It’s been a while since I’ve logged any of our travels, but you can probably do the math. It hasn’t been six months, and it hasn’t all been in Mexico. I just thought it was a great title to jot down for my next big production- a Latino serial on US-Mexican political decisions gone wrong. And let’s face it, I’ll have some good material to work with. Seriously though, Finn reached Six months of age! And to celebrate, we drove him across an un-walled but well guarded border down to Puerto Punasco, aka Rocky Point. Happy Half-Birthday Baby. This blog is for you!
Mexico wasn’t on the must-do travel card for the Atlas Vagabonds this year, but it was on the wish list. And our crazy Uncle Larry made it possible by coordinating a week of road trippin’, sand railin’, sunsettin’ good times with his lovely ladies – wife Michelle and daughter Amy- and a swag of friends who live part-time in Phoenix and bueno-time in Mexico. To quote history’s coolest Mexican mouse: ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yeehaw!
Mexico was not crazed nights on tequila, dodging drug cartels. It wasn’t long transits in a truck full of chickens. Nor was it culturally immersive in any particular way, sorry to say. But it was laiiiiiiiiid back. And it was perfect for us. We rested. We took front porch massages from the local ladies passing by, went for fair-weather fishing trips, wandered along the quiet beach, swam in crystal clear waters, ate sand (well one of us did). We played catch with a dog named Blue, and hung out at Linda and Ward Bell’s beautiful beach house, soaking up the sunshine.
Our sojourn to Mexico took place within the Great American Road Trip… an epic journey by car across the west with not three, but five crazy Aussies. Yep. My parents have joined us vagabonds for a two month mission that includes a great whack of freeways, freedom fries, family and friends. This is gonna sound trite, but to prepare for this, we needed a holiday within the holiday!
I can imagine my working friends at home throwing tomatoes at the screen right now, but I’ve got to say it- travel can wear you out! Loathe as I am to admit it, it got to me, and I’ve been in a funk for some time which is why I haven’t written. After a few months, the lack of routine and the lack of mental challenges started to slow me down. And then the fog set in. Days still shone and life still seemed to look right from the outside, but I felt like I was just watching it, wishing somehow I could be there. Yet I was. It’s a hollow feeling. At some point I kind of lost my rudder and suddenly my mind’s sails were just luffing in a lifeless breeze. I can write about it now because I’ve identified the problem and put some tactics in place to fix the broken bits. But it’s a healthy reminder that travel and freedom ain’t freedom from everything; we still need to fine tune ourselves as we go. Mind. Body. The lot.
So Mexico was a place to take stock of these things, to spend time with my mother, working it out. To drink champagne under a full moon and laugh it off. To walk on the beach with my fella. To meditate with my dad. To play with our relatives and that baby. Play, play, play!
Oh Young Atlas, you are the essence of distraction. Your cherry pink chipmunk cheeks light up the party. When you eagerly watch the dog chase the ball, your cackle is infectious. You are the salve for any sorrow and you are the light in our lives. You are the glue that bonds a group of crazies as we drive across the continent. Indeed, you are the reason we are here today (oh and a special thank you, NT Government, for the parental leave). Time has flown as we’ve danced, bounced and boogied our way across the continents. In Argentina you were already beginning to roll over from your back to your front. Now you are up on your haunches, crawling backwards, catching beach balls, rockin’ a self-shaped mega mullet, chewing anything you can get in near your two front teeth and perfecting the art of many different languages. While I’m teaching you English, Spanish and Sign Language, you’re teaching us Elk (a deep grunting vernacular, the language coined by my cousin Phil), Elf (a high pitched chatty chat, coined by moi) and Finnish (not to be confused with Finnish from Finland… but equally confusing).
Thank you Finn for everything. We want to bottle up your joy and share it with the world. Happy Six Months.