Friday, July 22, 2011

i can safely say that life is pretty good

Some travelers set out with a concrete goal. An objective. A mission. A certain route. Specified destinations. A list of must-see photo ops. An itinerary. A guide book.

And then there are...

Some travelers pack the basic necessities, perhaps a map, maybe a compass, probably a tent, a reliable knife, a smile, and full faith in fate.

Now I’ve had the opportunity to have both roles.

Experiences have been lodged firmly in my memory bank account. Available for withdrawal. Only to be slowly erased in the mystical unfolding of time’s passing. But I believe that although memories become hazy as they slip into the past tense, they undoubtedly have affected our being. They have helped create our present person. They are not so much recognizable as their former forms, but rather have synchronized with our bodies’ own wavelength, have merged, and have fused with the purpose of facing today’s journey. I may not be able to consciously recall every one of my adventures, but I know that I carry them with me.

I am a firm believer in that we are our experiences. We are what we have been through. They have taught us through mental and physical trial and error. And with every experience we accumulate, we are equipping ourselves with useful life tools for any future situation with find ourselves in. So my goal is to wade in, pant legs cuffed, ready to try new things, make mistakes, and learn learn learn. I know that I probably will stumble at first, but with practice, I can be a knowledgeable well-rounded individual. The key is to laugh, have confidence, and a positive attitude. The objective is to have many many experiences of very different varieties. Ready set go!

So Mendoza has captured me. It’s holding me hostage. Ransom has been set. It’s an unreasonable amount. And, with these warm sunny days and star filled nights, I’m finding less and less necessity to leave.

I’ve been experimenting with other recycled arts and crafts. The wallets aren’t selling too well. Using empty beer cans is my new favorite pastime. And old newspapers. Both are super versatile.

Meanwhile the winds from the Pacific Ocean are crossing over the Andes. They bring very warm winds followed by bitter cold. I may have to wait it out. Diego has no problem with me staying as long as I want. Provided that I keep cooking. And I have no problem doing just that. The kitchen is my haven. And I can’t complain, I’m in olive oil country afterall.

We also drink and brew beer.

There is a lot of music in this house. Constant music in fact. Many instruments. A single second does not pass without a melody, harmony, or symphonic concoction of the two. Sometimes it’s a note. A chord. An impromptu percussion outburst. I love it. The energy is great.

We watch a lot of soccer. Yell at the television. Mendoza has been invaded by Chileans for the Copa de America soccer tournament. The rowdy neighbors to our west have swarmed the city with their flags, face paint, and constant chanting (chi chi chi le le le…!). But sometimes they buy earrings, so I’m ok with them.

Between plaza sitting, song singing, soccer game watching, elaborate food preparing, pisco sour drinking, harmonica squealing, recycled art making, and the occasional mountain climbing… I’m having a pretty good time.

But I’m starting to feel the travel bug again. That squirming in the belly. The restless feet dance. Also the questions have started creeping up on me again. The routine. The comfort. All of them reaching their slimy tentacles towards me, drawing me in, and inviting me to stay for just one more drink. Inventing excuses. And seducing me with promises of foot massages and cuba libres.

But I don't let it get to me. I know I'll leave when the time is right. But until then...

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