For this week’s Stamped, Koye and Reni, a newly married Nigerian couple, walk us through their adventure-fuelled honeymoon through Cancun and Tulum. They talk about their love for travelling together and why they chose Mexico.
This is their story, as told to Daniel Orubo, Content Lead at Backdrop.
Koye: Before I met Reni in 2018, the most travelling I did was visiting London once a year. I’m not really an explorer, but she’s always been one.
Reni: I’ve always been a big traveller. In uni, I used to go on holiday about three or four times a year. Then the year before I met Koye, I’d say maybe once or twice.
Koye: Wait. So, I reduced your travelling?
Reni: [Laughs] It’s not really you, it’s Nigeria. Before I moved back, it was easier to travel — everywhere was close and affordable. Now, the cost of leaving Lagos alone is crazy.
Koye: True. We still try to travel at least once a year, though. We’ve gone to Dubai and London together, but I don’t know if I should count London. It’s basically our Lagos away from Lagos at this point.
Reni: That’s why we wanted a real change of pace for our honeymoon. The initial plan was Bali — I had even booked some places before the pandemic started — but they stopped accepting tourists.
Then I saw a couple, friends of ours, in Mexico last year, and it looked nice. Once I found out that we could go with our UK visas, it was an easy choice. I wasn’t interested in doing the whole visa hassle.
Koye: We did Cancun and Tulum — 4 nights each. Cancun was first, and it was wonderful. It was a nice mix of city life and beaches, and we did a lot of fun activities.
We went zip-lining, rode quad bikes and drove boats, attempted snorkelling (which I struggled with about 70% of the time) and explored cenotes, large caves filled with cool, refreshing water.
Reni: There was also wall climbing, but we didn’t follow them to do that one.
Koye: [Laughs] Nope, but it was nice stepping out of my comfort zone a bit.
Reni: Yeah, that’s why I wanted our honeymoon to be more adventurous than romantic; we can always do romance in Lagos. When I travel, I want to be able to do things I can’t do back home.
I mean, it took us a whole day to get to Mexico. We couldn’t waste the trip.
Koye: [Laughs] And we didn’t waste the night either. We went to this place called Coco Bongo — everyone had been suggesting it. We didn’t know what to expect, but it was fantastic.
It was a club with an arena for different kinds of performances. We’d be clubbing, then for a brief period, everything would stop and there’d be a performance. There was a Michael Jackson set and a Spider-man one. It was crazy and amazing.
Reni: That was all for Cancun. Then we drove for two and a half hours to Tulum, and it was a completely different vibe. It was almost like a village.
Koye: With a lot of nice resorts and beaches. They also had their own club scene in the middle of the jungle.
Reni: We didn’t go, though, but we met people who did. They said it was insane. Apparently, they party from 7 PM until it's bright the next morning.
Koye: We were just too tired for all that. We were really struggling with jet lag.
Reni: Mexico is 7 hours behind Nigeria. There wasn’t enough time for our bodies to adjust before we had to leave.
Koye: That aside, the food in Tulum was fantastic. We wanted to try authentic Mexican food, and what we realised was that the tacos we had at the fancy restaurants weren’t as nice as the local ones we ended up trying.
Reni: Yeah! It was ridiculously cheap too.
Koye: Compared to Cancun, Tulum was purely for chilling.
Reni: We spent a lot of time in our hotel, Hotel Bardo. I find that sometimes you pay a lot of money for fancy hotels and don’t get to enjoy the facilities they provide. So we spent a lot of time enjoying the hotel.
Koye: It was really nice. Each room had a little jacuzzi, but we never got in because it was too cold. I remember when we finally discovered the heated pool; that was when the holiday really started for me.
Funnily enough, the Tulum part of the trip was more my speed. Without Reni, I would spend the entire holiday in my room, sleeping, eating and wasting the travel money. That’s my favourite thing about travelling with her: experiencing new things.
Reni: My favourite thing about travelling with him is all the nice pictures he takes. When I travel, I have to document everything, and he does a great job. He’s also easy to plan for.
I just tell him what we’re doing, and he’s ready to go. I can’t wait for us to travel again. I still want to go to Bali, but I also want to go to Tokyo and South Africa.
Koye: Me, I just want beach vibes: white sands and clear waters. I want us to go to Maldives, Zanzibar, Seychelles and Bora Bora, but right now, our accounts are, in the words of that famous Davido meme, still in “recovery.”