Heartbreak in Mexico

A couple winters ago, in an effort to avoid an incoming cold snap, I moseyed on down to San Felipe to camp on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

I heard about a quiet, somewhat remote campground from a few other nomads who were there and enjoying the warmth from their waterfront campsites. I ended up meeting four fellow souls for the first time as we met up there one by one and settled in for what was to be a nice, calm, warm, and enjoyable few weeks there.

A lovely couple ran the camp for a local family who owned the land. The husband was Mexican and last lived in Hawaii where he met his current wife so it made for an interesting and lively combo. I warmed up to them right away because of their kindness and generousity in making sure I had everything I needed as I settled into camp.

The other nomads were from different places, all in the States. I met them through their blogs sharing their travels. One was stopping by on her way further south, the rest of us were just escapees from the cold.

The first few days were blissful — the campground bordered a preserve so it was one of those places of sublime beauty that had a quiet intensity to it. I spent quite a bit of time exploring the preserve in my kayak and by hiking on the cliffs overseeing the sea.

With Christmas day approaching, we all decided to cook up a grand feast where each of us brought something to dinner. The host couple took care of organizing and rounding up everything needed, including setting up a dining room with a large table to fit the six of us, including our hosts.

It was going to be an authentic Mexican Christmas dinner with warm laughs and a sharing of common bonds and stories so I was really looking forward to it. Everyone seemed to get along and I felt close to the host couple for taking me around town and meeting their friends and family. Bonds were already deepening in a matter of days.

On the big day, we were all rustling around doing our own thing preparing our portions for the Christmas dinner.

Then BOOM! I felt a door slam hard and a big argument erupting from the campground kitchen area. I saw several of the nomads bolting into their own campers and the host simmering in a corner. Being deaf, I had no idea what happened so I walked over to the host. Shocked, I saw angry tears in the husband’s eyes and the grave stillness of his wife.

My heart sank when he told me he had been accused of stealing one of the nomad’s bags of shrimp bought for the dinner. The other nomads ganged up on him about it, further inflaming the situation.

The host swore on his life he hadn’t taken anything. He was so angry and upset at being accused. It hurt to see the sadness in his wife’s eyes seeing her husband suffer.

I was dismayed to see accusations fly so quickly without taking the time to get to the bottom of things, especially after we all had seemingly bonded so well…

In an effort to save the day and our special dinner, I attempted to mediate and see if we could find out what really happened. My fellow nomads were not interested; their minds were made up. In fact, they were packing up and readying their campers to move out abruptly.

All this chaos on a beautiful beach on what was supposed to be a very special Christmas evening broke my heart. It was further broken by witnessing tragedy inflicted upon the couple and broken again by the non-willingness of my own fellow nomads to let calmer heads prevail and sort the situation out.

After everyone left, I ventured over to the host couple, offering profuse apologies for everyone and expressing my own sorrow at how it all unfolded.

The wife stood up and said she wasn’t going to let this ruin a special night and asked me to stay for dinner for the three of us. She strode off into the campground kitchen to finish it up. By then her husband had calmed down somewhat although I could still see the anger in his eyes.

He told me in Mexican culture it was a deep abrogation of honor to make an accusation like that and he took it very personally. They are a couple that weren’t well off by any means and honor was important to them… only to have it taken away with no proof of any sort.

Just at that moment his wife came back, holding up the missing back of shrimp. It had fallen out of sight behind a bag of vegetables in the fridge.

I sighed heavily. While it was good to find the missing shrimp, it didn’t make things any better because the damage was already done, esp. in the couple’s hearts.

I asked how much the bag was worth. Six American dollars, she said. All this drama and honor taken over a bag of shrimp worth six bucks.

Despite all that, we ended up having a very nice, quaint Christmas dinner and talked the evening away over wine and stories of each other’s lives, further deepening our own bonds.

The moral of the story? Maybe it was prejudice, I don’t know, but it’s wrong to make accusations based on speculation and gossip. It’s wrong to jump to conclusions and not to at least make an effort to get to the truth.

Instead, a lovely couple’s honor gets stolen and their hearts shattered. All over a $6 bag of shrimp.

(Names were omitted for reasons of privacy)


Back in Florida

I’m currently kinda-sorta-sequestered away from the nomad life in Florida for a bit of time while I take care of business stuff. Most of it involves finishing upgrades and such to our website to make it a more solid and pleasing experience for our customers.

