It often happens that when you travel for work, you forget about the place you are actually visiting — the location is a grey backdrop to days of work and nights of exhaustion. Then you add the sailing component, and you have an entire population that shuns going anywhere but the boat and the yacht club.
There are good reasons for this, one of which is that both the boat and club are conveniently located next to each other. The first trip down to Acapulco, we did not step outside the yacht club compound once, and I for one had been dismissing Acapulco as a place where I go to work and sweat profusely while sitting still.
I’m glad that in this last trip, we stayed at a condo outside of the yacht club. We found our way to Caleta Beach. This beach is almost exclusively filled with Mexican tourists, and it’s full of chaotic, colorful energy. The sounds are loud, from laughing to music to boats coming in and out of the little harbor, from the innumerable vendors trying to sell you knick knacks, swimwear and flotadores, fish, fruits, raspados, tacos and anything else you think you need while at the beach.
Add to that, the massive buses full of tourists try to navigate the narrow street in front of the beach (often parking right on it because, why not?) create congestion worst than LA rush hour. I wondered at times if some of those people might sit in their respective vehicles till the end of all eternity.
This little guy was so incredibly excited to be in the middle of the sidewalk soaking in his very own tub, while splashing himself with his other mini tub. It reminded me of a totuma I had when I was little, that I used to splash myself with in the shower — bathtubs being almost entirely mythical in Panamanian bathrooms.
Maze-like markets selling anything you possibly have never needed.
I’m happy when I’m out exploring, and these experiences tend to remind me of the conflict between the life I lead on a day-to-day basis, and what I envisioned for myself — how I pictured myself being truly happy and passionate. I pictured a life that is packed with moments of exploration; a life that yields stories about the people we meet for a brief moment in time. I’ve yet to find a way (or dare I say the courage?) to lead that life full-time. But the path I’m on often seems so far from that life, I have to remind myself to hold on to these little glimpses, instead of letting them go by under the pretext of being too busy and exhausted. What’s ahead of me sometimes feel like a life of settling. And on days like today, that is not ok. But it will be fine tomorrow, and that is saddest truth.