Category: Travels

July 11 / Life

Are you sailing or flying back?

The fact that this question can even be made, it means that there are options.
-Flying, this time I’m flying.

I bought an airplane ticket that will take me back to Mexico in thirty-something hours by plane, but the journey to come here took me almost a year on a sailboat. The world can be a bizarre place.

Yesterday I dreamt that I finally left the island, that L was taking me to the airport, that my passport was expired, and I didn’t know if Mexico would recognize me.
I’ve changed so much. I don’t even remember how tacos taste.
That’s why I bought a return ticket because one day I said: “my grandmother’s food” but I no longer knew what I was talking about; seems that I don’t remember anymore, that I am rather inventing, and this can be scary.

I left behind my home, friends, my brother while he was still a kid , my nephew when he still didn’t know how to speak, my dogs when they were not yet old, my cousin when she was single, my grandfather when he still lived. I mean, children grow, the older get older, the food gets eaten without me, my friends are getting drunk, and my girlfriends are marrying and having weddings with an empty seat that has my name.

These are the big and small sacrifices for the one who goes away and makes small families everywhere. We have houses and dogs, and the routines of the day, even if for others this place is far and unknown, to me is close and familiar. Here I have a small family, the wind brought me to New Zealand and I have woven a life.

I telephoned my grandmother, she was so happy, we laugh.
Grandma, I said, I’m calling on Skype,
(Although she does not know what Skype is)
She tells me: Hija, every day I think of you,
and I think: many kilometers behind the sea
half a turn of Earth separates us
but I call you and you still say:
Hija! every day I think of you.

Then I got hungry and bought a flight ticket back.

Photo: Halfway between Mexico and New Zealand 2013, Tom took that GPS screenshot, perhaps in Bora Bora or Mopelia, or at one of those invisible islands.

Note: This and most of the post are originally written in Spanish.

August 4 / Creative Challange

{Day 14 of 30}

They were waiting for at the bus stop in Auckland. I left the village waving from the window with my right hand to a group of elders who came to say good-bye. It was a long trip, a rainy and unexpected warm day. It reminded me of my college days when coming back from Guanajuato to my home town at the end of the week and one of my parents used to picked me up at night from the stop.  Here, in the other side of the world, two big Maori guys wating for me. They took me (again!)  to  Cameron Street, the house where we would find their dad, uncle, aunty,  an extra trampoline in the garden, a new boat in the garage, a potato growing in the window, and two small baby cats jumping around in the mattress where I sleep.

And from that mattress in the living room I hear the waves licking the beach in the distance. This beloved sound is part of me and I could not be more present now… The people and everything there in the village, the sheep, the mountains, all have become blurred in my mind. Like sticking my hand in my pocket looking for something and I just find emptiness. Thinking – Did I forget to put them here? All the memories? I was sure to have saved them in my right pocket – there is nothing. An empty hand.

I think perhaps everything is about the “inner journey” and the “external journey” is another way of that same inner journey. Why people travel to see beautiful countries, exotic places, have experiences? It is simple: To feel ourselves there.  To experience ourselves – there.
Where do I feel that experience? Where do I feel the landscape I see? Perhaps I feel it inside, somewhere in the chest?
Where do I feel the streets of the foreign country for which  I walk? Is it perhaps on my own feet?
Where do I feel the exotic food? Would not it be in my own mouth?
And then we travel to experience these things but in reality is about ourselves, right? What we seek is to experience ourselves. What we seek we carry it already with us.

I crossed the block to go walking along the beach and did not recognize the ocean. Maybe because it is a winter sea. It is a cold sea and I wear a jacket, and tennis shoes, and I can’t feel the sand between my toes, no warmth sun in the skin, and neither the stickiness of sweat under the armpits. Of course! so far I had not seen the sea in winter. It feels weird to see something so familiar and at the same time feels new. 

