A snorkeler swims with a stingray, Belize
Posts tagged Wanderlust.
It wasn’t long after we crossed the border into Nicaragua that we found ourselves surrounded by rickshaw drivers hustling for our business.
I knew the ferry was close to the bus stop and yet for some reason I didn’t even try to negotiate a better price to the dock. Maybe being home in Costa Rica threw off my travel game.
The afternoon sun was beating us hard but it didn’t stop us from sitting at the top of the ferry. The wind around Lake Nicaragua helped the ride plus we got an incredible view of the volcanos that make up Isla Ometepe.
Once on the island we figured out where we wanted to stay and asked how to get there. After a good 30 minutes of waiting inside a steaming, hot local bus we learned that they only leave once they’re full. Since we were two of three people waiting we nixed the bus idea and took a taxi.
We celebrated the end of our travel day by watching the sunset and drinking a couple of Toñas.
Our train ride back to Cusco gave me some time to take in the last few days. I want to do it all over again! There’s something so electric about Cusco, the history and the local traditions. Being able to visit Machu Picchu and it’s surrounding peaks was incredible.
I’m finding myself to be more comfortable asking why and being thankful to the locals for taking the time to explain. Being in a place where there’s meaning to a lot of things that are deeper than what the eye can see is something I’m attracted to…
Blake, Danielle and I took an early morning flight to Lima the next day. After dinner we said our goodbyes and went off in different directions: They to the States and I on a bus heading North…
Just a little over 24 hours later I say hello to Guayaquil, Ecuador!
A couple of trips to Chicago and back I found myself getting fussy feet. I needed to leave the states and be back on the road.
Frankly, I wanted to be in a place where a motorcycle or scooter is a family vehicle. A place where you speak with your hands and your heart. Or at the very minimum, a place where you won’t get a jaywalking ticket!
From Los Angeles I would head South. Buenos Aires to be exact. I had hopes to spend some time in Brazil but lets be real…I can’t afford it.
From BA I will make my way back up to California by land, sea and occasionally air. The thought of putting my life back into the hands of crazy bus drivers makes me really excited!
Three flights and a day or so later I’m back in Los Angeles. It isn’t for good…just a visit.
Being back has me thinking a lot. Probably too much. I find myself questioning a lot of things that once had meaning. I’ve realized there are many things in my life that were just that…things. Unnecessary.
My friends haven’t changed and everything feels the same…except me.
Conversations sometimes go dull and when I hear people complain about stupid things I just want to scream!
I’m constantly asked when I’m going to be done traveling and when ‘am I going to be ready to work again…almost as if there’s some “life plan” I’ve taken a detour from that I need to get back on. The idea of going back to my life before this trip makes me want to kill myself. There’s no way I could. Or is there?
Nothing makes sense anymore. I feel lost in a world I once knew…
If you’re ever in this part of the world El Nido is a must! It’s a place where you can just relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of exploring the treasures of Bacuit Bay.
Entering the Big Lagoon, El Nido
Scientists believe that these lagoons were actually caves. The roofs of these caves must have collapsed millions of years ago, and allowing these lagoons to emerged.
I arrived in Da Lat at the crack of dawn. It sits on the South part of Vietnam’s Central Highlands and has a cool temperature year round. This allows temperate agriculture (mostly flowers and vegetables) to be produced and shipped throughout the country.
I didn’t come here to smell the roses but to go canyoning instead! After checking into my hotel I figured I had enough time for a snooze before sorting out an adventure company. I had just one full day in Da Lat before moving on and I wanted to have enough energy while making the most of my day. Or so I thought…
I took my snooze but it accidentally turned into full on sleep! I woke up about an hour too late to make the excursion down a few waterfalls. Rookie move, I know…
Instead I rented a scooter and planned to make my way to Elephant Falls. I thought I knew where I was going but I didn’t. I ended up at a cemetery where I ate a delicious sandwich made by a nice lady on the street.
The graves look like little homes.
I saw a family there cleaning a relative’s resting spot. Apparently there’s a shortage of land leaving very little space for the deceased so more and more people are opting for cremations. Interesting, no? Not really.
It started to rain so I headed back to my scooter. By the time I had hopped on torrential down pore set in. I made my way back to the hotel (getting lost twice) completely soaked and with a rattling mouth. I…was…defeated.
Home to kung fu, dumplings and over a billion people…
I came to India searching for connections or clues that would somehow bring me closer to my mother’s youth. Experiences that would make me understand why she loved it so much.
My first couples of weeks were filled with moments of regret, anger and a lot of loneliness. There were times I wanted to call it quits and get on a plane to anywhere. I felt like I was yelling at truth to show its face while the whole time it was right there in front of me.
There were times when I asked myself why? Answers seemed to float in the air while I jumped to grab them. They always seemed a little too far to touch.
I was trying too hard. By forcing a connection I kept getting pushed back. I was focusing on the wrong thing. I needed to be open and receive all my experiences as they came without giving them meaning or comparison.
These experiences have shown me so much. A new threshold of patience, appreciation, helplessness and trust has formed. I now know new limits within which will only allow for more to be created.
I saw how curious Indians were by nature. It wasn’t long before I became the same. The more I saw the more I wanted to know.
Through this curiosity I made connections…Connections of my own through experiences of my own. And although different than those of my mother’s the outcome and love for India turned out to be the same.
More tid-bits from pottering about in India…
- Watch your step: In most, if not all parts of India people and farm animals share streets and sidewalks. Always watch your step. You may walk into a large pile of something unforgiving.
- Lights out: During this monsoon season power was in and out as was water. Be flexible when not staying at a place with a generator.
- Public restrooms: Plenty of them but none carry toilet paper or hand soap. Indians wipe with their left hand using just water.
- Right vs. Left: Eating is done with your right hand only. Your left is only used for one thing, wiping.
- Eating Out: When you think eating from a street vendor is a good idea reread bullet number three.
- Cinema: Even though Bollywood flicks have intermissions many people still prefer to talk on their cell phones while the movie is going. Just be patient. They eventually hang up.
- Shoes: Take your shoes off when entering a temple, a home and some businesses. You may want to carry a pair of socks for walking around in the temples. Floors might be a little sticky in some areas.
- Admission: There are local and foreign entrance fees that usually reflect a significant difference. I’m not sure how Gandhi would feel about this. If you have a student I.D you can knock off a few rupees.
- Indian spice: The food is better than you think! If you’re an adventurous eater and want to take a chance and order something new, be prepared for your nose to clear and your eyes to water.
- Perspiration: During the monsoon heat you will sweat in places you never knew you could. Ladies, this includes you too.
- Cooling down: Most guesthouses offer cold showers unless advertised as hot. During monsoon a cold shower can be refreshing. In Amritsar I took four in one day.
- Free water: There are plenty of public water stations in case you’d like to refill your water bottle. Be sure your stomach can handle the water beforehand.