I could keep doing it while on the road, but this kind of server-intensive stuff I prefer to do while dry docked somewhere with reliable high speed internet and nice, big computer monitors. Best to stay in one place and bang it all out so when it’s done I can roam free once again without worry.

I haven’t exactly been fastened to one place the entire time — I’ve been shuttling between Sarasota and Gainesville, places where I have family so it’s a good way of changing the scenery so I don’t get bored too easily. And both places are relatively warm in what’s been a cold winter — bonus points!

As soon I finish up and hit the road again (I should say “when I hit the home again”, because the road is home for me…), I will update this.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this quote:

There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.

Charlotte Eriksson
Meanderings Travels

An old church, a psychic and immortal love

While roaming New Brunswick, Canada, I happened upon an old church in the village of Riverside-Albert that was converted into an unusual and hip market of sorts. It had groceries, a cafe serving coffee, pastries, and sandwiches along with art and crafts for sale in different areas. It had an open, airy aura with a bright and cheery ambience. I loved it and ended up hanging out there several times while camped nearby.

As I understand, today the place is no longer open because the proprietor was unable to make it work financially, which was quite unfortunate as it was such a cool place — especially more-so since I had a very unusual experience there I’ll never forget which I’ll share:

While enjoying a coffee and book in the cafe there, I saw a sign advertising “Psychic Readings & Reiki” on the wall. I smiled at the notion of finding such a thing even way out in a rural area of Canada. I put it out of mind and went back to my book.

While reading, my noggin’ kept nagging at me to contact the psychic. Why, I had no idea – I was perfectly content and didn’t need to know anything. And yet, as if my fingers were possessed, I texted for her availability and she rang back a bit later saying I had caught her just as she was headed into the village and she’d come by the church.

Slightly bewildered at the sudden change of circumstances, I shrugged and figured I’d just roll with it. Things happen for a reason, y’know?

She came in, we did the usual niceties, then sat down immediately to do the reading in a quiet corner of the church. Long story short, the reading was wayyyy off. That happens — sometimes there’s no energy or connection to be had, or as more likely in this case, she was inexperienced.

Once again my ole noggin’ kept nagging at me, as if I was unaware of something that should be so obvious to me. Then struck by a flash of insight, I told her “Wait… I think this reading is for YOU!” We looked over the cards laid on the table and I asked her if she looked at it for herself, were the cards relevant?

In her own flash of insight, she exclaimed that yes, it really did look that way. It was that moment I looked down at her feet and saw a tiny child, more like an elf, standing next to her. It would not go away no matter how often I blinked my eyes to be sure. Its energy was so strong and persistent…

I reluctantly realized what I was in for and rolled with it.

“Look,” I began. “I’m very intuitive and I get things out of the blue sometimes, so I gotta ask… There’s this really little kid standing next to you,” I pointed at her feet. “And he won’t go away unless I acknowledge him. I hate to ask you this, but did you lose a baby or something?”

She froze, breath halted, eyes shot wide open. She said nothing and stared at me. I continued, “He’s wearing a green hat almost like elves do… and he’s got a very, very strong connection to you.”

She melted… completely. Tears flowing, shoulders sinking, pain cascading… I felt it so deeply, my own eyes started watering up.

“That’s… my baby brother…. green was his favorite color…. and… he loved… that hat.”

“Okay,” I said and kept on, needing to stay in the flow of the energy. “I feel like I’m out of breath, like I can’t breathe anymore and my neck feels closed off. It feels like he passed away in the night because the lights are out.”

“Yes,” she replied. “…we don’t really know what happened but he was gone in the morning. They think it had to do with that sudden infant death thing.”

“I’m really sorry to hear that,” I said. “It does feel like something like that. Here’s the thing, I am getting this happened a long time ago and that he’s moved on and for some reason you won’t let him go.”

Tears flowed again as she struggled to regain her composure. Others in the church were looking over at us, likely wondering what the heck I, a complete stranger, was doing to the poor psychic.

“I’ve always felt it was my fault. He was my baby brother and I was supposed to help keep an eye on him,” she said.

I could tell by her energy that she had been shouldering that huge burden for a very long time.

