The Travails of Travel

While you’re certain to be excited for the “ups,” nothing can really prepare you for the “downs” that you are sure to face while traveling. Some texts even say that the word “travel” actually comes from the Old French word “travail” which means to work strenuously or toil, and we use it occasionally nowadays to refer to struggle. I have a friend traveling through Europe right now, and she posted something this week about wishing she could have changed her itinerary because of weather or something to that extent, yet she had already booked her train ticket and ended her post with “the joy of traveling- unpredictability.” To which I responded, “It literally IS the joy of traveling- unpredictability!” And I meant it in a good way, even though sometimes when you’re the one traveling, you wish for things to be different in one way or another. Contrary to popular belief, travel is not always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy the moment if things aren’t 100% awesome. I’ve been reminded of this on this trip to Mexico.

If I had known before I left that I’d get to work in locations like these:

Pescadero Beach Office
Balandra Bay 

I probably would have been extra excited. If I had known before I left that I just don’t like life in the desert and I would become anxious here, I probably wouldn’t have planned to stay so long. These are the things that make travel the adventure that it is. I just published a new podcast episode this week, an interview with long-term traveler Kneale Brown. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s a good one and worth a listen. His perspective on the places that he decides he doesn’t like so much is really interesting, and a perspective I’ve never had before. It’s helping me now, as I’ve realized some things on this trip.

“Contrary to popular belief, travel is not always rainbows and butterflies”

I say this because this trip to Mexico has been lots of things: refreshing, relaxing, delicious, full of opportunity, and surprising in good ways, but it has also been disappointing, frustrating, and not everything we hoped it would be. That’s the problem with expectations of any kind, I suppose. Six weeks has proven to be a strange amount of time for a trip. It’s too short to completely “detach” from everything back home (paying rent and bills on time, signing up for summer sports, etc.), yet too long to get all your work done in advance or feel like you’re on vacation. I think it also has something to do with bringing two online businesses to a third world country with limited internet on the beach!

The reality is that Baja is an isolated desert surrounded by ocean, which in itself is why a lot of people fall in love with the area. We happen to live in an oasis, but everything outside of our little town is dry, arid, cactus-filled desert. Much of Cabo and the western side of Southern Baja is filled with gringos who are either tourists or are buying property and building houses. Our neighborhood, as far as I know, is inhabited nearly 100% by gringos. It’s just not like the other parts of Mexico that I know I enjoy. That’s why, as I write this from a beach outside of La Paz (about an hour from where we’ve been living), I feel like we just got to Mexico this week. We’ve actually spoken more Spanish and met more locals in just a few days here than we have all month at our place on the beach in Pescadero. That place is beautiful, but it just doesn’t feel like Mexico to me, and in that sense has been disappointing. (That’s our fault for choosing to go there, not anyone else’s!)

The Silver Lining

As Kneale Brown pointed out in his interview on the podcast, it is from these “downs” directly that we grow the most. You learn the most from situations you don’t like, and you can then take that information with you into future travel or life decisions.

We leave in one week, and we are both looking forward to heading back to the States. We got what we came for, a change of pace and scenery, warm, sunny weather, and a new experience to add to the travel resume. We are really happy with the experience we’ve had and the opportunities that have come with it, but Baja won’t get a spot on my favorite places list. Again, that’s my own opinion based on my personal preferences.

That being said, we had a positive experience with Robert (our Workaway host) and we’ve really enjoyed everyone we’ve met since we’ve been here. We’re grateful to be able to have had this experience and look forward to doing more Workaways in the future. And now that we’ve been here and done this, we know what we liked and didn’t like about it, and we can take that knowledge and move forward with it. Until next time, Workway…

If you are interested in doing a Workaway with Robert or staying at his place for your next getaway to Baja California Sur, check out the Workaway website or contact Robert via DrRobertsOceanOasis.com.