I’ve stopped shaving my legs. And I’ve started shopping for clothes at Costco. But before my girlfriends start planning the intervention, allow me to explain.
It all started with a new years revelation…”One day I will live in Mexico!”, proclaimed around the beachside campfire in Manzanillo one magical new years eve, along with many other proclamations, all equally bewitched by the full moon, the warm night and several shots of tequila.
So here we are, 5 years later, and we have moved – lock, stock and barrel, so they say. From the thriving metropolis of Calgary to the equally thriving metropolis of Merida. Mexico. Yucatan, to be precise. Just to be clear, Yucatecos don’t like to be called Mexican – they have a culture all their own that they are very proud and possessive about. One that we have yet to discover as we have been knee deep in renovating our humble casa. But I digress.
We left behind thriving careers and friends and family to become strangers in a strange land. To tap into a different pace of life that we hoped would allow us to discover new things about ourselves, each other, and the world we are living in.
I’ve discovered despite my travels, I have lived a fairly homogenous life and that I’m anxious to shake things up a little. I’ve discovered I can live happily in my flip flops, and that the most magical time of day is 5 pm when the light is magnificent and people flock to the zocalos for a post siesta mingle. I’ve discovered that at night, the streets are empty in the Centro Historico district where I live and that its safe to walk or ride my bike home. And that even though I no longer run a company that requires my full attention 10 hours a day, I’ve discovered I still fall into bed at night exhausted from all the stimulation of just being here. From trying to get my point across 24/7, to filling the car, to charging the cell phone, to asking for directions, to finding a decent shower curtain (where is IKEA when you need them), to not panicking when the gas tank on my roof goes empty or my internet gets cut off because I didn’t pay my bill the day after I received it. To trying to have a normal friendly conversation with my new vicino (neighbor)…day to day life is an adventure unto itself when you can’t speak the language.
I’ve discovered I need a lot less than I thought I did, hence the wardrobe enhancements from Costco. And I’ve discovered that I still have a desire to build something, to make an impact, to flex my intellectual and creative muscles, to be in touch with the world.
What that means I have no idea. But between negotiating the ‘my wall/your wall’ with my neighbor who speaks no English, cleaning out my bodega, painting my garden wall, studying spanish, cycling to yoga, spazzing out at Zumba, going to art openings, walking to the zocalo to listen to live music, driving to the beach to hang out while my dog does his best Michael Phelps, shopping at the local markets, cooking great meals and trying new restaurants, meeting new friends and exploring the Yucatan with old ones…I figure somewhere in all this I will discover what the hell it is I’m supposed to do with the rest of my life. Or not. perhaps I’m just meant to be on the journey rather than worrying about what’s at the end. After all, isn’t that why I’m here?