Magic comes from what is inside you. It is a part of you. You can’t weave together a spell that you don’t believe in. ― Jim Butcher April 2013 3 weeks. 4500 miles. A car that started out black and came back grey-brown from a solid caking of road dust. A 901st birthday, and the sort of landscapes that didn’t exist in my reality until then. Being able to drive endlessly again, winging down open New Mexican highways with a Jedi time lord and the soundtrack to life.
I’ve been on the road for three and a half months at the writing of this post. There have been surprises around every turn. I never thought I would gather up enough guts to do this solo travelling thing, and truth be told, I’ve been scared everytime I’ve had to pack up and get myself somewhere: Seattle, La Paz, Mexico City, Albuquerque. My fears were realised during the last border crossing from Mexico into the US at the start of April, which had me convinced, at certain points, that I wasn’t getting into the country.
“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” ― Jon Katz Amigo/Amiga de corazón. Friend of the heart. This phrase was one of the first I learnt in Spanish. It’s a beautiful way to refer to one’s true friends.
Jacaranda and eucalyptus: trees I didn’t expect to encounter across the Pacific, so being greeted by both everyday is pleasantly disconcerting. Over lunch with my host here in Mexico City one afternoon, I described the delight of living where gum trees are a source of natural aromatherapy with their scent, the way jacaranda adds a bright splash to otherwise monotonous suburbs, and how lots of people grew nopales, but no one ate it. José remarked over his spectacle rims, “You are homesick.”
Mexico City. Love it, hate it, run screaming into its maw, surrender to its frenzy.
Mexico City, the federal capital of Mexico, is a strange choice for a hermit. One of the most crowded cities in the world, with more people in its metropolis than the entire Australian continent, it’s not a place to visit if you want to escape humanity, or are after peace and quiet. At all. I don’t know what I was thinking when I picked Ciudad de Mexico for a destination, especially considering how terrified I was when I landed. Between warnings on the internet, and over-the-top reactions of family and friends, I was quite convinced that I was doomed to being fleeced of all my belongings, and/or suffer horrific physical hurt.
All my material possessions have been packed in these two bags.
Today marks my real new year. 10 January 2013 is my last day as a gainfully employed, regular pay-check earning, “real job” holding person.