Feliz Año Nuevo
Adios San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

February 2015

Amanda writes: I haven’t written a blog post in over a month. I received a nice outpouring of support after my last post and it struck me that it came across that things weren’t all rosy in “living the dream” world. While at first it was a bit shocking, then the reality sunk in that it wasn’t that rosy and the warm responses were nice. And even as I type this I just think, what the heck do I have to be down about? Quit feeling sorry for myself is all I can think at this exact moment. And that’s the funny thing about “living the dream”. Everyone has a unique dream for themselves and my dream may not be the same as anybody else in the world, but it’s still mine.

Since the last post we had our friend Monika visit from Ontario. It was fabulous to have her visit and we enjoyed her company, energy and positive spirit so much. We are so lucky to have friends like her that have the guts to hop on a plane to Mexico and come and hang out with us. She told us she had a great time and I believe her. She fit in with all of our friends and embraced this lifestyle we’ve created. She helped to remind us how lucky we really are.

My last post I told you I was in a rut and while I may not be at this moment, I won’t lie; the last month hasn’t been perfect. I can’t complain although some days I try. We live in paradise in a beach community and it is usually near 30 degrees celsius and sunny everyday. Dealing with Andrew’s Grandfather has become more difficult if that is possible. Andrew and I continue to take it in stride and perhaps one day I’ll find the words to describe the challenges this situation has presented. Until then just know that Andrew is the kindest of men who offer unconditional love and support to his family; regardless of their demeanour and involvement.

This kite surfing situation is still a very big strain on Andrew and I. Anyone that knows Andrew is aware that once he falls in love with something, it is all consuming. That is the case with kite surfing. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sport; in moderation. Because Andrew eat, sleeps and breathes kite surfing we are not on the same page emotionally, psychology or physically. Andrew puts every waking moment into this sport. When we get home he watches videos and studies. The moment there is wind, his mind is on kiting. Every windy moment is spent at the beach and then he kites for hours and is exhausted when we get home. It’s a graceful sport and fun to watch in moderation. The friends we’ve gained that are kite surfers are awesome and I wouldn’t change anything because of the friendships gained. I’ve tried the kiting and can even get up on the board. It is however very difficult when you don’t love it as much as your partner. When we cycled we would both be on a high at the end of the day from riding and exhausted together. It’s the equivalent of being with someone that has a desk job when you have a physical job. The person with the desk job is all excited to do something fun at the end of the day and the person with the physical job is exhausted.

Couples that have the same interests generally do really well. The period of time that Andrew has been all consumed by kiting is closing in on four months. Having different interests for a period of time is okay, even healthy. I mean you can’t do everything together. It is however very difficult when over an extended period of time you’re not on the same page. As we approach our departure from Mexico, Andrew is talking about changing our route and buying more bicycle equipment so that he can carry his kiting equipment. That’s not what I signed up for. I retired to ride my bicycle around the world, not kite. I don’t want to spend even more money so that we can carry more pounds. I am not keen on it at all. I get that Andrew loves the sport and as I said it is fun, but not my passion. I don’t want to prevent him from doing something he loves but I also don’t want to lug around an extra 50 pounds of kiting gear. We’ll see how this plays out.

Another challenge I have had is my hormone imbalances. I have been taking prescription medication to balance my hormones for over 20 years. I’ve had the same family doctor for this time period and we tried many approaches and drugs. Before Andrew and I left for our trip I had long discussions with my Doctor of how I would be able to maintain the balance while travelling in many different countries. Prior to my departure we tried a few different medications that would be readily available through Mexico, Central and South America. Some worked, some didn’t and we settled on one that we thought might do the trick. Well it’s not working. I’m fortunate that Andrew is aware of what is happening on certain days and why I’m ‘bat shit crazy’ as he likes to call it. To put if more gently, I’m just irrational. To add insult to injury this past month, I haven’t been able to sleep. I’m not talking about not getting my 8 hours each night, I’m talking about NO SLEEP. I lay awake at night and am able to watch the sun rise. I don’t even get tired. I went for 3 days without sleep and then finally slept one night when I had to take an antihistamine for some jelly fish bites I had. Then it was back to no sleep for 2 days. And adding no sleep to the situation was even worse! I also completely lost my appetite. I resorted to trying to completely exhaust myself by daylight. I rode my bike 70 kilometres one day and ran 15 kilometres the next day. That didn’t work so then I rode 100 kilometres and drank a bottle of wine after I got home. Nothing worked and I had a bloody hangover to boot.

In the middle of all of this hormone imbalance coming to a head, I finally took some more kite surfing lessons. With the help of our friend Jonathan I was able to get up on the board almost immediately. It was pretty fun and even more enjoyable being surrounded by some of our friends. The encouragement and support from friends to get me on the board is awesome. Our friends Kyle and Jules were there the day I first got up on the board cheering loudly. That was an awesome feeling having so many friends there. And while it was fun I still wasn’t left feeling like “wow that was amazing”. I think it is because I still find it pretty scary. I’ve been out again with Andrew on one particular day but that was right in the middle of my “irrational” period and didn’t go super smoothly. On that day too I was stung by jelly fish and my feet blistered quite badly which seemed to make things worse. The good part though was that I know I can do the sport and maybe with more practice I’ll learn to love it. I’ve also ridden with two other great friends Greg & Elizabeth and it went really well and they gave me tips; it was awesome.

Okay so this post is still coming across as woe is me. I think I’ve turned a corner though; I mean I have to! Over the course of the last week I’ve recharged. We have some friends who asked us to cat sit for them. Anyone that knows me is aware that I’m allergic to cats. Well maybe not anymore. I’ve hung out with their cat (Pepe) a few times and haven’t reacted. We’ve visited them quite a few times and I really like their cat. Anyways, we agreed and I think just the change of scenery and sounds around us was a godsend. I haven’t slept this well in months and I’ve been able to relax. You may recall early in our new life that Andrew and I had a hard time relaxing. We were always riding or planning and didn’t seem to find time to sit back and read or just do … nothing. During the time we’ve been cat sitting I’ve swam in the ocean or pool everyday, worked out at the gym, practiced yoga everyday, studied Spanish for no less than three hours each day, started reading books and took numerous walks on the beach. Certainly their place being as close as it is to the beach (on the beach) makes all of these things possible and I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity. I actually feel human again. Andrew and I have been able to have some level headed conversations about upcoming plans and are more in sync with each other. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for someone.

One of the best things about being so centred and thinking clearly right now is that I am so grateful for the friends we’ve made. Everyone is so kind and genuine and I enjoy their company so much. Andrew had such a great turnout for his birthday party on the beach and dinner and then dancing with many different groups of friends; it was awesome! We’ve met so many people that make me think that when we’re done traveling around the world, I would move back here in the winters to be with these friends again. Our friends Greg and Elizabeth are really special and not in the short bus kind of way. They are so easy going and genuine and so easy to talk to. They have recently embarked on an amazing organic farming project that we’ve been lucky enough to see and even plant a few trees. I have so much respect for their courage and vision for this project. They are so passionate about it I can only hope that I have the same passion for anything I do in life. We’re grateful to have met them and are lucky to spend time with them.

So we’ve been on this part of the trip now for 4 months – wow that went fast. While I’m eager to start riding again I’m almost not looking forward to leaving this place. I’m just grateful that the friendships we’ve built since being here are one’s that I’m sure will last a lifetime. So with my chin up, I’m going to work on enjoying the next two months left here and make the best of this beautiful community.

Today’s Photographs

Feliz Año Nuevo
Adios San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico