I spent the last three weeks traveling with my backpack and an extra package of endless curiosity through Mexico. It has been just three weeks but it feels like at least three months, in terms of experiences, the intensity of every hour, and the unique memories.
“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it is a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”
At the beginning of my journey, I accidentally found the autobiography of Charlie Chaplin. It turned out to be the best possible company for this trip. We both are dreamers.
It was a time of starting days with 1 liter of a fresh green juice and finishing them with warm quesadillas. It was a time of talking, but mostly listening, to people. A time of taking the always astonishing colectivos, sharing a space in almost-in-pieces vehicles with colorful locals, curious about where I come from and where am I going. Lots of mosquitos, but even more beautiful humans.
When you travel, finally there is no rush, no urgency, nowhere is calling you and you are great just where you are, knowing that tomorrow might be everything you want it to be.
Traveling, for me, is also like a homecoming — to myself, mostly. I read books, savor breakfasts, walk everywhere and I watch the sun fall below the far-off horizons with an endless amazement. I find simplicity in the sky and feel small against the ocean. I find more in less and I feel grateful, because what I have today is all I need for tomorrow. I wait, I exercise my patience, I do not measure time and I forget about my computer and phone. And although not everything is easy or perfect while traveling, one thing is certain: I am finally paying attention.
Wherever you are, make sure you’re there.
At some point I sat down in Mazunte and I thought: Yesterday I spent the night in the middle of the jungle, where the sounds of nature are louder than any music, all the smallest insects and curious animals singing together their late-night hymn to the dark sky, praising the stars. Two days ago I was able to get to an indigenous village, where people pray in their local language in a small church full of candles, sacrifice chickens and heal wounds. Four days ago I explored an amazing canyon, designed only by mother nature, waving hello and goodbye to crocodiles and looking up to restless birds. Isn’t the world just a gorgeous and ever-surprising place to be?
I must admit I spent my last day in Mexico laying on the beach of a hidden village lost somewhere along the Pacific Ocean and listening to the sound of the waves hitting the coast. The Pacific Ocean is everything but pacific in the end (Does anyone know why that’s the name, then?).
They are the small moments that save us.
I was lying in the hammock and thinking how wonderful it is to be alive, to be able to find an immense beauty in the shimmering sand and to sit still and listen. And during my last night, I jumped to a warm lake, full of fluorescent plankton: swimming and shining, shining and swimming. It feels like all the stars are being reflected in the water, and all over yourself.
Traveling is like falling in love all over again. And it is also addictive. Especially when you can Couchsurf, be yourself, and live through every sunrise and sunset without any rush, feeling light and right. You sleep like a stone wherever it might be, on a floor, on a couch, on a hammock or a borrowed air mattress. You wake up and you do not even go with the flow, you are the flow.
Now I am back, landed safe and sound in Madrid, which somehow feels more or less like home. I will try to keep shining my best light, even without the help of the wonderful fluorescent plankton covering my body. And I promise I’ll also try to keep paying attention.
Originally published at medium.com