I could have stayed in Xcalak forever. Well maybe not forever, but I could have stayed for a lot longer. While at times I felt the place might have been trying to kill me, it was remote and wild and weird and a completely new experience for us with constant challenges which is what we were looking for. Oh, and it just happened to be located in an absolutely breathtaking environment. But our wanderlust is just too great. There are so many places out there that we want to see and experience and so many things we want to do that the time came for us to move along, at least for now.
And so once again we have loaded up all of our earthly belongings into our car and said goodbye to Xcalak. For our next adventure we are driving from Xcalak to Kansas City to see friends and family over the holidays. We are going to take our time, stopping and exploring places along the way in both Mexico and the United States. And then we have another house sit in a different part of Mexico lined up at the beginning of January that we are excited about.
To be honest, this was an incredibly hard decision to make. I think I was a bit naive when we moved away from Kansas City. Well that’s actually an understatement, I was incredibly naive about a lot of things, but I thought the hard part of having to say goodbye to all of our friends and family was over. And yet, now that we’ve decided to not settle permanently in one place, the goodbyes just keep happening. And they keep being hard. Really hard.
In Xcalak, as in Playa del Carmen, we became a part of the community and built relationships. We got to know and become good friends with our neighbors who fished with us, snorkeled with us, fed us dessert, and cheered on and then commiserated with us when the Kansas City Royals lost the World Series. We got to know Manuel, the guy who owns the blue food truck (and never failed to bring us Cheetos), and his son “mini-jefe.” We got to know the guys who worked at the only gas station around who were ecstatic when we would give them some of our leftover bocona fish as a tip for pumping our gas. We got to know the people at the dive shop, the local restaurant and several shopkeepers in Mahaual who would shout “Xcalak people” whenever we would go to town. Acquaintances with some, friends with many, walking away from all of them is so hard.
And then of course there’s these guys, doing what they do best.
Here’s what they don’t tell you about house and pet sitting – emotional attachment to someone else’s pets happens. And when the time comes to say goodbye to them? Oh boy. These two were our constant companions, entertainment, comfort and solace for the last seven months. They could not wait to see us first thing in the morning and they hated when we closed the doors to go to bed. They loved our belly rubs, the long walks we took them on to chase crabs and swimming in the ocean. They also had really smelly breath and a love of rolling around in things that smelled terrible. And the looks on their faces when we pulled away from the gate for the last time? Let’s just say we went through quite a few tissues – both of us.
So the tears we shed when saying goodbye in Kansas City a couple of years ago were not the last ones by a long shot. This life we have chosen means there will be many more people that we will have to say goodbye to in the future and, as hard as it is, we hope that there are many more pets that we get to sit for and care for and treat as our own for awhile that we will have to say goodbye to as well. And we’re okay with that. As we travel around we are accumulating memories, pictures and friends from places around the globe and it could not be more fulfilling.
Will we make our way back to Xcalak someday? Maybe. Hopefully. The fact that we were exceptionally sad about leaving and already miss it means I don’t think we’re done there. But for now we needed a break and so we say adios Xcalak, thank you for everything.