Sunday, August 29, 2010
blogged out in Mexico
I guess I have drifted away from this blog action. Blog, who made up that word anyways? I have never really liked that word and never thought I would be saying that I blog. I like the idea of journaling better. I guess after too many days, too many situations, too many things to blog about I started feeling like I couldn't keep up and I couldn't possibly relay the story of my life in this once a month blog. There is too much going on, even though it may seem like maybe nothing is happening with me other than beaches & surfing. I guess that is what is so addictive about this trip, there is always something happening and whatever does happens is so unpredictable that I'm always riding high on a bit of excitement or fear or adrenaline. It's a constant addictive high traveling in a car, being lost, not knowing where you'er going to sleep or what you might find or what is going to happen. Avoiding police check points or military searches or landing on a beach after driving 4x4 to an isolated beautiful beach with a magical surf set up. It's all part of it, all these encounters with people from all over the world. Spanish conversations that are getting better and better allowing me to dig deeper into understanding and knowing these cultures and not just pass through on the outside in a bubble as a tourist but really pass through the heart of the people and all the small communities. I know that nobody can imagine what I'm doing or how I'm experiencing these things which is why I always feel my blog does injustice. I leave out major events, relationships, friends, feelings, sights, & smells. They leave me feeling like the blog is too surface level. I guess now I'm sitting with a fairly introspective mind because I'm sitting in Southern Mexico and the next border to the north is to my country & my people. It also culminates my trip that to date has lasted 1 year & 8 months & counting. What an experience, what a transformation for my life, what an epic journey. At this point this trip is too big for comprehension for me or others. It has become this elephant in the room when I'm around people. I don't know how to explain this other than saying that basically nobody has done this trip like me. There are loads of travelers, people hitting all sides of the globe, but in general nobody knows anybody who has driven a truck to south america and had the experiences in the way that I have had them. This is been a problem for me the entire way....it draws too much attention on me. If I meet someone, I hold out on telling them anything about me or my travels until it's dragged out of me & then it turns me into this focal point for interest, travel questions, stories, etc. I have been slowly sliding away from people because of this, causing me to be more quiet or reserved maybe than normal. I don't want this attention and it can't be helped. People just can't believe it and all the attention is focused on me for almost every encounter the entire times and I find myself being lured into telling tales of the trip to the point of exhaustion. I then realized I've divulged my travels to these strangers and I'm already tired of talking about myself and yet I haven't even shared it all with my loved ones from home....other than via this blog. It's a weird space to be in, the way people react to my 'trip' is in unbelievable shock & then questions which means if there is a group of people I get stuck talking about me until I leave, which happens a lot. I'm sure if you're reading this you're laughing thinking I'm a bit ridiculous which is probably true but I just want to relay my head space. The thing is, a huge part about traveling like this is meeting all these people from all over the world. And though I cringe at the idea of talking more about me when someone knew walks up and starts asking the standard traveler questions (where you from, how long you been here, where are you going, and for how long have you been traveling), it is these same people that I have made friends with, helped me in crisis of illness or anything, and had meaningful conversations about the world and usually government/law comparisons of our countries. There are certain types of things you can't learn unless you're removed from your own country & have all of these discussions. It's been amazing for me and it has caused me to be even more interested in visiting more countries because now I have friends and local 'guides' in plenty of amazing sounding countries.
So here I sit in southern Mexico, one really big country left to cross before arriving on U.S. soil. Seems a bit surreal for me but I'm trying to continue focusing on what I have right in front of me for each day. I've been exploring, camping,& conversing my way slowly up the coast. I don't even remember what I last blogged about but I have really been pushing myself to dig deep into the purpose of my trip. So since Nicaragua, I have been traveling alone. It's really easy to meet someone that might be heading the same direction and maybe even surfing that would love to jump in the truck. But for now I have been alone and started the right way in El Salvador. In El Salvador I stayed & camped in local communities. I explored far off the path using my 4x4 to find amazing waves, beaches and as always welcoming communities. I can just pull into an area with sporadic shacks around and after a few strange gazes and a little of talking to me in their language, I am welcomed into a home like a family member. And these are always humbling experiences because I have to show up in what seems like a million dollar truck and am asking for a place to sleep with people who's homes are hand made shacks. Bucket showers, outhouses....all the basics. But I push myself, even though I'm embarrassed, to approach the situation for the experience & spanish practice. I went through all of El Salvador without really having any english conversations. The surf was amazing en El Salvador, so were the people. I guess what is cool about passing these countries again is that this time around I am having a completely different experience. Last year when I passed through Mexico, Guatemala & El Salvador I was still really nervous & protective with myself plus I didn't speak much spanish. So I remained behind a protective layer of finding the most secure feeling environment & only engaging a little, the language barrier really stops you from being able to feel but so comfortable. Now I'm back and I'm really getting to understand these cultures and how different from each other they really are so it seems to be a new experience this time. I spent a short time in Guatemala which I loved, in this city up in the volcanoes/mountains that had a good blend of local culture mixed with some tourism. After that break from the ocean I decided to head for Mexico & find my way to the coast to explore & camp again. I landed on this remote point and camped on a local families land, got some great spanish practice and fun surf. After 10 days of camping, I came up to the powerful & punishing surf of the notorious Puerto Escondido.
Well I guess this blog was more of some introspection than an exciting story from abroad....already told too many stories, just needed to talk about things from a different perspective. I hope everyone has had a great summer...chau