Travel is more than the seeing of sights:
it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent,
in the ideas of living.
~ Miriam Beard
Our ideas about living and what sort of life we want to lead have changed dramatically since we hit the road 15 months ago. Back then, our idea was to travel the world and then settle someplace and pick up the pace again.
But 15 months of travel have led us to some deep changes in our ideas about life and what we want from it.
And so we find ourselves in the central highlands of Mexico. Guanajuato is our home for the next six weeks. We are currently settling into a small and perfectly appointed apartment on the third floor of a narrow building in the San Mattias barrio, a neighborhood full of families. The sights and sounds of life being lived are all around us, from children laughing and playing, to construction, musica, traffic, roosters and dogs, neighbors greeting each other, and the occasional burro traveling down our calle with construction materials strapped to its back.
Guanajuato is a walking town…with only 4 main roads, and hundreds of kilometers of smaller alleyways built into the steep hills and valleys of this place, the best way to explore is on foot. And so, everyday we hop a bus in our neighborhood, ride it to the end of the line, and then stroll back home, exploring alleyways and plazas, tunnels and mercados along the way.
We stop off at the carniceria for meat, the fruteria for produce and eggs, and the panaderia for baked goods like breads and fine cookies.
We sample the street food, from tortas and tacos, to elote and aguas frescas, and finish it all off with a bit of helado or the fine street donuts filled with a lemony custard and heavily dusted in granulated sugar. A small cafe tucked away in a plaza turns out to serve the best moka blancos we have ever had in our life. Everyday is full of these sorts of discoveries.
We stumble along with our Spanish, practicing at every opportunity. Lucky for us, these opportunities are abundant, and we are slowly rediscovering how much Spanish we actually know, and diligently adding to that knowledge every day.
As much as we love to travel, there is something awfully nice about slowing down for a bit. There is wonder in the somewhat rarefied opportunity to have a place to put our toothbrushes and a dresser where we can store our clothing. For the first time in a long time, we are actually fully moved into a place and not living out of our backpacks. In fact, they are currently empty and stored beneath our bed.
And all the things we love about travel: the new places and people, the navigating of a new language and culture and city…well, we still have all of that here too. It’s time to really settle in for a bit and savor the different pace of life and all it holds for us here.
We’re looking forward to sharing our time in Guanajuato with you. The blog posting pace will be picking up a bit again as we share bits of our everyday life here with you, while also making room for old stories never told about faraway places. And, by special request of many of our readers, we’ll also be sharing some of our travel and planning secrets and tips with you.
Let the adventures start again!