The next few days passed between movies, walks on the beach and meeting with Thomas’s friends. So many young people! I exclaim which resulted very funny. With Leo we went for rides in the car at night. We drove up the mountain so he could smoke a cigarette. And with the night view of Auckland and wearing huge jackets:

I could call myself homeless if you want to see it like that… I say remembering the TV program we saw by chance was a guy interviewed some homeless in the city.
– Leo laughs.
– Or … I can say that I feel at home everywhere.
Haha, you are funny Tulia. That’s true, you are definitely Not homeless.
– Although, I can’t stop craving for tacos!

Those days between the letters I received and wrote, I tell S:

Exactly where I feel “at home” or “foreign”?
If that feeling of being at home actually comes from inside us… because it is “here” where I feel it, right?  Then …  Is that some country, house, or group, gives us that  sense of belonging or maybe is something that comes from inside of us?

Because the truth is that… often I feel close the family from far away, and sometimes I felt “distant” even being in the same city.

“The Heart does not know any distance or journeys.”

 

Auckland City from Mt. Eden
Auckland City from Mt. Eden

{Day 13 of 30}

Will I remember this place?  The mountains? Shall I look around  wondering for the pine forests … the sheep, visits to the river? So far, the only place I feel sometimes nostalgia is for the Marquesas Islands, Nuku Hiva… if I strongly close my eyes and remember when we being welcome from the open sea. And it’s enjoyable, this nostalgia, to felt it so far…

“Remember” from Latin re-cordis:   through the heart again.

But Taumarunui is different. A village that has come out of the fog to give a welcome hug me for months and I know it will be lost back in the fog. Maybe that’s why I’ve taken so many pictures, vain subconscious attempt to keep something knowing it is a place that belongs among the clouds. I am grateful for my complete hibernation. It’s the perfect time to leave.

I feel so palpable the transience of places, situations, people and also 6 weeks seems such a life full of details, so full of different. Shedding sheep, drawings fog between the houses, different walks beside the same river, bike or ride the mountains alone or with company. No wonder how this time has passed. I feel part while I see from outside – all temporary… everything running on… When I arrived?, I was doing before this? Where was I? And then the feeling of the instant that encloses all (-or that forgets all). As knowing myself standing right here and be in constant motion … like the stream, the stream-time. And the inner understanding that:

Present is eternal.

 

And certainly I do not feel free … forgiven … saved … sure … not if I now that feeling of hang in the balance, of knowing that there is only a very slight line for something to go out of place in the universe, of better say: to fit differently. –  It is so thin the small change in perception and yet it changes everything. Maybe it’s this little tension, of knowing that in a thin inner line makes me feel throbbing and present.

Today I spent a whole day listening to talk C and P about their trip. Sometimes with genuine care, other joking, others only present with a blank mind (not needed anyway response) at the end of the night the point where I wonder if I am doing some effort to pay attention or not to put it? As the TV: I have the inability to watch it.  The TV just does not capture my attention, I see into a meditative state but I’m not seeing more than a reference point in the room.

I’m feeling much love for everyone, Greame, the home owners, Lynn, Robin, Mark, and Kiko the cat … knowing me into them… knowing they show me a part of “me.” One type of love rather neutral.

Last day in Taumarunui I tell myself…

Wash bedding
Shaking subtracted silhouettes
Remove odors of love from the pillows
Ignite memories and diaries
Pack with special care not to get ghosts
Make a deal with the witness cat
Watering plants with fluids leftovers
The last evening in the bath – boiling water
Collect kiwis for friends in Auckland
Say goodbye to my loved sheep
And my rubber boots…
And my work gloves that I will never use again…
Because I am done with being farmer: it’s time to city.
I left a warm and inhabited house.
The owners will never know the reasons for the sudden urge
Of wanting to make out in front of the fire
On the carpet that one day turned into camping, and war and love zone.
Shhh…
Taumarunui the place I’ve lived longer in NZ. Village of fog, so hidden from everything else … populated by a thousand old people playing bingo on Wednesdays and loving walking as much as ice cream and tea.
I leave spoiled, good eaten, and full of kisses.
Another place where I temporarily belong.

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.