“Look, I’m guessing you were only 5-6-7 or eight when this happened, right?” She nodded.

“And you were asleep, like everyone else in the house, right?” Another nod.

“Well…. I can understand how you’d feel responsible since he’s your little brother and you were very protective of him but it’s unrealistic for you to carry that burden all this time.”

I pointed again at the little guy next to her. “He’s telling me he’s very happy where he is, he’s having so much fun exploring and playing and all that. He’s truly happy — he really is okay. For some reason I see him flying around with a cape.”

Her face brightens and she lets out a short laugh.

“He’s also telling me you’ve got to move forward and let him go in the way you’ve been holding onto that guilt. It’s not your fault. He wants you to be happy. He also says you *know* this, it’s like he’s been telling you this all along but you’re not listening.”

She nods in the affirmative again, answering, “Yes, yes… I know… It’s just so hard.”

“Well, he’s making it real clear to me he will always be with you, he’s got so much love for you it’s making me quite woozy, his energy is very strong. ” I paused to catch my breath.

“I think he’s going now – he’s throwing the color green all around you like a fairy, and again he says you will not lose him by letting go. He’ll always be there, he loves you very much and will see you again.”

I paused, waiting for more… “That’s all, he’s gone.”

“Man, I have to tell you, his energy was so strong and happy. He’s in a very good place,” I smiled at her. Her energy seemed lighter and she too, was smiling. It was a tired, releasing kind of burden smile.

I wasn’t done. There was more to go into, about her relationship with her husband, following her dreams, and moving to a different home, etc. All quite very personal so I can’t share but by the time I was done an hour and more tears later, her spirit and energy were so much lighter and better. She was laughing at the end and expressed joy at a brighter future.

After a moment of silence, I laughed saying I had absolutely no idea I would be turning the tables on her and giving her a reading instead. I told her about the nagging I kept getting when I first got there and now that I thought about it, it was her little brother coming through seeing I was an open channel.

She was so grateful and so happy to hear from her brother. As we hugged to part ways, she still had tears in her eyes but they were of relief and joy and love.

I had tears in my eyes too…. I felt deep gratitude being able to help a fellow soul out and as her little brother so clearly demonstrated, we are never, ever alone.

More importantly, his message showed that love is truly immortal, forever transcending all our ideas of time and space and beyond.

Photos Travels

Visions of Meat Cove, Nova Scotia

View of the northernmost point of Nova Scotia in Canada calledt. The tiny white dot in the middle left of the first photo on the cliff’s edge is my camper.

Meanderings Travels

A year (or two) of letting go

On this very cold day of our New Year, I ventured outside and promptly ran back indoors with visions of a snowy armageddon in Florida (yes I readily admit I’m a cold weather wimp).

Wrapped in the warmth of a heater and hot coffee, I took the opportunity to reflect back over the past year or so. It seems a recurring theme has been about letting go and releasing into a new life.

In order to realize a long time dream of wandering our land in a tiny camper, I let go of a dearly loved cabin on a river.

I also let go of all worldly possessions (save a few precious books!) to be able to fit in that 10’ x 6’ space — around 60 square feet.

When I hit the road, I found there was more letting go-ing here and there, including:

    • letting go of an entire way of life, all the way down to the simple things I’d taken for granted including readily accessible water/sewer, electricity, food, and internet.
    • letting go of the security and stability (and sanity!) of solid walls around me in a house and a familiar neighborhood.
    • which meant letting go into never letting my guard down. Trusting my intuition (spidey sense!) has kept me out of unsafe areas and even saved my life by alerting to a hungry bear hunting me down in the woods when I didn’t hear it coming. Being wary all the time can be weary (pun intended!) but I’ve learned to be at peace with it because it’s a necessary trade off of nomad life.
    • letting go of having friends, family, and familiar faces in close proximity. Even though I would still visit them from time to time, I would forever be a stranger roaming unfamiliar places.
    • a constant letting go of new friends made along the way— it’s always short and sweet with a “see you later” as we continue wandering on separate paths.
    • it also meant learning to let go of remnant social anxieties of interacting with unknown people in unknown places with occasional communication issues. All holdovers from an era of growing up as a deaf child in a hearing world.
    • letting go of certainty and learning to embrace living an uncertain life in an uncertain world where I often have no idea where I would be the next day. It seems crazy but it’s also where unexpected magic lives in the art of surrendering — what I refer to as “going wherever the wind takes me!”
    • letting go of preconceived notions of society, classes, and such. Wandering knows no boundaries — I’ve met all manner of people across a very wide spectrum. It’s where labels are shed — everyone is a human being with their own dreams, fears, struggles, and joys. The simple act of being kind and listening to each other’s stories is an act of diverse love…and healing.
    • one of the most difficult parts of letting go for me is past loves. A few years ago a special soul blew my heart wide open. As hard as we tried to align our destinies, ultimately we had separate paths to walk. It took me a very long time to unwind from it. Yet it was also one of the biggest areas of growth. One was learning I didn’t have to stop loving her and others because our hearts have an infinite capacity for love…if we let it. And when we keep our hearts open, love will always be there — past, present, and future. Unconditional forever loves is a beautiful thing.

