03 May 2015

Getting my flip-flop tan back

What is this white stuff we're on??!
Silly me, I spent the winter in the U.S., mostly in the northeast experiencing more snow & cold than I have in this century! But it was great to spend time with a variety of family & friends, both in the frozen northeast & then later while thawing out in the beautiful California weather. I am especially glad that my flexible lifestyle allowed me to do several days of kid sitting for my cousin in Connecticut & my brother in So Cal — what a fun way to spend quality time with the “cousinettes”, nieces & nephew! (I hope the kids had as much fun as Aunt Barb did! :)

While in California, in addition to catching up with more friends & family, I “lightened my load” — did some serious work on having less stuff. Back in 2011, when I started this 6-12 monthlong venture (ha, that was 48 months ago!!), I was pretty good about getting rid of a lot of things, but I still had a packed 4x6 foot storage unit. That has now been emptied: family heirloom/antiques are now in my brother’s new home; 40 years of photos which were in 8 boxes worth of photo albums have been taken out, photo by photo, organized into boxes, and await scanning (yes, I’ll get to it, probably via a service); Monica got lots of stuff to sell at a garage sale (and I hope some child is now enjoying my vintage 60’s/70’s collection of Barbies--sniff, sniff!). There were various letters, journals, and other memorabilia from high school, college, & my 20s which were fun to read through and then send on to appropriate friends who would appreciate them. Ha ha they get to store my stuff now :).

In the SF Bay Area working my 1st TNT SAG stop -- *great* way to catch up with folks: Melissa, Eileen, Merla, Dennis, Susie, Steve, Steve, Sarah, Kieran, Neil, KSue, Barb, Tom, Shirley, Jon, Anna, Ross, John.....and MORE!

Storage unit emptied = time to use the passport again; it had been gathering dust for 4+ months! First stop: México. My sister Carol-Ann, her 12 year old son Jacob, & I had a great l week exploring the Yucatán Peninsula — colonial cities, Maya ruins, cenotes  (loved the ones with rope swings, even if I was not the most graceful of "Tarzans"!), & up close & personal swimming with sea turtles! The temps were over 100 F (40 C) most of the week, & fortunately we were able to plan a swim somewhere every day.

The heat has thankfully broken & I am now back in Valladolid, a city of some 50,000 in the middle of the Yucatán Peninsula. Mostly I’m catching up on work (marketing Colombia & Belize vacation rentals) as well as planning what’s next, but I'm also enjoying wandering around the colonial streets. Flip-flops are once again my constant footwear -- how quickly those tan lines return!

What’s next? At the end of the week I’ll make my way back to La Isla Bonita (aka Ambergris Caye, Belize) with a day or two each in Chetumal, the coastal city on the Mexican side of the border, and Corozal, the city on the Belizean side. Then I am back in San Pedro for a month of pet sitting & laid back island life — friend Iain will meet up with me again there, spending 2 weeks at his own pet sitting gig right down the beach from me. (Iain's met up with me over these nomadic years in Ecuador & Peru as well as now Belize for the 2nd time.) After a bit of island time, I’ll explore mainland Belize, then meet up with friend & previous travel buddy Sara in northern Guatemala and we'll travel a bit in Guatemala & Mexico.

August will find me back in the U.S., meeting up with family in Montana to explore Glacier National Park & more. We’ll see what the future brings after that….I have a few ideas--there's a lot of the world I haven't yet explored & have laptop, will travel! 

I am VERY lucky!!

Jacob, CA & I biking the beach in Tulúm, Mexico!

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