Archive | March, 2013

Adios or hasta luego?

29 Mar

Spending two solid weeks with the same people isn’t always a good thing, especially when females out-numbered the males by far, but luckily for me it turned out better than I could have ever imagined. It seemed so much longer than two weeks because of how much of that time was spent actively doing things and being with and connecting with people. But it also feels to have finished all of a sudden.

 

We shared so many amazing conversations, moments of wonder and fun. We’d always be rooming with different people so everyone got the chance to know everyone else outside of a group situation. With Wandering Earl leading us, a funny, friendly travel blogger, we made our way from Playa Del Carmen to Oaxaca, seeing and doing (and don’t even get me started on eating, YUMMY) many things along the way. The best part was not necessarily what we were seeing, however, but the people we were with – at least in my opinion. We could have been anywhere and seeing anything and it would have been just as fun. Image

Saying “goodbye”, or as it goes in spanish, “adios”, wasn’t easy. It never is, really. Not saying goodbye to home, to family, to friends new or old. I needed a different way of coping with parting ways. Instead I tried “hasta luego”.

 

To be able to cope with the marks people leave on me, and the loss of a part of me that every person I open myself to takes with them, I have to be philosophical. I do believe that every person has a place in your life to teach you something, and sometimes leaving is a part of that teaching. When this explanation isn’t good enough and I really miss someone, and it feels like a part of me is missing, I simply have to know that I said “hasta luego” instead of “adios”, and meant it. And know that I can fulfill that statement any time if I am so determined. “Hasta luego” translates from spanish to english as “see you later”. 

 

Sometimes, it’s harder to say that, if you know the chances of really seeing them again in this crazy world are so small. But if it is meant to be it will be, because coincidences do happen and people do unexpectedly meet again in the most unpredictable of places, as I’ve experienced hands on and heard many stories of the same. I hope with all of my heart to meet these good-sorts again, and perhaps I’ll have even better stories to tell. Stories of beginning travel at 18, still a kid in so many people’s eyes, and thriving across huge ranges of culture. We’ll see.

 

Is adios too hard? Try hasta luego. 

Advertisements

Where on Earth do I start??

17 Mar

Where do I start?

There is so so so much that I could write about. My trip was long but incredibly exciting. And exhausting. I went without eating for 10 hours or so and I didn’t even notice, until I was in the plane on the way to Playa Del Carmen from Mexico City and was given some bicuits as part of the refreshments and it suddenly struck me.

I had about 48 hours of flying time and mozeying around in airports in total.

It was such a relief when my ride arrived, I’m not sure I would have been able to take a bus and find where I was staying on my own in such a state of… how do I describe this? Floatiness. I was way past the point of being hungry, but knew I should eat, but didn’t want to buy expensive, stale snack-style airport food. So I was quite disorientated from this, jetlag, being on the super-high of being IN FREAKIN’ MEXICO! I wanted needed a meal.

Which is exactly what I got at about 7pm that evening!! It was fantabulous – I met up with the guy who picked me up and some other people that I’ll be travelling with for two weeks through Mexico. We walked straight past some restaurants that didn’t have many people in them and had staff out the front trying to lure people in by offering them menus, and went to a gorgeous, little, very mexican, packed one. It. Was. Sooooo good.

I have to say, the culture here is one of loveliness. Of being appreciative. With the certain madness of a developing country chucked in there too. Today, I loved the surpised, happy look on the local cornerstore’s checkout person’s face when I smiled and said “gracias” when he served me – I’m not even sure why he was surprised as there is a huge variety of people around here, many of whom speak at least some spanish. Perhaps he’s used to gringos not making the effort. However, that moment was special, because I have to be honest, I was so scared about coming here. It was intimidating to begin with, and overwhelming. I had absolutely no idea of what to expect. And to be honest, I wasn’t expecting everyone to be so helpful and warm as they really are.

What I’ve enjoyed a lot so far is walking around during the day. Out and about it’s mostly locals, as pretty much everyone just visiting here comes for the white sand and turquoise water of the beach. Being a (by comparison) very white and tall, lone young lady with naturally blonde hair, I do tend to get a fair bit more attention and than somebody who might blend in a little more effectively. For example, when I went for a hour(ish) walk to find somewhere to buy food today, every second person had a good look at me, not in a threatening manner, and some said “hola”. Another guy started a seedy conversation with me out of the window of his ute as he drove slowly alongside me before giving up a minute or two in (I can assure you this isn’t a socially approved practice here, the locals standing around and going about their business looked rather amused but ready to step in if it came down to it), a beggar man got up and asked me for a peso (he probably does that to everyone who walks past) and I got whilstled at a couple of times. But at no stage did I feel unsafe. I never felt that anyone was out to get me. More than negative attention there was positive, as much as I attempted and obviously failed at slinking around unnoticed.

I apologise for there not being photos, there is so so much I would like to show you, but I would feel like too much of a tourist, glaringly obvious, just too out of place if I were to pull my camera out at the restaurant, at the brain-taco stand, just generally around the streets and at the random local talent quest we stumbled upon walking through a park back to our hostels from the restaurant. I hope you understand my not wanting to be ‘that’ person. Lo siento.

I probably won’t get the chance to post very often, as my phone, which is how I’m accessing internet, is dieing and I don’t have a Mexico-appropriate converter.

We’ll see.