Walking through the main square last night in San Miguel de Allende, I watched the waxing moon shine upon the pink tinged parroquia, its brightly lit cross casting a further glow upon the gardens below, still scattered with lingering confetti leftover from Day of the Dead. The hamburguesa man contentedly flipped patties as he hummed a tune, while teenagers practiced their break dancing moves in the central pagoda. As the faint swell of mariachi music hit my eardrums, I thought “I am in Mexico.”
This thought may sound strange considering that I bought a house in Mexico in April and have lived here since June. But for the life of an itinerant nomad, I constantly have to remind myself of where I am, and it’s rather rare that I actually feel that I am truly inhabiting a place.
Out of the time I have ‘lived’ in Mexico for example, I’ve spent about a third of the time out of the country. Visiting family in California, on vacation in Costa Rica and on assignment in Guatemala and France. (And that’s not even mentioning the six other countries I’ve lived or traveled in during the past year!) I’ve scampered through airports in Spain and El Salvador and all the while wading through the euros, dollars, pesos and quetzales vying for space in my wallet, as I attempt to buy a bottle of water. My life feels awfully like that Disney theme park as I walk through land after land, seeing fairy tale castles, far eastern palaces, locals clad in indigenous garb. My mind swirls so swiftly with sensory overload that sometimes I leave a place before I realize that I’m even in it.
My time in Mexico has flown by, dreamlike, and on Saturday, Steve and I depart once again to live in South Korea—possibly the most dreamlike country I’ve ever experienced. A topsy turvy place advanced in technology, but oftentimes backwards in culture. A place where plastic surgery is the norm, soju is cheaper than water and I’m a long legged spectacle that old ladies and small children point and stare at.
But I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything. I love waking up in the morning and having to blink my eyes a few times before I remember where I am. San Miguel today, Seoul tomorrow. What more could a chic adventurer ask for?
Do you travel a lot? How do you live in the moment to avoid having that Epcot feeling?