One journalist's musings about the beautiful, bizarre world in which we live
Well folks, after four months in Oaxaca and only Oaxaca, I’ve left.
Journalistically, it was an interesting endeavor. The articles were of a non-news type, which is something new to me. There was no line between the advertising and editorial departments. I worked with people who had never done anything in journalism before.
While I’m glad I had the experience, I’m glad I’ve left.
On to new things.
* * *
For the first time in my life, I’m travelling in another country completely by myself.
No other people. No real plans. I’m completely free.
It’s quite thrilling in many ways.
I left Dan at the airport last Saturday, and after that it was just me. Tears came into my eyes, but I wiped them soon away. I was alone – but I was free! I could have gone anywhere, done anything.
So I bussed myself to Puebla.
As alone as I may be, I’ve been meeting new and old friends everywhere.
In Puebla, I got together with my Slovakian friend Veronika, whom I met in Oaxaca. Over two lovely days, we climbed a pyramid, saw a volcano, walked through the grey stone streets and tried to hitchhike from nearby village.
When she left to go back home to Teohuacán, the tears came back. Now what?
* * *
I hopped on a night bus to a city called Villahermosa.
Dan and I visited this city in November, and it was completely average.
This time, it was great.
I met a CouchSurfer by the name of Daniela, who is an inspiring person with her bright eyes and friendly, non-judgemental way of life.
She has lovely, long curly dark locks. Soon after meeting her, she pointed to her half-shaved head above her right ear. She said she did it for no reason other than she wanted to.
I spent a day at her crêpe shop with her boyfriend, discussing life and Mexico. (Did you know how much Mexicans love French crêpes, or “crepas?”)
My Spanish grew substantially, as I learned the Mexican slang and swear words. Muy chido, guay.
Later that evening, I spent time with their friends and band members, listening to their heavy metal band practice. I had to climb two sets of sketchy, steep metal stairs and walk on a roof to reach the apartment where they practice.
The next day, I took off for Palenque. I slept in a jungle. I slept all day; I visited the ruins.
San Cristobal was quite an adventure. I had a bad CouchSurfing experience on my first night, then went to a hostel for my second evening. I made other CouchSurfing friends, and we had One Hell Of A Night. That’s all I’m saying about that.
The next day – yesterday – was miserable. I woke up at 7:30 a.m., enduring what my boyfriend’s brother calls “Bonus Time,” meaning I was still a little drunk.
I marched to the bus stop at another hostel to start a 10-hour trip to Guatemala. Needless to say, I was in quite a state for most of the journey, taking occasional breaks at gas stations and truck stops to clear my stomach and fall asleep against lamp posts.
I can’t imagine what the Guatemalan border guard thought of me, leaning against the counter with a please-don’t-make-me-stand-here-longer look on my face and crumpled passport.
Now, I’m sitting in a hostel in a town called Panajachel, Guatemala. Things are different here, from Mexico.
I’m waiting for Valerie Croft, my old and good friend to arrive.
* * *
And so, as you see, despite travelling alone, there are a lot of people along the way. Strangers who became friends, friends who were friends in the first place.
The world is full of beauty and wonderful things – wonderful people, food and sights. But my favourite thing is the people.
I’ve seen the sights and done the tourist things, but above all, I love spending time with people in their homes and with their loved ones. As in Villahermosa, I would much rather spend a day infront of a crêpe shop shooting the shit than checking out the local lakes and museums.