Distant Memories of the Beach at Tulum in Mexico

Our visit to the beach at Tulum, as part of our 2016 cruise to Mexico, was not quite a year ago, but sometimes when I look back at these photos from our trip, it seems like much longer ago than that.

The Beach at Tulum in Mexico

Sometimes, these photos look like something from a dream. Or something that I just remember seeing from a magazine. Those high rock walls dotted with palm trees here and there look almost like something that cannot be real.

Of course, they were very much real, and we really were there. At other times, it seems like it was something we did just a short while ago, and I can still feel the heat of the day after we had spent some time walking around the Mayan ruins up above. Or I can still feel the coolness of the water as I walked along the sand taking photos while Laura got in the water for a quick swim.

The Beach at Tulum in Mexico

Isn’t it funny how the brain works sometimes? Isn’t it interesting how some past experience can sometimes seem recent and at other times seem quite distant? I would guess that in today’s modern world experts in this field have some sort of explanation how the time from a distant event can seem to vary in our memory, but that is getting a little too deep for me. Instead, I prefer to just look at the photos and think, “It seems like only yesterday that we were there enjoying the beach,” or, “It sure does seem like a lot has happened since we were there!” The latter thought is the one that I am having right now if you could not guess from the title of this post.

The beach at Tulum in Mexico

I would imagine that one reason some memories seem to fade over time is because we are always adding new memories, and those sometimes squeeze out the farther back memories. After this particular cruise last summer, a lot of things have happened. There have been some good things and some not-so-good things, and they have all created more memories in my brain’s good old memory storage system, pushing these beach memories farther back.

Fortunately, what I am left with are lots of good memories, even if they are more general in nature than memories of every little thing we did, every step we took, every moment that we experienced while we were there. It is always better to be left with the good things, I would think. Remember the good things, and let the rest of it go. That is a pretty good motto to live by.

Of course, there is also the rather long and detailed 2016 Cruise to Mexico Trip Report, which I put together for a specific purpose. Knowing that I can no longer remember many of the specific details of some of our past trips and experiences, I try to make note of as many of them as I can before they pass too far out of my brain or get wiped out completely. So even though I do not have some of those actual memories anymore, I do have some of them written down, so that I can go back and remember them better than if I just had to rely on what stays in my brain. Which isn’t as much as used to stay in there, it seems. But one good thing is that I still have lots more photos of the Mayan ruins and the beach at Tulum that I can share because I took lots and lots to help me remember it all.

So on your next trip, take lots of photos. Write down some memories. Save it all for later. And leave out the bad stuff, if you are at all able to. Because the good memories are the best memories and are much more worth remembering.

Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. - Psalm 90:12

About the Photos

As usual, I worked on all of these to give them an even more dream-like look than what they had to begin with. Take a look at this before-and-after version:

The beach at Tulum in Mexico before and after

As you can see, as nice as the original photo was, the processed photo looks even better, looking much more like I remembered it.

Also, frequent Burnsland readers may notice that these photos were not taken with a fisheye lens, unlike most of the other photos from the past year or so. There was a government-imposed fee for camera usage at Tulum (a way to get a little more money from tourists, I would guess), and I didn’t want someone to see me getting a lens out of my bag and accuse me of using more than one camera. That probably would not have happened, but I was playing it safe. Although when I got past some of those rocks and somewhat out of sight, I did change lenses a couple of times.

Photos: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus 14-42mm IIR
Date: July 18, 2016
Location: Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

2016 Cruise to Mexico

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.