Sunday, March 1, 2009

Janie Was Not in Madison - Mission Accomplished

I successfully took a vacation. I have never been so far away from reality before. No newspapers, no tvs, no phone, computer, not even a clock or watch in site. If you haven't done this before, I highly recommend it.

If you read my last post, then you know I left town at a semi crucial time. My brother-in-law and sister, who live four miles from me, are expecting their baby any day. My job was to potentially care for their son while they went to the hospital. Not only did I leave them 1200 miles away, I was unreachable. I planned to not have my phone, and I accomplished this. Once a day, I would wonder out loud, "I wonder if they had the baby yet?" As I said before, when you go away, and escape from real life, it is still there upon your return. It is important to justify this, and be selfless once in a while. I knew that if my sister delivered, I have a lifetime ahead with the baby.

Before you die, you must go on a vacation where there are no clocks in site. All you have to do is look at where the sun is in the sky. I have no idea how much sleep I got. It is very possible that I went to bed before ten and awoke before six some days. Eat when you're hungry. Sleep when you are tired. This is the life. Let nature play its role.

The other thing I don't quite understand is when people don't go native on a vacation. I was in a very rustic, remote island, near the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. A ferry whisks you away to the island, and there are no cars on the island. I am an anti- Cancun/Puerto Vallarta/Sandals Resorts/Club Med/5 star hotels-in-exotic-places kind of person. If I am going to India, I am going native. No fancy resorts for me. I think this is the only way to do it.

The first two nights there, we stayed in a cabana style bungalow with a thatch roof, two story ceiling, and composting toilets (ugh....) right on the ocean. It was paradise. Each bungalow seemed to be occupied by a couple. This place (the island, itself), appears to be a melting pot of Europeans, Canadians, possibly some South Americans, and really very few Americans. Everyone kept to themselves, so it was very quiet. When I think of it now, all I hear, even as we all dined together on the deck, is the ocean. This "resort" was one of the farthest from the town, where the down town square is situated with the restaurants and shops, about .60 miles.

We moved to another "resort" for the remainder of our stay on the island. This was more of a hotel style, where the rooms are formed around a "Melrose Place" style courtyard with a pool, also on the ocean. Our balcony had a hammock, and, of course, overlooked the ocean. Closer to the town, there were more people, but again, we kept to ourselves.

I think this is one of the few times where I made no effort to make friends. I had little interest in talking to anyone. The whole, "Oh, we're from the United States, too!" or "I once visited France, 800 miles from where you live...." was totally unnecessary to me. It is more fun to people watch and make up stories in your head.

The running there was the easiest I have had on a beach. I have run on the beach in Mexico before, and it was much more difficult, but here, the sand was really padded down. Because I also like running a lot more than I used to, I really enjoyed it. Besides the heat, they were easy and peaceful runs. There were very few other runners there. The locals are mostly thick.

One other recommendation I will make is to only bring a carry on bag. I swear, I don't care if I go to Ireland for a month, I am not checking any luggage. If you have never done this, please try it. With my traveler's back pack, I was able to fit everything I needed, and not even use it all. It makes traveling so much simpler.

Now I am back to real life. Although, I am not going to lie - I was bummed to see very little snow on the ground as I was landing, as I was hoping to go cross country skiing this weekend.

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