The First 100 Days….
Ok. We just passed the 100 Day mark on our "Adventure". The biggest decision we've ever made.
I intended to write about this from Day 1. But we'd been to México quite a few times on vacation, never more than 8 days though, and always to resort-beach areas, and I wanted that "vacation feeling" to go away first, then start this Blog. Anybody can fill a postcard about a vacation. But this is no vacation. This is a step. A BIG step. The First step toward…something else. However, at 100 Days, it still has a definite vacation feeling. So, I'm not waiting.
100 days ago...
I stand in the middle of our San Francisco Penthouse Condo. I survey the panoramic Downtown Skyline, Bay and mountain views and all the incredible things my wife and I have put together over 30 years.
It. Is. Perfect. As my late brother-in-law always said, we are some "lucky ducks".
And tomorrow, it will all belong to someone else.
We'd decided to sell it. ALL. Everything. Our home and everything in it. The plan was to buy 6 large suitcases and pare down our lives into those, buy a one-way ticket to México, and not look back. After all, it's just "stuff". BUT, to give it all up was an equal mixture of deep, deep sadness and elated freedom.
The research had been done. A recon trip had been taken to the location we chose. A place we'd never been. In fact, on the 1st (and only) trip to scope things out, we rented a place on our 3rd day (t)here, called our SF realtor, and set things in motion.
It was at this point it felt as if The Universe was doing the driving. We were just along for the ride. Surreal. Is it early retirement? An unpaid, open-ended sabbatical? The End? The Beginning? Yes. Thank you, Shiva. We get to go on our terms. Our choice. What a feeling.
It was also at this point that we'd spontaneously look at each other and say, "We're really doing this….."
In the following hectic days between "sold" and "wheels up" things moved at a blur. So much so that my wife and I didn't even get to go into our house for that final "drop off the keys and say goodbye to it" together. She went. Then I did. Slowly closing that big door behind me one last time. Since we sold it with our "stuff" included, it was as if I were just leaving any other day--looking back at everything in its normal place. But this time to never see it again.
Turns out those separate visits were a good thing (my therapist explained). My wife got to look around, touch things one last time, feel her feelings. I got to do the same, and feel mine. Upon reflection, yes, a good thing.
A few manly tears, then to the hotel. There are miles to go before we sleep.
The Day came. Leaving San Francisco, our professions, friends and stuff became secondary. We were now focused on where we were going. (That "Day", by the way, was about 2 and 1/2 days long--of hell--then, Mexican Heaven. But that's another blog)
"Way down here, you need a reason to move. Feel a fool running those stateside games.."
Wheels down. We're here. Met at the Airport by our Mexican Landlord. Our new friends. (Up until this point we'd probably spent a total of about 3 hours with them--in person and by phone--yet we feel closer to them--and know more about them than any friends we've ever had.)
We're breathing easier already.
20 minutes later, we're REALLY here. Not in a hotel-resort. In our new Apartamento.
This is not "Vacation México". It's México. We didn't take this step to spend our lives somewhere on the Beach sipping Margaritas all day. Although it sounds fun, that would probably soon lead to rehab and/or a very short "retirement". We came here to begin this chapter of travel, life and discovery. We chose well.
A City of nearly 8 Million people is within a 20 minute drive. Small towns/villages surround us.
Incredible Farmers Markets--or as they're known here--markets, are almost a daily happening. And I do mean "happening". Little shops, artists displaying their work-in galleries or on the street, are everywhere. Coffee shops abound, or you can buy it freshly ground from a guy grinding it on the street corner. Mariachi Bands walk the street, stopping at each sidewalk cafe to play a song. The people seem happy to be alive, and will celebrate and have a parade on any given day. (I always have to ask what the occasion is. Sometimes it's just...because.)
If pressed to tell you what we do with our time, I'd say I can't really tell you. But we're always busy. I can say that we get up at no particular time, go about our day with no particular expectations, no schedule and ultimately, we just do what we want to do. Workout. Yoga. Maybe breakfast at a new little place we find on the walk home. Some days, we take a left instead of a right-and end up not getting home until the evening. And we usually make a new friend each time we stop. That's very easy to do here.
Mostly we are just…living. It's not a mindless existence by any means. In fact, just the opposite. There's time to be mindful about everything. All the things that went unnoticed before. Hell, I'm still trying to shake the nagging feeling that I need to be somewhere. And when will this vacation feeling stop? Eventually, I'm thinking. Or maybe, just maybe I'm confusing it with a feeling of contentment. Or even being happy.
One Yoga Instructor says, "When you drop what you don't need, when you let go of what no longer serves you…what's left?". I'm working on it.
And each night I think, maybe there'll be another chance to get it right tomorrow. 100 days has flown by and I'm still just a babe in the woods.
That's it for now. I have to go. Where? I dunno. Haven't decided yet.
I'll leave you with something I call "Random thoughts in a run-on sentence":
my bar for the use of the term spicy food has been raised dramatically mexicans are always cleaning they even sweep dirt no really i mean they sweep the dirt i guess tequila could be considered a food group the stars and big dipper here are amazing some of the best restaurants in mexico are just carts on the corner set up and then they leave every rule in the spanish language has a bunch of exceptions what day is it mexican people are the nicest happiest people i've ever seen no matter how meager their lives you could stick a pencil in the dirt here and a beautiful tree would grow from it it's friday again are you sure huevos rancheros kick ass
Next time: The Extraordinary minutia that makes up a day…
paz y amor