Thursday, October 30, 2008
“Un sueño” - a dream. Traveling often makes me feel as though I'm in a dream. Not necessarily because of the moments of beauty or the feelings of surrealism, but rather because of the way time seems to slow down. Much like a dream, when I travel it seems as though so much time has passed even though my journey has hardly begun. It's been just over two weeks now, but lately I've been feeling as though I've been on the road for months, and this is one of the most comforting feelings. Occasionally I'll find myself panicking, unsure about what my future holds, unsure about what I'm actually doing with myself out here. Then, the panic quickly transforms into a feeling of wholesome happiness as I realize that the future is boundless for me, that tomorrow I can be wherever I want, that ultimately, I can do anything that I will. It's a feeling of freedom that often induces a confident smile on my face, wherever I may be, and the first person that I connect eyes with always returns the smile, as if they know exactly what I'm thinking.
Much has happened in the last while, I'll try to relay it all as succinctly as possible. Liam and Herman and myself all left Puerto Escondido in search of a new place to surf, and what we found was probably the best wave I've ever surfed in my short lived surfing life. I'll omit the name of the place, for the sake of the locals and regular surfers there who undoubtedly would like to keep it as much of a hidden gem as it is. The break is on a beach about a twenty minute walk from a small and simple rural Mexican village. Admittedly, I was a little annoyed that I couldn't sleep near the calming beach, and I was even more frustrated that I had to pay 20 pesos everyday to gain access. Then, as soon as I experienced the pristine oceanfront, and the untouched shoreline, I realized the importance of making people walk to the beach rather then sleep there. I realized that waking beside the ocean was a luxury that I could forego in order to avoid the inevitable development of cabañas and hotels that are so common along the Pacific shoreline here in Mexico. Later, I discovered that the 20 pesos we were paying was going towards education for the local children, and I felt incredibly guilty for begrudging that fee in the first place. The whole village, as it turns out, was set up in commune style. All of the villagers were required to give a certain amount of volunteer time everyday, and in exchange everyone was provided with daily necessities of food and water produced locally. It was beautiful, and I was happy that I had experienced for the first time a form of direct and localized democracy that I knew I would find here in Latin America.
We spent three days there and then moved on again. Circumstances led myself and Herman to a place called San Augustinillo, while Liam decided to head back to Puerto Escondido. Here in SA I feel more relaxed than I have thus far, as the whole community seems to be laid back – something I think the Pacific ocean tends to bring out in people. I've befriended two amazing Swedish girls, Nina and Veronika, who are a couple of the most real people I've met thus far. It's been great lounging around, playing the random instruments that they've brought with them, wading around in the calm lagoon. SA is certainly not not known for its surfing, but the shoreline kicks up some fun waves, and its anonymity in the surfing world allows for complete freedom on the water. This morning I woke early and paddled out into a deserted ocean, and as I sat on the outside alone, waiting for my wave, I had one of those moments where I smiled broadly, to no one but myself.
Tommorow I will leave SA and head to San Cristobal De La Casas, a supposedly stunning city, and the epicentre of the Zapatista movement. After that I intend to head over the border and begin studying Spanish in Guatemala. I've picked up a good amount, but there have been too many interesting and kind people that I have been unable to communicate with, and I am now more eager than ever to learn the beautiful Spanish language.