Travel Mastermind to the Riviera Maya

Color images at the Cancun airport in Mexico
Preparing for a mastermind can be exciting and a little scary at the same time. #travel #mexico
Taking a mastermind trip is a great way to meet with people working on the same goals as you and learn new things. #travel #mexico #blogging

Travel and writing have both been a part of my life for as long as I can remember but never together. I loved to travel and I loved to write but I never thought of combining those two things until a few years ago with this travel blog, My Cornacopia. Now I’m at a point where I’m ready to go network and brainstorm with other travel writers and  I’m attending my first mastermind which will take place in the Riviera Maya of Mexico. Here’s what I have to look forward to:

Hotel

Air view of Grand Velas Riviera Maya

We’ll be having our mastermind at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Offering guests 3 unique room experiences (The Grand Class (romantic), The Ambassador  (family friendly) and The Zen Grand (relaxation)), Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an all-inclusive resort with something to offer for everyone. With 8 restaurants (some family friendly, some adults only), pools, activities, a world class spa and beachfront property it seems you can’t do anything but relax at Riviera Maya. I will be there mainly to learn and work, but I’m hoping to get a room in the The Zen Grand, eat at least one meal at their French restaurant Piaf and get a little time to experience their spa water treatment!

Adventures

Part of our travel bloggers mastermind includes experiencing things so that we can share them with our readers. To help us do that we’ll be taking an all-day excursion with Alltournative. Created to help tourists experience the natural beauty and history of the Riviera Maya, Alltournative is committed to preserving its environment in an eco-friendly, respectful way. This includes only allowing biodegradable sunscreens and bug sprays on their excursions to help protect the coral reefs and visiting authentic Mayan communities. We’ll be doing the Coba Mayan Encounter. I’m not going to lie – I’m a little scared to do the zipline. But if my 10 year old can zip line at Girl Scout camp, I think I can give it shot! What I’m really looking forward to the traditional Mayan meal, swimming in a cenote and learning more about the Mayan culture.

Mexican sinkhole or cenote

Traveling Solo

Truth be told, I need to admit that I’m a little nervous about traveling without my family. Not because I’ll be a female flying to a foreign country alone and meeting up with 9 other people I only know through Facebook and conference calls. That’s the least of my worries since I’m prepared with travel items that will protect my well being and I plan on being very alert while there. What I’m concerned about is having to leave a day early so I can get a hotel in Orlando to catch an early morning flight the next day, the flying part itself and also I feel a little guilty for leaving my family for so long.

However I’m very, very excited about learning more about travel blogging, getting to meet and learn from bloggers I’ve only known online and getting a little time to myself after a really rough year. So I’ll be sharing all my experiences with my readers and social media followers from the time I hit Orlando in a few days to the time I return. Stay tuned!

Mexican jungle viewed from Coba pyramid

Want to see my adventures in Mexico and how my first mastermind went? Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Have you ever been on a mastermind? Let us know if the comments what the topic was and how you benefited from attending.

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5 Reasons I Love Traveling To Havana

People are surprised when they hear I went to Havana, Cuba for the first time and then returned 4 months later. Their first question is usually ‘How did you like it?’ and their second question in ‘Why did you go back so quickly?’ There are a lot of reasons I went back so soon, but here are the top 5 reasons why I love Havana:

It’s Easy To Get To – Taking a flight from Havana, Cuba to Florida is quick and easy! #travel #flying #CubaMy flight takes the same amount of time it takes me to commute to work every day. Yes, you read that correctly – the time it takes me to drive from my home to my office is the same time it takes me to take a flight to Cuba. How can I pass that up?! The entire process is simple and may airlines including Southwest and JetBlue fly to a variety of cities in Cuba.

Architecture – Havana is a great place to see a variety of architecture. Driving through the streets is like taking a step back in time. I love seeing the old buildings and while there are some buildings that have been ignored and are deteriorating, the Cuban government is working on preserving a lot of these old buildings so Architecture in Havana, Cuba is beautiful and yes, you can still see the 1950's American cars on the road! #travel #Cuba #Havanagenerations in the future will be able to

 

to enjoy them.

They Pronounce My Name Correctly! – It may not seem like a big deal, but it was fun not having anyone ask me how to pronounce my name! In the U.S. people have always asked how to say my name – in Cuba everyone said it the way it’s intended. I didn’t even notice until I got back to the States but it was just another reason for me to love Havana!

BTW my name is of Jamaican origin. The correct pronunciation is MAR-see-a. I’ve told people since kindergarten it was Mar-SEE-a because it made it easier for others to understand. You’ll know how long someone has known me by the way they pronounce my name : )

Mojitos – Reputed to have been created in Havana, you can find a mojito at any bar in Mojitos were invented in Cuba and they're fairly inexpensive to drink down there. #mojitos #CubaHavana. Citrusy, sugary and refreshing, the mojito is perfect on a hot day. It’s also fairly inexpensive to drink while there (you can find basic ones for about $2.75), come in a variety of flavors and it’s easy to make one of your own when you get home.

The People – The Cuban people are very helpful and enjoy sharing their country with visitors. If you’re not proficient in Spanish (like me), you can download an app like Google Translate to help you since it’ll work even while you’re offline. No one looked at us oddly for not being fluent in Spanish and some wanted to practice their English with

Those are just some of the reasons I love Havana – where are some places you love to travel to?

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Cuba Travel On My Mind

Traveling to Cuba had been on my bucket list for years. My dad was from Jamaica and had talked about his visits to the largest country in the Caribbean so that’s probably where I got my desire from. Since visits had been closed to Americans for over 50 years I never got the opportunity. Living in Florida off and on for the majority of my life made it even worse because it was so close.

Once Barack Obama said that travel to Cuba would be open in late 2016, I called my mom (who also was dying to go) and we immediately booked a flight to Havana with my husband and then 8 year old daughter. We planned on staying 4 days over Spring Break and had no clue what to expect.

What we found out was that Havana and the people of Cuba were amazing! We visited museums and art galleries, drank mojitos and local beer and met lots of great people. The trip was so great that I’m headed back with a girlfriend to experience it again.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen with US/Cuba relations in the future but I do know that keeping those relations open would be beneficial to both sides getting to know each other better. There are many reasons why some don’t want the relationship to continue. What I know is that Cuba got in my blood and I want to get to know it even better.

I’ll have another blog post about my second trip to Cuba after I return!

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