Viva Mexico Cabrones!
I recently passed the six month marker here in San Luis and it has brought with it a changing of the guard. I recently split up with my girlfriend and times have been tough for me. Since I arrived here we have been very close friends and I spent most of my time with her and her friends; lunchtimes, weekends, nights out. I was also welcomed warmly by her family and had a great time at birthdays and other family gatherings. All this was very important for a boy far from home and far from his family.
So, when the 16th of September - Independence Day - rolled around I was feeling rather lonely and was without a plan. I had four days off of work and all I knew was that I didn't want to spend the weekend in the city not being with my girlfriend.
The wonders of the New World lay before me and I was over-awed by the choices, a tempest on the West coast and Hurricane Ike on the East were dampening the mood countrywide but I decided to head for the beach anyway. I figured if I was going to be swimming in the sea I would be getting wet anyway. I found a town called Melaque in Bahia de Navidad on Mexico's "Happy Coast"...malarkey in Melaque and a "Happy Christmas"? Just what the doctor ordered!
After making up my mind at long last I headed to the bus station at 1AM and hopped on a bus for Guadalajajajajara (the jokesest city in the world). I realised that I had never really done anything like this before - stuck a pin in the map and just gone off somewhere on a trip. After graduation I spent a month travelling around the United States but that trip was planned meticulously, right down to the bus tickets. I always used to think it was difficult to do these things and there are a million excuses not to - what about the language? What if the place is rubbish? What if I can't find a place to stay? - the list goes on but it is ridiculous. Buses, hotels, etc. - they want your business and make it as easy as possible for you! It really is as simple as buying the ticket and taking the ride.
My time on the beach was a solitary one, the place was far from thronging and I was happy to be by myself swimming, walking, exploring and reading the signs. I understand now what is meant by "finding yourself" through travel, when you change everything about your surroundings - friends, family, food, work, language, home - then everything that is left, everything that stays the same, is you. It's who you are. Feelings, emotions, the way you react to certain situations - it's an opportunity to see these things in isolation and you can learn a lot. It is a great opportunity to grown and evolve.
I celebrated Independence Day in the true spirit of the occasion - Independently. Having my own adventure. It's lucky I'm no longer an illegal alien otherwise Will Smith would've sent me back to the Mothership with my tail between my legs!
Another effect of this little holiday is that it has helped me to feel much more at home here in Mexico. I was holidaying like a Mexican - I may not be able to afford to jet around the world (or even to visit my own country) but I can drop a few pesos and hop on a bus to a tropical beach for a day or two. Not only that but when I left Melaque, returning to San Luis, I was going home.
Viva Mexico Cabrones!
People Easily Are Confused Emotionally
Tom Wiseman's blog,The Tao of Teaching, appears regularly on Gradspot. The photo depicts the way that we imagine he sees most things in Mexico - through blurry eyes!