you really get a sense of how to choose the right backpack. Here I learned a great deal about pack choice, items to carry etc.

Though a 70 L pack seems large I doubt it will be packed full. Consideration has already been made for the mobile office bag. a beautiful fossil bag I got nearly 1/2 price on ebay last summer.

fossil
Fossil Messenger Bag

The goal is to keep the heaviest weight consistent throughout the trip and being able to lighten up for the

My Mobile office Supplies!
My Mobile office Supplies!

day trips and walk abouts will be optimal.  The advantage to the Dueter is the removalable day pack with hydration capabilities.

 

Which backpack did you think was best? Any recommendations for others? Please Comment below.

 

The Quest Begins – Location Independence

Location Independence (Wikipedia)
Is a growing trend among technology and knowledge workers. A location independent professional—or digital nomad—utilizes new technology to design a lifestyle that allows them to live and work wherever they want[1]—be it from home, the internet cafe, on the beach, or even from the other side of the world.

There is a certain romantism behind the idea of dropping everything in life, taking to the road and backpacking your way around the world. Twenty somethings have been doing this for decades, either before  university or just after before the big job.

Usually this is the best time, before you settle, meet someone, get your career going, you know life. The global community through online connectivity makes it even more possible to travel further and stretch the dollar farther. Now it is a lifestyle. People, mostly 20 somethings becoming “digital nomads” making the world their home. They travel for years at a time, writing/blogging about their journey, each with their own unique perspective, monetizing their story or hustling work on oDesk or Freelancer.

theworld

After weeks of research,I have discovered this practice is not solely reserved for the young guns. Nope, there are people of all types, travelling the world, picking up work, usually on their computers. The world is more accessible then it has ever been before.

Hi! My name is Sam Martin, 40 something, definitely queer, butch, and damn ready to escape the 9-5 office in for a digital mobile office. There are clients, there is will, a fellow adventurer to join me and well… A desire to be true to myself first and foremost.

My Mobile office Supplies!
My Mobile office Supplies!

I pretty much already work out of a mobile office. The picture tot he right is my everyday evquipment. The people I work for, they are global and I already only live in the same city as one of them. The clear challenge is time management and WiFi while travelling.

As was mentioned, a great deal of research has gone into making this decision. While it is always important to jump, whole heartedly with both feet, I am a meticulously organized planner. The decision just feels right, despite all pros and cons, despite skeptics, which surprisingly I have had few of, the commitment has been made.

It starts with a white blank board, fastened to the wall and a map of the world.

White Blank Board
White Blank Board

I would like to invite anyone to comment on this post, tell us where we should go and why. As part of our adventure there will be times we will take direction from our followers. If we select your location or activity we will mail you a souvenir from the adventure as a thank you for contributing to our journey around the world.

Start sending us your ideas, as we prepare we will build out the board and map with activities and locations.

 

London, England

Walking In London …

City Rating : 3.5
Airports: Heathrow (LHR) & Gatwick (LGW)
Accomodation: AirBnB, The Royal Garden,  Regency London UK
Queer Rating: 3.5 – totally comfortable vibe, never once felt out of sorts, friendly
Weather: warm in the day jackets at night

London has always been on the bucket list. When a work opportunity presented itself I fully intended to make it business and pleasure. This was August 2013.

We arrived very early on a Monday morning that was a bank holiday. We caught the Heathrow express to ??? Station and then caught a cab over to the hotel. Once settled into our hotel, the Royal Garden near Hyde Park, we ventured out to find breakfast, explore Hyde park and of course have a pint.

The park was gorgeous. I loved the freedom it presented. Reminded me of High Park in Toronto. There were people drinking beer on the grass, still damp from recent rains, there were cyclists, vendors and a chance at a sight seeing tour if you liked. I know we spent a minimum of 2 hrs roaming through the park and ending up in a pub just around the bedn from the Prince Albert.

I ordered a guinness and fish and chips. It was my first meal in London, what else was I having? An absolutely spectacular decision. Until that moment I never realized just how good fish and chips with a pint could be.

Eating at fine restaurants was on the menu for this London trip. In fact most of my times spent in London have been eating very delicious food. Watch for reviews of the restaurants. These were fantastical. sensations invading my mouth.

I looked up the local queer culture and decided I felt so comfortable just as a solo dyke out in the city, I never bothered to find community. I did see lots of lesbians and dykes roaming the streets specifically when I headed down to the area around London bridge.

My favorite part of the entire experience, exploring the streets once haunted by Jack the Ripper. I coudl literally feel the energy of those dark uncertain nights, even as I walked the streets in daytime.

Watch for more reviews from other visits from London.

Comment and tell us about your adventures in London