The Stress of Travel and the Wonderful Part as Well
The very first caveat for this post is that I’m writing this at 10:30PM at the end of a day and a half of travel and I’m very, very tired. Things always look better after you get some sleep. I set out from Albany, NY last night, flew to Charlotte, spent the night, got about 5 hours of sleep. This morning I got a plane from Charlotte to Mexico City, had a 6 hour layover and flew to Oaxaca City, Mexico where I’m writing this from.
So travel, particularly travel to a country for months at a time when you don’t speak the language has some built-in stress. When that country is Mexico you get an extra dose of US media about crime in Mexico. Then, everyone, right after you tell them you’re moving to Mexico says in concerned and hushed tones, “is it safe?” And occasionally, “are you crazy, it’s not safe there.” Add in tonight that the guy on the van to the hotel sat behind me and explained for 10 minutes to his client how she is almost certain to get pickpocketed tomorrow when they go to the market.
The stress of started the day before the trip, I had over estimated how much I had of one of my medications and had to have it rush filled at the pharmacy. I’d also let my departure date sneak up on me and so was doing last-minute things right to the wall, only to realize in Mexico City, that I had not set travel notifications on my credit cards, and one Citibank, sucks because you can only do it by phone. Happily, Bank of America let’s me do it online so I was able to rectify that situation tonight at the hotel after I checked in.
The stress on the road is always a bit my fault, I’m always a little too worried about missing planes and that gets ramped up even more when you’re overseas, when you check-in and they give you one boarding pass for a flight with three legs, when every flight is threatening to make you check your carryon that I honestly have no faith will arrive when I do in a foreign country 36 hours later. It spikes a bit when at the airport in Mexico City where the airport has gates 1-36 and your flight says gate B. And of course for some reason my phone refuses to get time zones correct, for your reference I’m on Dizney Time (hello John Thorne) otherwise known as Central Standard Time.
The flights didn’t help, first take off this morning was side to side in a similar way to my near death experience in Phoenix 15 years ago. And the cream of the crop was coming in half sideways to Oaxaca when suddenly the flaps start groaning and the pilot ramps up the engines full speed and pulls a crazy hard bank to the right. My Spanish comprehension isn’t great but I definitely caught the gist of the pilots speech after, everything is cool, perfectly normal situation, yeah right.
It all builds up over a couple of days, you get worn out and you start second guessing all of your decisions. Like I said, sleep makes it all look better. Then of course:
The Wonderful Things
First the little things, like asking an older Mexican woman in perfect Spanish if she needs help with her bag, and this older, nervous looking woman falls all over me with gratitude and then smiles and says so you speak Spanish. I corrected her, then in Mexico City after fumbling my first few conversations in Spanish I had a perfectly lucid conversation with a phone vendor. I met a cool guy from Austin whose friend is getting married in Oaxaca this weekend and an immigrant from Seattle who was really fun to talk with and having the sunset above the clouds as we flew out of Mexico City be my favorite color, creamsicle blue. Then arriving in Oaxaca to see Day of the Dead art just bloody everywhere, I’m excited for my photographic opportunities over the next week.
One of the wonderful things today was sitting down next to a mom and daughter and eventually the mom asked if I spoke English. Her daughter has been studying for several years and she was hoping to practice as they headed for Los Angeles. Her English was awesome, far better than my Spanish and we had a lovely conversation. But more than that, there is something really wonderful about someone who is just so incredibly proud of where they are from. They both created an amazing list of all the places I needed to go, all the food I needed to eat and even took my contact information and have offered to be my tour guides when they return from America. On top of that, mom even mentioned that since I wasn’t married she had some single friends I needed to meet. Super nice people.
So I’m here, about to crash and I’m sure I’ll be much higher energy and far more positive in the morning. Even more so once I’m settled in my Air BnB tomorrow. Have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane