After packing up my entire life and moving to Tulum two years ago, you better believe my whole world was flipped upside down – And, I mean that in the best way possible.
Because, without this insanely challenging yet rewarding life changing decision, I would not be the woman I am today.
Moving to Tulum has taught me so much about myself and instilled a deep, unshakable strength and sense of identity that is what ultimately equips me to guide my incredible clients through their boudoir sessions.
Many of you know that I have a background in counseling, which plays a huge role in my approach to boudoir photography as a healing art form. However, without the wisdom that’s come along with making an international move, my background and education wouldn’t be backed by the same fiery, creative passion that you see in the images we create during our sessions today.
I never thought my move would be easy, but knowing that my challenges would one day translate into insight that I now use to coach my clients through their own personal transformations is what has inspired me to stay the course during the really tough moments.
Want to know what I’ve learned in my two years since moving to Tulum?
Scroll on to explore…
1) What it feels like to experience an identity shift…
A major identity shift happened those first few months in Tulum. I was quickly reminded that there is something so transformative that happens within when you move to a new country and are immersed in a non-native language and culture.
Now, I was no stranger to an international move. Back in 2011/2012 I lived in Peru for a year and a half. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my personal growth, but it was challenging in so many ways. I had also moved there for love so I was fully supported by my partner.
My move to Tulum was different.
In the beginning, it was hard to adjust to my new surroundings and for a while I felt as though my whole sense of self was thrown off.
Not knowing a soul in Tulum before I made the big move definitely did not make things any easier.
I realized that my “former life” didn’t apply anymore because no one knew or cared who I was, what I did prior to my arrival in Mexico, or where I came from.
Which felt, at the time, like a blessing and a curse…
A blessing because I had the opportunity to start over and really learn trust that my intuition had guided me on the right path.
And, a curse because it was (and still is) so humbling.
I remember the first few days in Tulum sitting on my suitcase and sobbing in my new apartment, wondering if I had made the biggest mistake of my life.
But, those moments of doubt have made me much stronger and I thank my past self everyday for making the decision.
Moving solo to a new country has been one of the hardest, and most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
2) The art of non-attachment…
With Tulum being one of the worlds top travel destinations, it’s become quite a magnet for digital nomads and other travelers stopping in anywhere from a month to a year or more for a long sabbatical.
Many foreigners who arrive to Tulum are seeking a temporary getaway from their lives to gain some perspective and return home when they are all blissed out.
With that being said, many expats living in Tulum don’t tend to stay long enough to plant any longterm roots in Mexico and it becomes crucial to learn how to say goodbye to people passing through.
As someone who loves growing those chosen family type bonds with friends, this took some getting used to.
Life in Tulum has been a great lesson in enjoying the connections that come, savoring them and releasing them when it’s their time.
I am so grateful to now have many vibrant friends from all walks of life scattered across the world that I reconnect with on my travels or if they come back to Tulum!
3) The importance of slowing down…
One thing that drew me to Tulum was the slower pace.
I will always and forever appreciate city life, but in 2019 when I decided to make the move, I really needed to slow down.
I was called to a closer relationship with nature and a total reset to my nervous system. After some intense years where I was knee deep in the entrepreneur life without enough time off, I was deeply stressed and needed to make major shifts to keep myself healthy.
Though I do enjoy the dichotomy of my relaxed lifestyle in Tulum partnered with the higher paced work life that I experience during my photo shoots in Los Angeles and Miami, when I finally make it home to Mexico I am able to fully unwind and recharge.
The slower pace in Tulum has been the greatest medicine and the people just move more slowly here – Foreigners and locals alike.
In the beginning this was frustrating to adapt to, but over time I learned It’s all a part of the flow and acceptance of a slower lifestyle.
And, that now has become part of me…
4) There’s a flip side to every situation…
I may lose wifi signal sometimes, but I can take advantage of excellent and very affordable holistic health care, which is something that I highly value.
I may feel frustrated to not be able to fully express myself in my native language all the time, but I have found joy in learning the nuances of Spanish. I know that one day, with some time and persistence I’ll feel more fully at home when speaking the language.
I may miss some comforts of home like family, friends, my California hiking trails and so much more, but I am grateful for how Mexico has welcomed me and I feel more at home with each passing day.
Living in Tulum has taught me to approach every situation, especially the ones that don’t go as expected, focused on the positive sides and ready to go with the flow.
I can’t tell you how freeing it feels to have this approach to life and I feel how it’s effected not only my reactions but my day to day stress levels, my relationships, and my creativity.
Because I now spend my energy focused on appreciating the beauty in everything…