In closing, I remember the day I embarked on this new life with mixed feelings of excitement and a bit of fear/uncertainty of what I was getting myself into! But I knew deep down that these life changes (and series of letting go-ing) would bring radical and deep shifts in all manner of ways… Some not always easy but ultimately worthy. It was a matter of letting go into trust (with a dash of common sense).

The biggest shift of all? At long last after years and years of “settling” with life I finally found the purest, truest joy in wandering our land of beloved nature by following the mystical winds of my heart’s enlightenment.

(To think…If I never took that first big step of letting go into my dreams of wandering, I would have never found this unexpected great joy of my life. The idea of nearly missing out on this is altogether more scary than all the steps of letting go.)

Meanderings Travels

Revelation in the City

After long days and nights in the wild, I would come to town to stock up on food, etc. (and as always, that important visit to the local coffee shop/bookstore, which is nearly as blissful as being in the woods).

Since living the nomadic life, I’ve often noticed something different whenever I trekked back into civilization: People would look my way warily and give wider berth than usual. But it wasn’t just that -— it was the feeling of at once being invisible and avoided at the same time. As if I was not wanted in their reality.

Initially, I shrugged it off as being a stranger in a strange land. There’s a certain energy that comes from not being of the area you’re in and some folks pick up on that.

One day I looked in a mirror in a public bathroom. The fellow looking back was grungy looking with very unshaven beard, unkempt & wild red hair, and soiled camping clothes. One of the pant legs had a tear partway down.

That’s when it hit me. I looked… homeless. Although not all look this way, I fit the stereotype.

That’s what usually comes from living the full-time camping life — scarce water for bathing, washing clothes, etc. The roughness of the woods making for clothes and skin where dirt is part of the pattern along with holes, rips, and tears here and there.

And here I was in town, unexpectedly steeped into a black hole of invisibility and avoidance by those around me. It was an unsettling feeling.

Now I have an inkling what it’s like for the real homeless out there, falling into a hole of of unwantedness and being cloaked out of people’s realities, sometimes forcibly so.

I admit in the past when I saw a homeless person, I usually didn’t give eye contact and would avoid them so they wouldn’t bother me mostly because I had a very difficult time reading their lips.

I still can’t read many of their lips and I confess to occasionally feeling helpless at this but now I’ll at least look them in the eyes and acknowledge their presence with a nod, letting them know they are seen and therefore not invisible. Often I’ll see old souls lurking within those eyes.

Sometimes I’ll bring them a hot coffee and such. One I gave a ride into town and oh, the stories he told! He was one of the very few whose lips I could read and it was enlightening. He choose that life.

There was this middle aged lady on Main Street near a fancy Sephora type-store sitting on the sidewalk with her backpack. I’d seen her several times before and we’d wave at each other. This time I sat down by her and said “I can’t understand you but I want you to know I see you.” She smiled, did a bit of fake sign language and we laughed. She was grateful, reached out and put her hands over mine as a gesture of thanks. Her hands were so warm, soft, and welcoming. The hands of a grandmother — a fellow human being.

Not everyone chooses to be homeless. For those that didn’t, it’s an unfortunate circumstance that doesn’t lessen their humanity. For those who choose this path (living the nomad life, I can see why) it takes a degree of courage to do so.

Some of the choices made that lead to a life this way might be unsavory to some, but at the end of the day they’re walking their path just as you and I and they’re no less of a soul.