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EPISODE 017 – Slow Travel – like attracts like


Ep 017: Slow Travel – like attracts like, I talk about some rewarding friendships and deep connections I’ve made while living here in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

For the last several months I’ve been working very hard. I’ve rarely visited the beach that’s a 10-minute stroll away or the rooftop deck on my apartment that is 1-flight of stairs. In addition, I’ve neglected this podcast.

Why you ask? Because travel is back in a big way and my clients (and potential clients) have been chomping at the bit to get out and get away this year and the next. Some have kept me so busy with multiple vacation plans or as soon as they return from one they want to start planning the next. It’s been so overwhelming that by mid-summer I had to declare and decree: “no new client inquiries for 2022”.

The incident

Anyway, my 60th birthday was right after Labor Day, so I decided to take the whole week off from work. Screw my quarterly taxes! I went to the beach and up on the rooftop deck, I meditated and prayed and remembered the past and made some plans for my future. I went out with friends for dinner and drinks and I sat alone eating popcorn and drinking Tequila. 😊

However, coming back to work on the following Monday, my unread email count was in the thousands! In between all of the normal ones from travel suppliers, there were requests for meetings, new inquiries, clients departing for their trips, and so much more travel work. Yep, it was back to the grindstone.

Well… early Thursday morning last week, I hear knocking on doors in the apartment building. I go out to the living area and listen and dismiss it after I hear a muffled conversation in the hall but before I can get back to my bed the knocking comes to my door.

I answer “Yes?” Then I hear in response “Danielle, we were worried about you!” OMG! I run to put something decent on and open the door to let my friends inside. They had not heard from me in a couple of days, I had not been seen on social media for almost 24 hours, and they’ve been calling and texting for the last few hours but my phone is on “do not disturb” between 9:00pm and 9:00am. They imagined the worst, so a wellness check was required ASAP!

But how did they get past the security gate? And how did they know which apartment was mine? Secrets will not be disclosed about the gate but I do know that they knocked on every door (at 6:00am!) until they found me.

I’m still giggling about it.😂

So far, none of my neighbors have given me the side eye and the one neighbor that I spoke to last night said she didn’t blame my friends for worrying.

Yes indeed, they are all correct. I’ve been moving around the world by myself for so long that I forgot what it’s like to check in weekly with anybody other than my Mother and my BFF.

Mind you, I’m at least 10 years older than both of the ladies that showed up at my door and the other one that sent a text message later, however, I’m truly appreciative of the gesture. It seems I’ve been adopted into a most special group of Black females that have moved from different parts of the USA to form their own unique family down here in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Like attracts like

It makes sense though because after every brunch or dinner together, we all check in to our WhatsApp group to let each other know they made it home safely. So, like truly does attract like. Down here there doesn’t seem to be much drama or gossip or disharmony. Down here, we seem to be free from being pitted against each other and we’re not determined to find fault with each other.

One of my new friends called it “the soft life” and I’m enjoying the heck out of it. Thank you, dear friends! I love it here and think I’ll stay for a long while…

Queen Life

You can’t be a Queen if you’ve never ruled. And that means accepting the fact that complete strangers can become your greatest allies and dearest friends. Blood family is different. Most often you grew up with them; they know your weaknesses and your strengths, your lies and your truths. Some will play you for a fool while others will keep it real, light, and level. Strangers that you meet on this journey called life can accept you at face value. You and your stories are original and unique to them and vice versa. They don’t know your past unless you tell them and the same is true for them. You each have a clean slate.

Be the Queen that opens her heart to strangers in strange lands. Stick around long enough to know them and their stories and their relationships but choose your new tribe just as wisely as you chose your best friend(s). Let the empathy and sympathy and pain and laughter and joy at get-togethers and meals and parties and games, etc. mesh you like a new family.

Be the Queen that tries to fix what’s broken within her and start anew. Break the chains and embrace the change. Let the rhythm and the vibe of your new home surround you and recharge you.



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Dani Lew

DaniLew is a podcaster and a retired nomad who loves to slow travel around the world and share her travel stories and personal photography.The Slow Traveling Soul Sister podcast is all about me and my travels around the world for the last 40 years as a solo black woman, My motto: travel nourishes the soul and broadens the mind, but solo travel frees our imagination and builds our Confidence. #slowtravelingsoulsister #GoSeeDoBe

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