We have been in Tulum for almost THREE WEEKS. We didn’t stay here so long on purpose. The first week was spent with friends from home, who so generously shared their vacation house with us. (Thanks Amy Eric and Quentin!) The next couple weeks have to do with Simon’s fishing in Punta Allen, a place he has talked about for years. That – will be another post since I and the kids are still waiting in Tulum for him to come back from his week long fishing trip.
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But it has been a weird few weeks. Even with the great visits with friends and family and the long anticipated fishing trip coming true, mentally, for Simon and me, we have been feeling a little off kilter.
Part of it is probably just nerves. Because we are staring down at the end of our time in Mexico and it feels like it is another commitment to leave Mexico to continue on to Central America. We know Mexico now. The next region is another unknown outside our comfort zone. A couple months ago in Jalisco we saw something that scared the crap out of us. We haven’t written about it but it changed us. The silver lining of that is we now have a more honest assessment of our risk reward profile.
The bigger thing though, is this lifestyle does take a toll. Before the trip we knew the logistics of this kind of travel would be hard on a young family, but we also had visions of us hanging out on the hammock next to a campfire with the kids playing at our feet. The reality is we have not built a fire at all on this trip. It’s either too hot, too humid, rainy, too many mosquitos, no wood, too busy or something else. The hammock, has been broken out twice. Often we just don’t stay long enough in one place or there are no good trees next to our campsite!
Do I sound like we are not having any fun? We are but we are probably not having as much ha-ha fun as it seems in our photographs. Stills are only the idyllic fragments of life in motion. I listen to the Dirtbag Diaries podcast and one episode talks about the three levels of fun in life. There is the party time fun (no pain), 20 mile backpacking trip fun (a little pain) and the 100 mile adventure race fun (a lot of pain). This trip, has been a mix of all three. At its worst, life on the road can be pretty ugly….. it is a combination of hot, muggy, sticky, biting bugs, a couple of screaming hungry kids, a couple of dirty, sweaty, exhausted adults but no sink, no stove, no toilet, no shower in the van.
These obstacles may seem trivial but they are the basic needs of life right? To be fed, to be clean, maybe a couple moments of solitude to have a beer? We have had some conversations about what the heck we are doing here. Sometimes we are not on the same page about the fun:pain index. But we have come to the agreement that when this trip is not working out for any one of us, we have to do something about it. This is not a one person trip so we are thinking of solutions and compromises.
We have thrown around ideas of breaking up x number of camping days with y number of hotel days so we have plumbing and maybe even AC to look forward to. Another option is to speed through some countries during the hottest wettest month, i.e., coming up in Central America. So it is possible that we could be in Panama getting ready to cross to South America in a couple months, as opposed to towards end of this year as originally planned. We don’t know for sure yet. Or maybe this phase will pass and we will feel completely different next week.
For now, on to Belize.