An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 41-Tips (February 10th)

Two days ago I returned from a very relaxing trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico.  I gave a gift, many days multiple gifts, while I was on vacation so don’t fret, my year of giving continue but my blogging did not.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be catching up on my days of giving while I was on vacation. I tried to use the computer as a little as possible. I checked my work e-mail once a day and updated my Facebook status and that was it. 
Gifts on vacation were easy to come by. Even though I was at an all-inclusive resort the workers depend on tips for their lively hood.  The staff at our resort was exceptional. They were friendly and always willing to help out and serve anyway they could. They were also very polite and funny.  They loved to make jokes and have people laughing and smiling. The staff didn’t stand around waiting for tip but it was the right thing to do.  My gifts today were to the guy who picked us up at the airport, to the bellman that took our luggage to our room (I felt sorry for this guy, no elevators and we were on the fourth floor), and the waiters who served us at meals and brought us drinks by the pool. 
All of the employees work very long days, most six days a week for a small salary.  We learned quickly that we, the guests, are the way they make their money.  Our resort was at 77% capacity, which I thought was good. But according to many we talked with tourism is down in this part of the country due to fear caused by what is going on in the Northern part of Mexico.  Mike and I were talking to a friend yesterday and he said, “Mexico, I wouldn’t go to Mexico with all the drug violence, weren’t you scared?” 
I must admit this was a concern of mine prior to leaving but through a lot of research and talk with my travel agent we really had nothing to be concerned about.  The majority of the violence is along the northern border and with people who are involved in the drug cartels.  We weren’t traveling to the northern border and we are not involved in drug cartels.  We felt extremely safe our entire trip.  We even took adventures two days away from the resort traveling to different parts of Mexico.  Everyone was very friendly and made us feel safe.
If you are thinking about planning a vacation I wouldn’t count out Mexico based on the fear the media is putting out there.  If that were the case many wouldn’t travel to L.A., Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and other cities that have gangs and drug violence in the United States.  You have to be smart when traveling. Tourism is a big industry in Mexico and people living there rely on us to help them make ends meet.  If you are planning a vacation in the near future, have fun and be safe!

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