As Sandra Bullock recently found out in the movie Gravity, reentry can be hard. Like shock to the system, hard to find your footing, possibly burn completely up on reentry hard.
When we went to the United States for an extended stay over the holidays I was ready to brace for reentry, I knew it might be hard. There are always some unexpected good things that surprise me – carpeting, drinking water straight from the faucet and salad bars – and some not so good – the cold, oh the bitter, bitter cold, having to drive everywhere and people being in such a hurry.
What surprised me was that we stayed in the States long enough that reentry back into our daily lives here in Playa del Carmen was a bit hard as well. Seems like we were gone long enough to make things that we had become accustomed to in Mexico foreign all over again.
One of our first days back a rooster crowing woke me up. That afternoon when I was trying to concentrate on writing it was the neighbors who were hammering and welding something. That evening when I tried to go to bed it was the dogs barking – seems I had forgotten just how loud Playa del Carmen can be. Also the lack of convenience. What was a one stop at a Target in the States turned into three different grocery stores and a fruit and vegetable market to cross off everything on my pretty short list here (well almost everything, inevitably something just can’t be found). And of course so long dishwasher and dryer. Adios online shopping and internet service that works 100% of the time.
But some of the other things I had sort of forgotten about? Oh, being reminded of those things again was the best. To experience the breathtaking beauty of the ocean all over again? That is something special. While I won’t say I had been taking the view for granted, I fear I had neglected it a bit. The warm weather, the friendly people, the terrific food, the relaxed lifestyle. These are things that I had kind of, not totally, but sort of, forgot about. And so experiencing them almost as if for the first time was a shock, a very pleasant shock, to the system.
The longer I live outside of the U.S. the more I have come to appreciate it and all that it has to offer. I also realize sometimes I need to get away from where I now live to appreciate it even more. I think stepping away from my surroundings seems to be something I need to do on a fairly regular basis, maybe that’s why I seem to be predisposed to love traveling so much. Stasis can set in pretty quickly, even if you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
I returned from a long (and cold trip) away from Playa del Carmen feeling so invigorated both emotionally and creatively. Whether it was the quality of time spent in the States laughing with friends and family or the increasingly gorgeous weather we’re now experiencing here in Mexico I am just so appreciative of where our life is right now. I feel good. I just feel good. I’m ready to explore and travel and write and work and learn and who knows what else.
SPOILER ALERT: So reentry to Playa del Carmen might have been a bit of a bumpy ride and at first felt a bit off. But I seem to have found my footing and despite being much closer to the equator I’ve managed to avoid burning completely up. I guess that’s the best plot or movie ending I could have hoped for.