It was a dream of mine to see the Mayan Ruins since I was very young. I learned about the Mayans since grade school but Mexico seemed so far away from NYC. I knew one day I would see the ruins but I never knew when. And when I finally did see what I studied in school, I was taken aback.
The Mayan civilization was a vast empire that existed for hundreds of years before Columbus but found itself extinct large for its inability to adapt to change (among other reasons). In visiting one of their biggest structures at Chichen Itza, it made me reflect on how I’ve seen many businesses who were once on top become irrelevant. I thought about how Amazon took over the book business and left bookstores like Barnes and Noble in the dust. Apple took over the smartphone business and left Nokia, Blackberry and even music stores crippled. And Youtube, Netflix and and other streaming services have all but eliminated Blockbuster.
The inability for those businesses to adopt to what was new is the reason that their brands are hardly recognizable in today’s marketplace. And then I thought about Dane Reid Media, my colleagues in the voiceover business and the possibility that we may one day be extinct. As services like Nuance Communications, Naturalreaders.com and other text to speech services improve, I’ve wondered how long it would be before clients start telling talents that a machine has taken our places. And this is not considering that voiceover rates are already decreasing due to some low balling online services and increased competition from new talent. Established talent can complain about their cheese haven been moved. or they can preserve the cheese they have, meanwhile searching for a new source of cheddar.
Careful consideration brought me conclude that immediately, there are 5 Steps to Keep You Relevant In Voiceover. (In the video I do say 4 steps)
- Sharpen Your Skills
- Adopt New Technology
- Maintain Relationships
- Think Of Your Business As Global
- Offer Something New
Vacation & Voiceover In Mexico
It almost seemed ashamed that I’d never visited Mexico. I’m a vacation enthusiast and have traveled most of the U.S., Canada and a growing number of foreign countries. Mexico is so close and so inexpensive to visit. A flight to Cancun is just a few hundred bucks. But I haven’t been interested in a Cancun vacation since college when I learned of some of the amazing spring break adventures that happen down there. For me, at this age though, my maiden voyage had to be more serene. I travel now to experience culture and to see the wonders of nature. I like to interact with regular people on their way to work and to ask them questions about their daily lives and how living in their country differs from their perception of life in the United States. It’s the difference from American life, not the similarities that draw me to a place. And so my Vacation & Voiceover In Mexico adventure brought me to Isle De Mujeres.
Isle is a quaint island in the Mexican Caribbean just east of Cancun (part of Quintana Roo). To get there, I flew into Cancun International where I caught a taxi to a ferry that took me to the island, the Ultramar. Beware when you get to the airport. There are various services posing as airport services to get you to your destinations and arrange tours. They usually work for hotels who lure you to their properties in hopes of selling you expensive timeshare. They even offer you free breakfasts and steeply discounted tours in return for a few hours of your time. If the pressure sales tactics are worth it to you, then this is a way for you save money on tours. The taxi from the airport was expensive but I can’t recall the cost. The ferry itself cost $8 to the island.
Once I arrived on the island it was approximately 6 blocks walk to the Ixchel Beach Hotel on Playa Norte. (Expect to pay approximately $167 per night.) I opted not to take a taxi because the beautiful scenery of the beach alongside the road was too irresistible. Once at the hotel, I checked in and immediately rented a golf cart for a few hours and cruised the entire west side of the island from top to bottom (Ave Rueda Medina), a rental cost for the entire evening of $60.
On the first day, I opted for the obvious dining spots along the beach but those can be quite expensive and not offer you the best, most authentic Mexican meal. Instead, I spent the remainder of days exploring the more authentic restaurants and shops down Ave Guerrero and the adjacent streets.
Finding activities were not hard to do. The island offers great beaches, shops, boat tours, kayaking, a natural park, a coral reef, diving, zip lines and music everywhere I went. South on the island are expensive homes. On the north end (Playa Norte) is Dolphin Discovery where you can swim with the Dolphins.
Cancun is just a boat ride away and you can still enjoy all that it has to offer and then return to the natural tranquility of Isle. Isle is more of a romantic getaway. It’s peaceful and more organic than the commercialism of Cancun which mostly resembled Las Vegas to me. Isle reminds you that you are in the Caribbean and not just in a place that is an extension of the United States. It is the Mexico, true and true.
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