I didn’t realize I’d lost it, but I feel my sense of wonder restored.
I didn’t realize I needed it (really,) but I’ve gained my balance again.
I didn’t understand how much noise was in my head, until now when I notice the quiet.
I didn’t understand how much I’d missed the feelings of wanderlust, or simple inspiration, but they’re both BACK. And all it took was a couple of days floating and cooking and just plain BEING in Baja.
It wasn’t a trip long planned. It was a trip that came together naturally and quickly; the type of escape that immediately felt perfect and ended up precisely that way. There’s wasn’t much struggle in where to stay – a friend had a great place. There wasn’t much research that needed to be done – another friend, practically a resident – had all the beta we needed. All we needed to do was dedicate the time, pack the bathing suits, and go.
And we did. It was the first time in years that my feet found themselves wiggling into the sand, the first time I’d used the new passport with my new/old name in it. The first time I’d been out of the country since well over a year ago. I haven’t been so long without a ticket out of the country, without the need to navigate a language or translate signs in a market since before college.
The purpose of the trip? (Another friend asked.) To get away. To see a new place. Because we could. And, as the trip went on, I realized the purpose was to regain all of those subtle senses I didn’t know I’d lost.
The past couple of years have been a whirlwind in the least. My husband of 11-years and I parted ways and have started on the new journey of upholding the deep respect and love we have for one another; striving to find a way to care for one another out of wedlock. I had moved out, changed my name, found a new partner, founded a business, left a job, and leapt into a whole new version of myself. And, into a whole new place in the world (having left all of my other places – to feel peaceful, or grounded, or at ease, or at home – behind.) These years have been uncharted territory and I hadn’t stopped at all to take a breath or to process it all. Baja was the place to do that, and it was about time.
I did it by loading up our tiny little rental car with all the mysterious fruits and vegetables I found at the market, leaving my bicycle at home and embracing the daily routines that living on the beach call for. We had the colorful little house all to ourselves, perched at the edge of the ocean in Los Zacatitos. I swam in the morning, paddled before lunch, walked the beach before dinner. Sometimes I reversed it all. We slept outside and watched the stars, woke early and watched the whales playing from bed. I wandered around naked. Appreciated every little cactus alter I found. When breakfast, or lunch, or dinnertime arrived I dove into the bounty I’d picked up and played with simple recipes to craft easy meals (this avocado recipe, included!) we could eat in bathing suits on the patio, watching the birds fly past and the ocean gleam.
My only regret of the trip was that we didn’t have more time to spend, but I have a specific feeling that I’ll be back to this place again. In feeling myself unfolded, I feel how heartbroken I’ve been at the possibility that I wouldn’t find the comfort of “a place away from home,” that makes you feel grounded again. That I’d left behind the wonder, the inspiration and the curiosity in the world, jaded by brokenhearted and homes.
I’ve always known, of course, that places and people and feelings come and go, but its refreshing to feel them coming again, instead of just going. And I just know I’m coming back to Baja.
The images here speak for themselves, outlining my favorite memories and moments of the trip. I can’t wait to get back and make a few more. If you do go, and you make it to the Los Zacatitos side, I strongly suggest you hit up Flora Farms + Los Tamarindos for some retail and farmer’s market therapy. Otherwise, just chill out. We all need it more than we realize.