Vacation + Sexual Harassment

"Hey Sexy..."

"What's your name? Why're you eating by yourself?"

"Hey pretty - What that room number be?!"

All of the above are phrases I've heard on vacation. Just recently too. While in Mexico for the Parlour Magazine Travelfly Solo trip another group (which shall remain nameless) had overbooked at The Hard Rock and was using our resort, Unico 2087 as back up. This sort of tainted my experience because whenever I stepped out of my room I was putting myself at risk of being harassed. 

The first time it happened I was walking to the beach and I heard a man say "hey sexy" from one of the balconies overlooking the pool area. I can remember thinking, "I know that's not what I'm hearing", when he said it again. I ignored it and continued on my way.

The next day we experienced a torrential down pour which had most of us stuck inside of our rooms. When the rain stopped I walked over to the restaurant where the buffet lunch was served. Inside it sounded like a stadium; a group of men (black, older, fraternity - you get the picture) were taking shots. Now, I understand they were having fun. But this resort isn't for THAT kind of fun. Unico 2087 is a laid back, spa-based, relaxation resort. It's not the Hard Rock by any means. 

All I wanted to do was eat my food, go back to my room and get ready for my excursion. But no: While I'm eating, an older man (who looked like he could be my dad) felt the need to ask me my name, am I traveling alone and why was I eating by myself. I was really trying to be polite and short; hoping he'd get the point and leave me alone. I didn't want to talk and I sure didn't want his company. His friend that was with him got the message and they both ended up moving away. 

Let me stop here and say that at NO time should any woman ever feel obligated to speak to a "stranger". She should not fear being labeled "stuck up", "boujee", or "conceited" just because she didn't want to talk. It is her choice. 

I was on vacation. No, I did not want to be bothered. I did not want to be around the riff-raff. I didn't come to Mexico to "party". I don't know why this party group was sent to Unico. To be completely honest, I didn't even want the association. Other guests and staff saw us beautiful, brown, melanated women and automatically assumed we were all part of the same group. I really wanted to yell "WE'RE NOT ALL LIKE THAT!"

What actually put the nail in the coffin was when I returned from my excursion. It was about 8:30 pm and I was walking back to my room (on the resort grounds) and I passed a group of guys and heard "hey pretty - what that room number be?", I started to stop and give him a serious piece of my mind but instead I just kept walking. I was tired, my bag was heavy and I really just wanted to take a shower. I'd be meeting my friends for dinner at 9.

By this time I was now prepared and ready to go OFF if I had to encounter any other rude and sexually suggestive comments. I felt sorry for the guy who would feel my wrath. 

That never happened though, and as I always say - everything happens for a reason. I was leaving the next day and after my departure I heard things got a bit more raunchier. 

I'll end this by saying I absolutely LOVED Unico 2087, and would definitely revisit for a truer experience. What I didn't like or appreciate was The Hard Rock Hotel sending their savage leftovers. 

Have you ever experienced harassment on vacation? Tell me about it below. 

My Time: Cancun, Mexico

Around some time in 2006, my sister-friends and I (same group I traveled to Nassau with) planned a trip to Cancun. This trip was designed to be the ultimate girlfriend getaway. This getaway was very hard to plan because we needed to find a time when all seven females would be available to travel. When we finally were able to find the time, the next hurdle was in accommodating everyone’s budget. It’s really hard for us to get together now (many of us have since gotten engaged, married and/or gave birth) so I’m not sure what the problem was back then and why it took so long for us to get it together.

The countdown for this trip was serious. I was in the BEST shape ever; I had been hitting the gym pretty hard (and consistent) for about a year and watching my carb intake. The main reason: we had planned to do a professional photo shoot.

Fast forward to the day of our long awaited vacation. We arrive on time to JFK and board our flight. We were all so excited. Our flight was slightly delayed and we had a connecting flight in Miami. I remember us literally running through the Miami International Airport to get to our gate. It seemed like we had ran a few miles and when we got there the boarding agent was just about to close the gate. We had made it.

We get to Cancun safely. All of us are going through customs getting our passports stamped when we notice one of our girls is taking longer than usual to get through the system. She tells us they won’t allow her in the country using her Jamaican passport. They wanted to see her green card. She didn’t have her green card.

The situation had begun to get a little tense because my friend said she has always been able to travel using her passport. The Mexican authorities weren’t having it. I remember another one of my friends arguing with one of the agents and him threatening to have her arrested. Mind you, this was around the time Locked Up Abroad first started airing on the National Geographic channel. I remember thinking “this can’t be happening… We’re going to be a Locked Up Abroad story!”, we were able to get my angry friend away from the man to cool off.

Things were still tense though.

They took my friend to a small room. One of those secret hidden rooms that they take people accused of smuggling contraband. The customs agent asked if there was a way she could access her green card. She was able to call her then-boyfriend who had a key to her apartment. He was able to get the green card and fax it to the agents in Mexico. The agents were able to look up her status in the system, plus they now had a faxed copy of her green card. However, this still wasn’t acceptable. The big boss in charge said they needed the actual hard copy of the green card.

We landed around 10pm.

It was after midnight and we were still in the airport. No more flights were coming in and all of the workers had gone home.

Lights were off.

Except in that tiny room.

I’d never seen an empty airport in my life, but I did there in Cancun.

There was nothing left for us to do. The agent had advised us that our friend would be sent back to the states on the first flight out at 7am the next morning.

We felt horrible that we had to leave her alone with a guard in an airport in Mexico. We were able to keep tabs on her though and found that she was able to leave on an earlier 6am flight.

Our trip continued as planned but we weren’t able to truly enjoy ourselves after that incident. My friend has never went to back to Mexico and doesn’t plan to.

Quality in Travel

I've been traveling all my life. I was seven when I went on my first cruise to Bermuda. My aunt liked to take me along; we were either cruising the tropics or flying down south somewhere. I'm thankful for those experiences because they made me appreciate and want the finer things in life. I recently mentioned this in an IG post: I could care less about designer clothing, bags or shoes. Since becoming a mom in 2015 I can't even remember the last time I dressed up! And that's okay with me. I just need access to the Caribbean several times a year and all is well in my world.

This leads me to my next point: I want quality when I travel now. In the past, I constantly wanted "cheap"; trying to find the cheapest flight and settling on decent 3 star hotels were satisfactory to me (there are still many great 3 stars out there though). Cheap flights can be good but they aren't always great and can be quite draining. For example, I was able to find a "cheap" flight to Providenciales but I had THREE layovers. It was horrible. I told myself "never again". 

I can easily say that at the age of 36 I now don't mind paying for quality when traveling; especially if I'm given an option to pay over time. I've come to appreciate travel agents for this very reason. I'm also in the process of setting up my OWN agency to provide this exact service. 

Because everyone deserves to experience a little luxury from time to time. 

Stick with me!



PureLuxe: Blue Diamond Riviera, Mexico



If it's pure, unadulterated luxury you're looking for than you need to check out Blue Diamond Riviera located in Riviera Maya, Mexico. BDR is an all-inclusive, ADULT only resort that offers various types of meal plans and spa packages (or a combination of both). I personally love Mexico because I feel like you get the biggest bang for your buck there. This would be a perfect destination for a honeymoon too! 

Located 30 minutes from the Cancun airport and only 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, BDR offers greens for golfers and is set amongst lagoons, mangroves and beachfront.... Gorgeous! 

Jetsetter is currently running a promotion for this resort offering rates from $399 per night (which is a STEAL!): The Jetsetter rate includes all meals (which you'd have to purchase separately on their website), unlimited premium beverages, a welcome bottle of champagne and basket of fruit, and free local and long distance calls.