Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Shared a cab back to the ferry with 2 guys from Minnesota. 80 pesos. One’s sister lives here. He says he’s going to move here next year. Tired of Minnesota winters. Noticed gas was $23.35 per liter. Couldn’t do the conversion off the top of my head. There are so many conversions I do daily. Celsius to Fahrenheit. Pesos to USD. Spanish to English. English to Spanish. We talked about how our government is useless and agreed it seemed the only way to solve it is to leave. I wish I had met them on my way into town. They would’ve been fun to hang out with when I was feeling well.
12 minutes early for the ferry. Should make it to the airport by about 10:30am. Have 200 pesos left and just now realized that would not be enough for my taxi to the airport. The taxi to the ferry was $150 pesos but that was from the bus station. The airport is much farther. On the ferry, I scoped out people I might approach to share a taxi. Unfortunately, the best couple had 5 large pieces of luggage and somehow got off the ferry before me and my 2 small items.
Not wanting to delay my arrival to the airport, I got a taxi for $65 USD. I had planned 4 hours at the airport since I needed to get my Covid test, and I had to go through regular security with all the other schmucks. There were at least 50 people were in front of me in the Covid test line. I noticed a lady ahead of me with a Pabst Blue Ribbon tattoo adorned with flowers.
I mostly avoided everyone in line because everyone is stressed about the long line, and panicking about missing their flights. Let’s be honest, stress does not bring out the best in Americans. A party ahead of me complained about how their Covid tests from 48 hours ago weren’t valid. They shouted and argued with the airport staff, but the Mexican airport staff has no authority to influence US regulations. It’s always the Americans that have to cause a scene. I’m reminded why I can’t stand our individualistic, entitled culture and I’m embarrassed anytime I have to tell people that’s where I’m from.
After about an hour the rational lady directly in front of me started up a conversation with me. I didn’t really understand her family’s travel woes. They just kept running back and forth to the WestJet counter and the Frontier counter, one of them always staying back to hold their place in line. If they couldn’t make their WestJet flight to Toronto then they had to fly Frontier to Buffalo which is why they were in line for the Covid test.
We shared stories about our travels around Mexico and how wonderful they each were. She stated how safe she felt in Mexico, the safest she’s felt anywhere. I couldn’t agree more. This must be how it feels to be a man. Eventually, they left the line because they were going to try to fly standby to Toronto, eliminating the need for the US-mandated Covid test.
After 2 hours in line, I got my test. There was one person checking people in, one person conducting the test, and one person determining results. The check-in man spelled my middle name incorrectly. I pointed it out immediately. After I got my test, I asked him about the mistake a second time. He indicated on my email results it would be spelled correctly. Let’s hope he’s right. I went over to the Frontier line to get my boarding pass.
I waited in line for 8 minutes. My Covid results came in 7. Negative. Still has the spelling error. My passport number is correct though. The gate agent accepted my test without question. Onward to security. Surprisingly I ran into the same family that I talked to in the Covid test line. We exchanged another hello/goodbye. I hope they are able to get the flight they wanted.
Now on my way home, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. Even though this is the life I’ve intentionally been building for years, I still feel so fortunate to get to do this. The woman from the Covid test line kept telling me I was an inspiration. I really don’t think so. Anyone can do this if they want to. I am not special. It’s just easier to live a homogenous life just like everyone else. There’s no fear of judgment and much less risk to do the same thing everyone else does. I just don’t want a life that bland.
I am lucky to have friends who encouraged me to take this trip. I had dismissed the notion of traveling this winter because of fears over my income. After talking with them and sharing figures, they helped me see I was being irrational. Money is a funny thing. While I’ve always been motivated to have financial security, I rarely feel I have enough. When I reach a goal, I move the goalposts. Working towards a mindset of abundance is a challenge for me.
I also feel lucky that I understand I am in the driver’s seat of my life. It’s no longer a treadmill of checking off accomplishments set forth by others. Ever since I quit my corporate job, I have more of a sense of ownership over my life. If I am unhappy, I can change that. If I want to try something new, I do it. I do not worry about who others think I am supposed to be or what I’m supposed to be doing. My life is mine.
This trip has been a resounding success. Even with 2 small bouts of food/water poisoning, poor Spanish, cold showers, too many ants, and a bum toe, I leave encouraged. Traveling has such a profound impact. There are no filters, angles or spins. It’s just that place and those people in their raw form. And the people are often the best part. Many others helped make this a wonderful experience. I am grateful for all of them.
If you’ve read along throughout, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. But more importantly, I hope you travel!