10 Insights After A Week In Mexico

The moment I pierced “the bubble” (the invisible 5 mile radius around my apartment) I knew I had done something right.

You see, at the beginning of the year I promised myself I would take a break at least once every quarter.

But… I lied.

The first quarter came and went with no break. Just a constant circle of writing songs, running campaigns, writing blog posts and making Youtube videos.

Then – the phone rang.

“Hey man, wanna go on a cruise to Mexico? I believe we can go see some Mayan Ruins.”

It was one of my best friends that I’ve known since high school. We haven’t hung out in ages.

The Mayan Ruins made me say “F#ck yeah. So I packed a backpack with socks, underwear and a few teeshirts.

A few days later, I hailed an Uber to LAX.

  • Now the sun is in my eyes.
  • Planes are landing and taking off.
  • I’m leaving this beautiful palm-tree-lined bubble.

And heading to Mexico.


We spent a night in New Orleans (dirty), a week on the ocean (gorgeous), and a few days traveling through strange little towns in Mexico (strange).

A lot happened.

Then it was over.

Now I’m back in my apartment.

Looking back at everything, there were a lot of lessons learned.

Today I’m going to share ten of them with you. Maybe it can help you too.

Here they are:

10 Insights After A Week In Mexico

  1. Do not stay home by yourself for too long. As a self-employed person, you can spend WAY too much time alone if you choose to. Isolation is comfortable for a while, then it turns on you. Break the spell as often as you can. Even if it’s uncomfortable at first.
  2. See old friends every year. Of the 1000s of people I’ve met and the 100s of people I’ve befriended, less than 10 of them are actually trusted friends. If you find someone you can trust and get along with for more than 5 years, see them often. Keep that flame alive, because you’re probably not going to meet many more like them.
  3. Being an immigrant sucks. For a few days I was an outsider in a foreign country that didn’t want me to be there. I was the wrong color and couldn’t speak the language. Some locals looked at me with disdain. It felt awful and gave me an insight into how some people feel every day. Being an immigrant sucks.
  4. Be in the sun every day. I’m lucky enough to have grown up pre-internet and remember spending my entire childhood outside. We watched clouds, picked flowers, made up stories and had adventures in the woods. Now we all just sit inside. Get out and see the sun every day. Even 15 minutes a day can change your life.
  5. Be like Bob Marley. Recently, I watched a Bob Marley documentary on Netflix. In it, they described his daily routine and diet habits. He woke up, got high, went for a run, came back, ate fish and fresh fruits/vegetables. Got high, played soccer and wrote songs. That kind of freedom and simplicity is a great lifestyle, and you don’t need a billion dollars to do it. Be like Bob, wake up, exercise in the sun, eat real foods, go for a hike, play a game, write a song and have a laugh.
  6. Have times of work and times of play. The internet constantly screams “Hustle and Grind!” As a guy who has overworked myself to the point of exhaustion many times, my advice is work hard and then go play. You don’t have to go on a vacation, just relax for a while. When you’re burnt out, your work sucks anyway. The breaks actually help you get more/better work done.
  7. Don’t take a laptop on a cruise. I like to travel light. For this trip I almost left my laptop at home. It weighs more than all my clothes… but I “need” it, right? Two days into the trip I hadn’t taken the laptop out of the bag. When I finally did, it became a huge distraction. My life can be run via my phone. Next cruise, no laptop.
  8. Walk more. We spent most of our time walking. We did 6–8 miles in one day in Cozumel. We probably walked 15 miles in two days. Completely changes your body’s rhythm. Technology has eliminated the need for us to leave the house. So make it a daily reminder. Go walk for 30–60 minutes. When you get back, things feel much better. It also lets you eat more, without gaining weight.
  9. See the ocean regularly. There is something about the ocean. It’s size, the mystery, the hypnotic sound of the tides. It does something to you. Something good. Beach towns are always laid back and have the happiest and healthiest people hanging around. There is something about being near the water. Do it on a more regular basis.
  10. Don’t read the news. After a full week with no internet access, I pulled out my laptop and got online. Within a few minutes I felt horrible. News Media companies spewing out any story that might spark outrage. Calls for protests, wars in other countries, rapes, murders, republicans, democrats and stabbings. Turn it all off. Remember, it’s the media’s job to enrage you enough to read their website and then share with your friends on Facebook. Their job is to interrupt your day. Your job is to ignore them.

In Closing

It was a great trip. I got to see a new part of the world, watched the ocean go by in an endless stream, and was able to spend a week with one of my best friends.

If you’re an entrepreneur or just a crazy addictive and obsessive maniac and you’ve been working yourself to death trying to make it…

Take a break

My friend.

  • Go away from your bubble and look at something else for a while.
  • Spend several days with someone you care about.
  • Forget your goals, dreams and ambitions.

And while you’re out there,

They’ll come and find you.


*I posted videos from the trip on Youtube. Click here to watch and be sure to subscribe.

  • Pablo Luz

    Thanks for these insights, Malan 🙂 You inspire me!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      you inspire me

  • Paul

    Gosh man – I needed to read this today. Great post

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks paul

  • http://www.mottobiz.com/ Mottobiz

    Thanks for the wake up call. Much appreciated!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      you bet