For this week’s Stamped, Ekenedilichukwu Illoh, software engineer, tells us about his four-day family trip to Cancun. We find out how the trip falling on his birthday was a coincidence and how he loved bonding with his family during this trip.
This is his story as told to Chukwunonso Emelumadu, writer at Backdrop.
I’ve been lucky enough to do quite a bit of travelling in my life. Even now as an adult, I take trips with my family once a year. My siblings and I are working now, so we don’t see and spend quality time with our parents as often. Because of this, every year, we try to make family time to take a trip and spend some quality time together. We’ve been to Los Angeles, The Bahamas, England and Italy, to name a few.
This year, we decided to spend four days in Cancun. This wasn't an intentional birthday trip, but it just so happened that my birthday fell within the days that made the most sense for my family.
We flew into Cancun on Sunday night. From the airport, we went to GR Solaris, the hotel resort we were staying at. We'd gotten an all-inclusive package, so everything was already paid for. We just chilled in the hotel that night and spent most of our time at the bar; consuming alcohol and watching random people perform. It was a nice way to kick off our trip.
On Monday, which was my birthday, we had a food tour at the resort. We hopped from place to place trying out different things that caught our eye. The most memorable spot we tried was Rosmarinus Restaurant; it’s an Italian restaurant and I’m a big fan of Italian food so it’s no surprise that this place stuck with me. The rest of my family also enjoyed the food there, so we spent more time there than anywhere else on the food tour. Since it was my birthday, they designed my dessert with a special birthday message. I thought it was a nice act. By the end of the food tour, it was obvious to us that we didn't have time for anything else. In the evening, we just relaxed by the pool until we were tired enough to go to our rooms.
We didn’t have anything planned for the next day, so we spent it exploring the hotel, looking for fun things to do. We went to the spa to be pampered: manicures, pedicures, massages, the whole self-care package because there’s no better time for self-care than during a vacation. After that royal treatment, we went to the pool, played golf and then table tennis to cap off what was a truly relaxing day.
Wednesday was our last full day in Cancun, and we tried to make the most of our time. The first thing we did was go and drive boats; it was just my siblings and I because my parents don’t like activities on the water. After driving, we took a boat tour through a jungle. It was meant to be a proper tour, but the guide didn't really say anything. We practically ended up just looking at trees. My siblings went snorkelling without me afterwards. My sole attempt at swimming was a massive failure. (Maybe one day I’ll learn how to swim.) At night, we went to Marco Polo restaurant to have Mediterranean food; it was so delicious. This was basically the last thing we did in Cancun because the next day, we only had breakfast before heading straight to the Airport.
I loved this trip as much as I loved all the others I’ve taken with my family. For the most part, my siblings and I don’t see our parents as often as we would like as we are not with them year-round. Even when they come to visit us, we have work and school, so we can’t spend as much time with them as we would like. These trips are really the only time we can spend a quality amount of time with our parents, and I cherish that. The fact that I get to travel without paying is a bonus.
Our trips also allow us more intimacy as a family. On this trip, I got tipsy with my parents on some nights: something I never imagined would happen. There was a lot of sharing, dancing and all-round fun on this trip. I look forward to many more with my family, and I genuinely hope that we never stop taking them.