Looky me!

Erin hiking near Playa des Muertos, Sayulita

Well, the sun is setting on my last full day and night here in Sayulita. It’s only been a week, but when you go 14 months without a vacation, a week starts to feel pretty darned generous, indeed. I’ve eaten a lot. I’ve slept a lot. I have a respectable tan.

I have filled one journal, taken a lazy 250 photos, read three magazines plus one embarrassingly trashy book. (“Mr. Maybe.” Terribly awesome. Or reverse that.) Yeah, I gunned for some scoldy Margaret Atwood tome on debt but got two pages in and decided that she is kind of annoying. Sorry to all you MA fans out there. Too preachy for my blood. Trash Brit-lit on the other hand, works just fine down here. I’m tired of feeling obliged to read high-minded books all the time. It’s a weird guilt hangover from grad school, I think.

In fact, since I’ve been down here, I’ve come to recognize that I’m tired of a lot of things. One, my obsession with “smart books” and my latent judgment of people who read – AGHAST! – for the pure, saucy fun of it. Two, all my stuff. My apartment back in Seaside is filled to the gills with crap I like but sort of also hate and want to get rid of. The clothes and books, in particular, are getting out of hand. Three, I’m sick of living a live that has so little balance. All I do is work. And on the rare occasion when I’m not working, I’m thinking about working. That, or sleeping. It’s far too much.

Mexico always reminds me that my money is better spent on experiences than on things. For example, real Cuba Libres! Oh, yes I did.

I’m also talking about plain ol’ things. It is so glib to travel to a “poor country” and come home snorting and sniffing about “simplicity.” I know I’ve jumped up on this soapbox before, but walk with me a sec. It seems to me we ought to aspire toward minimalism if for no other reason than  for the sheer relief of it. Casting off possessions doesn’t have to be noble. Sometimes, it’s just the thing you do because it’s easier, less freighted with complications and contradictions. It feels good and right to me, on a deep level, to have a backpack full of stuff and no more. It also means I borrow more stuff, which means I interact with people more, and learn to become comfortable with barter, and with charity, and with asking for something I need without feeling grabby or guilty, because I know I will be happy to return the favor when the time comes. Such an emphasis is placed on self-reliance in Western countries. But it’s ok to share, too. It’s humbling. And it makes it less scary to shove off without all those fucking trunks of crap. Speaking of simplicity …

M and I spent the past few days in a super chi-chi rental house. We got it comped for two nights in exchange for me shooting fancy photos of the place. Big pool. Lots of rum. And a glut of sushi last night. Awesome. It did feel a little odd rattling around in such a big, fancy place just us two, but the kitchen was glorious. I am frighteningly close to perfecting my quesadilla recipe. Good work when you can get it. But I’ve a guess there are an inordinate number of people bumming around down here trying to make a living off of their cameras and their pens.

Favorite photo of the trip so far. M sassing me from his perch on a nearby rock.

Tonight, in celebration of my pending return to the world of semi-vegetarianism, I am planning on trying a brain taco. I know it’s outrageously idiotic but M says they are tasty as hell and I just sort of want to, so piss off. If I end up with a buttworm or cerebral encephalitis, well, I’ll just have to cope. Tomorrow, we head to Puerto Vallarta and then it’s back home to the Oregon Coast. I’d rather stay on here another week or five, but it will be nice to get home to my projects.


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