The other day I had a delightful visit with my niece Jenn. It was one of those “catching up” sessions. I had been gone for almost 3 months to my home in Mexico. The question came up, “Aunt Wendy, what do you DO with your time down there?” After rattling off a few items to justify my existence, we moved onto other conversation. Later on I realized that this question was haunting me a bit. What DO I do down there and does this need to be justified?
To answer that question in part is to acknowledge everything that I miss when I am away from my home down south. The view of sunrises with beautiful colors and sounds of the morning, and actually taking the time to notice these; the feel of warm sand on my toes and the amazing flora and fauna that I can glimpse any time of the day. On a daily basis I encounter people who are beautiful inside and out and I acknowledge a family-oriented culture that has simplicity of life. I see really happy people when watching whole families stroll early in the mornings on the beach as a tight unit, just starting their day. I have the opportunity to eat and cook fresh every day (the way the locals do) or I can choose to eat a delectable meal at a restaurant which can range from a taco stand to a sit down restaurant with a killer view (all for an affordable price). Friendly talks with locals and store-owners that I know on a first named basis rank high on my list of appreciation. Eye to eye contact ending in smiles as I encounter strangers on the street is a standard. I relish in the acknowledgement of a slower pace of life or on the flip side of that, I have endless volunteer opportunities to take part in, with my choice being involved with the “Cancer de Mama” clinic.
The days where I have to decide whether to play pickle ball or go to my yoga class, these are simple days that rejuvenate the worn down battery. Should I swim in the ocean? Kayak to the island? The beauty that surrounds me gives me a powerful energy. Lest I not forget to mention the breathtaking sunsets that are awe-inspiring and the perfect end to the day, often accompanied by friends or family.
I let my breath out when I am in Mexico. I gain a sense of peace and fulfillment that somehow I miss in my hometown and it completes me. How can that be? Well, it is a bit hard to define but I believe it has to do with the culture that surrounds me, and their choice of a slower life. The hectic rush and fast pace that I am used to back home seems to melt away each time I go south. When I am in Mexico, I am on “Mexico time” which means that “slower” becomes the norm. Time deadlines quite often go out the window. I find myself “unplugging” from my tethers of the cell phone and computer, a lavish freedom. I ride my bike rather than drive the car; more simplicity. In a way, it all sparks memories of a simpler time of life as a child when the days flowed effortlessly.
Am I happy? Yep. Do I take time to breathe? Yep. I find that at the end of each stay I try to figure out how I can stay just a little bit longer, to delay my return north.
Recently I had a girlfriend visit me for a week. We found ourselves laughing as she referred to her stay with me as being “at the clinic.” She was in need of refreshment and that is exactly what she found in Mexico.
So Jenn, thank you for asking the question “what DO you do all day?” It has given me time to reflect. I am still not exactly sure of the full answer, but I do know that every time I am south, no matter what I am doing, the time just seems to FLY!!
by Wendy DeBoer
This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com