This is an OLD photo from 2007, and one I’m not particularly excited about – but it serves to illustrate the story of how I spent 20 minutes at Chichen Itza.

chichen itza

YUP. 20 whole minutes at one of the New 7 Wonders Of The World.

Really, I’m amazed that I even saw it at all, and I’m grateful just for that. My family and I were on one of those week-long all inclusive trips at a resort on the Mexican Riviera, which is remarkable in itself because we’re not the type of family to do big trips like this (it was to celebrate both mine and my sister’s graduations that year).

And I’m not the type that’s into all-inclusive travel – shocker, right? After one day on the (glorious, gorgeous, thank-you-mom-and-dad-for-taking-me-to-this) beach, I was itching to get out and see more of Mexico. The rest of my family was in bliss mode with absolutely zero desire to leave the beach all week. I still don’t know how I convinced my dad to rent a car and drive us through a foreign country to see some ruins.

My sisters complained the entire day about how hot it was and how bored they were, and how they just wanted to go back to the resort. When we finally got to Chichen Itza, they just moped around and begged for us to leave. Though I was frustrated, I managed to do a lap around the area and see the major ruins.

While not an entirely satisfying travel experience, my excursion to Chichen Itza pointed out a few key things to me, which I’ve since incorporated into the trips I’ve taken:

  • If I’m traveling with others, I must do it with people who share a similar travel style. Too much compromise and neither of us are happy.
  • I like to take my time when traveling. Quick daytrips where more time is spent getting to/from the destination than actually at it are NOT my thing.
  • Tours and trip packages are just not for me. I tried it, and I don’t knock those who love that mode of travel – but for me, it’s immensely more satisfying to travel on my own terms.

And that’s what this blog is all about: slow, deliberate, independent adventure travel.

Lindsay Buckley is the photographer and travel blogger behind Frugal Frolicker. She's a New Yorker currently based in Sydney, Australia, documenting outdoor travel experiences Down Under and beyond. Follow along with Lindsay's travel photography on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to sign up for the monthly Frugal Frolicker newsletter!

Where in the World is This?

  • Shannon Buckley

    ha, i really beg to differ, actually! i do remember being slightly miserable that day, but it was precisely because i forgot to put on deodorant that day (ha, how i remember that, i don’t know!), and one of my flip flops broke while we were there, so i was walking around in the 90 degree heat and humidity, sweating like a pig, and walking around painfully barefoot. aaand i’m pretty sure we were there for longer than just 20 minutes–maybe 30 or 40? ;) but it didn’t help our moods that we had to drive a couple hours and got lost along the way before finding the place. plus the place was just absolutely mobbed with people. maybe on a less hot day i would’ve enjoyed it more! in the end, i’m glad we saw it, but i would have preferred sitting on the beach on a disgusting day like that. oh well!

    • Jamie Buckley

      Yo! I know we definitely spent more than 20 minutes there because it was AT LEAST 105 degrees, so it felt like an eternity. I may have been wilting from the heat, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love history and it felt surreal, it was just unfortunately too hot to fully enjoy it. Pardon my Buckley heat-intolerance! (P.S. Always remember that your lovely sisters read your blog religiously!)

    • lindsaypunk

      Whaaaaaaat, how did I not know you’d forgotten to wear deodorant?! (You’d think I would have, uh, smelled it!). That’s just the worst. I also forgot about the flip flop thing – no bueno, indeed!

      It’s funny reading yours and Jamie’s accounts of the same events because we experienced them in such different ways. For me, the roadtrip and getting lost were just part of the adventure! Wish I could have loaned you guys a dash of my extreme heat tolerance :P

  • lindsaypunk

    I think I was born immune to the Buckley heat intolerance! You’re right, it was disgustingly hot and gross out – but either way, sometimes you just gotta put mind over matter. I just remember feeling very rushed because I felt bad keeping you guys waiting all miserable in the heat :(

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