Tulum, Mexico, is a very magical place. Especially when it's in the shadow of a full moon. Something about the land and water. Luxury in the jungle. The brilliance of the sun and the energy of the moon. In my opinion, it's a perfect travel destination for us Earth signs, and I found the overall experience to be incredibly healing.
The first time I decided to try a group travel experience.
Dr. Aisha Cort, the founder of Viva La Lengua, curated what would become my first group travel experience. Not only did it exceed my expectations, but it set the bar for all of my future group experiences.
A quick glimpse of what was included:
- Private Chef(s)
- Private Mezcal Tastings
- In-Home Cooking Demo
- Guided Tours and Excursions
- Access to Private Beach Clubs
- Dinner Reservations at some of the most Beautiful and Delicious Restaurants Tulum has to Offer
- Girls Night at The Papaya Playa Project’s Full Moon party
- Bikes Rentals to Town and/or the Beach
- Swimming in Cenotes
- In-Home Massages
- In-Home Yoga
I could go on and on because there were so many amazing moments. Dr. Cort was extremely successful at bringing an intimate group of women from all over the country together to take in all of the magic this beautiful place has to offer. She also personally breathed life into TheCapriciousTraveler.com, something that I will always hold very close to my heart.
If you are looking for an international group experience that will elevate you – mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally… look no further. I am very honored to present to you, Dr. Aisha Cort and Viva la Lengua: a vessel and an experience that has reshaped my life.
More about Dr. Cort and her passion for travel.
Dr. Aisha Z. Cort is a 1st generation Cuban-Guyanese American currently living in Washington, DC, where she is a full-time lecturer of Spanish at Howard University. She was raised in Boston, MA in a Spanish-speaking household, so Spanish is her first language. In total, she speaks 4 languages: Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French. Having been raised by parents who were immigrants with family spread across the world, travel has always been a part of her life.
Whether piled into the back of a van heading to Connecticut, taking a bus to Caribana, or heading out to visit family Georgia, Dr. Cort has been traveling for as long as she can remember and it remains a core part of her life as an adult. For example, she’s been going to Cuba regularly since she was 13, and she’s 36 now. To Dr. Cort, travel is a balance of freedom and connection. Freedom to move outside of your “world” and connect to what’s going on in someone else’s corner of the world. She’s been blessed to be able to fuse her loves of language, teaching, and travel into one.
Q: Please tell us about Viva la Lengua. What motivated and inspired you to create the brand?
A: VIVA LA LENGUA™ and VIVA LA LENGUA Travel are my dreams come to life. “Viva la lengua” literally means ‘Live the language,’ and I passionately believe that language and life are meant to be lived; fully and completely.
It is an off-shoot of my company, Hey Dr. Cort! where I focus on providing online Spanish instruction to heritage speakers and Spanish Language enthusiasts through my VIVA LA LENGUA™ courses. Our summer round of courses includes the option to combine language study with travel, which I imagined as a mini adult-study-abroad experience. These were so well received that I decided to establish a purely travel branch of the company.
I believe that travel destinations are more than a background or photo-op. To me, traveling, understanding language, culture, and genuinely engaging in your environment are not disjointed but totally interconnected components of being a global citizen.
Q: Where are a few of your most memorable places Viva la Lengua has traveled to and why?
A: Every VIVA LA LENGUA™ location has a special significance to me, outside of the language link. Havana is always #1 on my list because it’s connected to my childhood, family, and heritage. It is the place where I find the most peace and can slow down, and I love sharing that magic with others.
Barcelona was one of the first cities that I explored on my own, as I took my first solo international trip to Spain at 17. It keeps me coming back.
Tulum was a place that I found balance and adventure when I was going through a particularly rough time in life, and I have been back many times since then. It is the place to find ultimate renewal and rejuvenation.
Oaxaca is still undiscovered and, for me, is the perfect mix of Cuba and Tulum.
Q: What do you find to be most rewarding about your experiences?
A: I love most when people can truly relax and sink into the experience without worrying about what’s coming next. I love thinking ahead for our travelers and anticipating what they may not even know they’ll want or need. My hope is that everyone leaves a VIVA LA LENGUA™ experience with a piqued desire to come back and discover even more on their own.
Q: What are some of the challenges you've had curating experiences, and how have you been able to overcome them?
A: Logistics can be a nightmare. For example, organizing flights. I used to offer flights in the first year, but have since stopped as it is so stressful from day to day; watching flight prices, coordinating large group flights, etc. I prefer to focus my time on working with different vendors to ensure that my vision and expectations are clear from abroad.
I want to avoid any surprises when you arrive. Luckily we are at the size where I can still join every trip, so I try to come a day or two before the group to make sure that any last-minute changes are completed and any loose ends get tied up properly.