A Weekend in Tulum

Tulum Mexico travel guide - Tulum beach | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

Tulum Mexico travel guide - Palm umbrellas and lounges on the beach | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

Tulum Mexico travel guide - Coconut palm trees | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

Tulum Mexico travel guide - Jungle swings at La Zebra | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

Tulum Mexico travel guide - Jungle swing at La Zebra | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

Tulum Mexico travel guide - Tulum main road | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

Tulum Mexico travel guide - Beach lounges | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

Sure it was more of a long weekend, but New Yorkers take Friday and Monday off, fly somewhere and call it a vacation. This is pretty much new to me, as a freelancer I can take off as much time I want and as an Aussie, you can’t call it a holiday unless you are gone for 2 weeks, but hey, when in Rome!

For my 30th birthday, my American beau and I gave ourselves a long weekend and flew to Tulum for some sunshine and ceviche. I had done a 3 week backpacking trip through Mexico years ago and really enjoyed it and several friends had gone to Tulum recently and loved it, so it was an easy decision.

Some people are calling Tulum the Williamsburg of Mexico, I don’t know if that’s fair, set a hour and a half from mega resort town Cancun (which I hate…) and 45 minutes from party central Playa del Carmen, Tulum has its own thing going on, if anything it’s more hippie than hipster, it can be luxe if you want it, or low key if you want that. Gorgeous food, gorgeous cocktails on a long gorgeous stretch of beach with super fine white sand, what more could you want.

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Style Stories – Trisha – New York

Style Stories - Trisha - New York | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

“I usually dress a lot more tomboyish, but today I felt like throwing on a skirt cos it’s too hot for pants. I have two skirts and this is one of the two that I own.”

Style Stories - Trisha - New York | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

You have quite a lot of tattoos, can you tell me about them?

“Many of them are thirteen inspired tattoo, cos that’s my number I guess. On Friday the 13th, a lot of tattoo shops have a special for $13, so I have at least 10 thirteen inspired tattoos.”

Style Stories - Trisha - New York | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

“I just like comfortable clothes, anything that’s oversized, baggy, I just gravitate towards that. I usually wear sweatpants, leggings and any type of stretchy pants, drop crotch, harem pants, that’s all I wear.”

Style Stories - Trisha - New York | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

The bag, that’s really cute.

“The Moschino. I got it on sale! When I saw the Jeremy Scott collection I was like OMG, cos I loved McDonalds and fast food. I have a cheeseburger tattoo.”

Style Stories - Trisha - New York | Photographed by Ashka Shen | Xssat

“My favourite Tyler The Creator song is called Radicals, the message in the song is really inspiring and it’s basically telling people you can do whatever you want to do, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I have it upside down, so I can read one and right side up, so everyone else can read it too.”

A letter to my 20 years old self

Ashka Shen at her home office | Xssat

Right now I’m chilling in Tulum on the coast of Mexico with my American beau and on Sunday I’ll be turning the BIG three zero, that’s right, ladies and gents, I’m almost 30 years old. For the longest time 30 was a foreign concept, something that will happen one day and then before you know it, that one day is here. It’s no big deal, because it shouldn’t be, it’s just another age, but at the same time, this is a chance to pause, look back and see life for the amazing winding path that it is and appreciate its pros, cons and embrace all of its beautiful flaws.

So here’s an open letter to my 20 years old self, I hope you too, no matter your age, whether you agree with what I have to say or not, will take a little something away from this too.

Dear Ashka,

Your 20s is a beautiful age to be, relax a little, take it easier a little, enjoy life and be young. I’m not saying you shouldn’t work hard and reach for more, you absolutely should, both in terms of career and personal life, but don’t shoulder too much, don’t stress too much, growth will come, in time.

Have a life plan, but feel free to stray from it, because mostly likely you will, intentionally or not. Life isn’t a straight narrow path, nor should it be, cos that would be too damn boring, have an open mind, be adventurous and brave enough to go off the beaten track, to back track, to make a new track.

Don’t worry too much about what others make or think of you, I know this is a hard one, even for a 30 years old, but it’s your life and you only live once, listen to your heart, trust your gut instinct and do what you know is best for you. If that means you’ll hurt someone close to you, or even yourself, so be it, life isn’t full of glitter and rainbow, life can also be painful and sometimes that’s the best way to learn.

Love hard, fall harder and don’t be scared. Know that you deserve nothing except for the best, know that you need to be comfortable in your own skin, comfortable enough to let your guard down and let others in.

Take care of your health, your body, your mind. Life balance is whatever you make it and there’s always a choice, you just have to find a way to make it work for you. Travel and travel some more. Read and read widely. Meet new people, keep old friends, reach out a little more, an email, a call, a text, every little bit counts.

Most of all, be yourself, learn that being vulnerable is ok, to have disagreements is ok, but to follow blindly is not ok.

Enjoy the next 10 years of your life, I can’t say for sure they will be the best 10 years of your life, but they will be full of ups and downs and all kinds of amazing.

Sincerely,
Ashka