It’s been months since I posted on this blog. Literally 10 weeks, maybe 11, but who’s counting?
I had all sorts of reasons set aside in my head on why I haven’t written. Cuba was complex and confusing. I was busy. There was so much going on in CDMX, Bogota, and Medellin, that I haven’t had time to write.
The truth is that Cuba did change me. I had an… experience there. I found out that the people I was traveling with aren’t necessarily the people I want to travel with all the time. Maybe we don’t always want to do the same things when we do these side trips, or even on our primary destinations. And that’s OK, I still love them, and respect them, and cherish them as friends and companions on this journey. And I hope if any of them read this, they understand that they were the catalyst for a metamorphosis inside me.
That weekend, I started to think about what I wanted my trip to be like. What do I want to do this year? What do I want to learn, see, experience?
I was a bit of a homebody in Mexico City. I went out to events here and there, mostly stayed in the area where we all lived. I ventured outside of those areas only when I could find someone willing to go explore new places and see new things.
In Bogota, I ventured out even more. I spent a few days in a hostel in Candaleria with a few others. I did a road trip across half of Colombia to Barranquilla for Carnival with some friends. I (quite literally) dipped my feet in the water while I was at a pool party there but didn’t get in. I had a great time in February, but I was still searching.
Then I got to Medellin. I did a few walking tours. I did a 7-hour, 10-mile hike through Parque Arvi. I was miserable, but I did it and I was happy I did. I did a side trip to Santa Fe that had me climbing up a cliff to sit on top of a bridge. There were no handrails, no netting, no safe way up or down. That same day, we saw a local cemetery, which had been so ravaged by war and poverty that graves were laid open with skeletons visible to visitors like me.
The next week, I did a tour to Guatape, and while I did climb the 740 steps to the top, I didn’t jump off the bridge into the river. I made excuses. The water was green and polluted. I wasn’t in the mood. I didn’t have sunblock to cover my entire body, I forgot to bring a towel, there was no place to change into my bathing suit. But the truth is very simple, I’m embarrassed to get in the water. I’m overweight, I’m not happy with my appearance, so I didn’t want to expose myself to public view, pictures, facebook, instagram. I still had a good day, but it could have been better.
The next weekend, I went to Cartagena. We drank, we partied, we took a boat ride out to a “party island”. I said fuck it, and got in. I got soaked. I drank more. I got sunburned. I drunkenly bought drugs. We came back home and I immediately jumped in the pool, because I was wet anyway, and there was more water. I kept my shirt on because I’m overweight, I’m not happy with my appearance, so I didn’t want to expose myself to public view, pictures, facebook, instagram. I still had a good day, but it could have been even better.
Today, I went to a pub crawl. I met new people. I danced. I danced with some of those new people. I had booze poured down my throat. I went back to a friend’s house and had a long conversation about life.
When it was time to leave, I didn’t take a cab. I walked home in the rain. I don’t know why I wanted to walk home in the rain. I’m overweight, I’m not happy with my appearance, so i don’t want to expose myself to public view, pictures, facebook, instagram. And really, a taxi home would have been about three dollars. But I did it anyway, because while I had a good day, I wanted it to be even better.
I walked home in the rain and I think I found what it is that I’ve been looking for since Cuba. I want to experience everything. I want to find new and interesting ways to have adventures. I may still be overweight and not happy with my appearance, and maybe not want to expose myself to public view, pictures, facebobok, and instagram. But fuck if I’m not going to try to push myself there. Fuck it if I’m not going to walk home in the rain in the city of eternal spring.
Most people will never have the opportunity I have to take this amazing journey across the world. From here on out, I promise to try to do all of it. Every bridge, every leap, every hike, every drop, every jump, every adventure that comes my way. Because really, it was just water. I didn’t melt, I didn’t wither away, I’m here writing on my laptop just minutes after walking home in the rain.