L A N D S END

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”

– WILLIAM S. B U R R O U G H S

I’ve always been one to journey to new places. At times it’s simply exploring a new street in a new part of town, other times it’s an escapade to another country. Maybe it’s the freshness in atmosphere or the mystery of who or what I will encounter. Whatever it may be, I’ve always been one who anticipates the excitement and knowledge that comes with lived experiences; in getting out of the comfort of the expected.

Something is so life giving in opening your eyes and heart to a new culture or way of life. I don’t know why but when I was little, I had a strong desire to be someone else. I even asked my mom to change my name. I know, silly to think about now as I truly love my name (and life for that matter). But at the time, I think this desire was the budding of something innate in me.  My adventurous spirit. Dressing up, role playing, finding common ground in the uncommon, exploring life outside of “home” — These are, and I think will always be, like air to me.

Wanting to understand others (and therefore myself) is something I have become passionate about since moving to the West Coast. I think maybe that’s why I attract such unique personalities and strangers into my life. I’m open to allowing chance encoutners to happen, often impacting me in ways my inner circle cannot. I think part of the allure of such encounters is the impression they can leave within a small fraction of time. That encounter, that moment, is impermanent and therefore special. That essense is what I cherish more than anything else.

Wandering and exploring has been (hands-down) my best teacher. My recent trip to Mexico however brought me some peace of mind with the opportunity re-lay the tracks of learning through inaction. The Taoist concept of Wu-Wei, non-action or effortless doing. Basically I was reminded of my very essence that somehow I strayed from in the process of striving and action.

Finding inspiration and serenity in my surroundings came rushing in again. The peace in ‘the lack’ of action also created a stillness amidst the clatter of spring breakers and weddings. I noticed I moved with more instinct, more purpose, then ever before. Enter the “End of the Earth,” better known as Cabo San Lucas.

One person I met on my Cabo journey was Alfredo, a silver jeweler who makes his living selling jewelry to tourists on the beaches. In his land, he has apparently made a decent name for himself as I learned from a returning customer as I got my henna tattoo. Despite not giving him service that day he still engaged with me and my family. I was drawn to his energy, confidence and white gloves. He was different. He was personable… and he was memorable.

Like all the other sellers, he was dressed in all white. Long pants, long sleeves, eyes shielded by dark sunglasses. His sombrero read “Alfredo” in acrylic red paint along the back rim. His hands were equally shielded by white gloves that notoriously earned him the nickname, “Alfredo White Gloves.” Rather I called him “The White Bandit.”

He had a sort of mystery to him and I enjoyed talking with him, even when he was joking around trying to sell me. I giggled everytime he referred to the men passing as “money bags.” I also admired his inability to hestitate at the opportunity to delight and sway anyone who showed the slightest interest to come chat with him. It was infectious, it got under your skin in the best way. Now I wish I took a photo with him…

Sure there were plenty of brilliant and movie like moments, which I captured. Not to mention amazing family time, which I cherish greatly and keep close to heart. However, when I reflect back on my time spent in Cabo, Alfredo was the most memorable hands down. I mean I can talk about all the things I saw but here I am,  writing about him. I find that amusing. Maybe it was the gloves, his humor, or the fact he took off his glasses after I made my one and only purchase on the island to reveal gentle and kind soft blue eyes.

Life and travel is about connection. It’s about the people. It’s about conversation and finding the common ground. I would be dismayed if I traveled all the way to ‘the end of the world’ and didn’t have a human connection with a local. Alfredo, thanks for reminding me of some simple truths. You are my fondest memory.

WISDOM OF CABO

  1. Life will reveal to you whatever you focus on
  2. Persistence pays off
  3. Worrying cuts you off from peace
  4. Music is the universal language
  5. Inaction is sometimes more productive than action

DO: Bring ear plugs and a high SPF

STAY: The Riu Palace

SAVOUR: The local flavor! Fried plantains and FRESH JUICE were staples in my daily routine. Of course a side of guacamole and chips for breakfast, because why the eff not? Then you gotta have all the seafood for lunch. Stuffed green chillis were a nice indulgence. One of my favorite part of the day was loading a plate of chips with guacamole, pico and washing it down with a Dos Equis on the beach 🙂

MUST TRY: The blended cocktails at the Rui Palace (the Costa Caribe and Passion Dream were my favorites)

FAVORITE MEMORY: (Besides Alfredo), I enjoyed morning workouts with my mom. Having someone to workout with and stay motivated with on vacation is always nice. Also feeling the chilling intensity of the Pacific ocean. Planting my feet firm into wet sand to brace myself for the pounding waves that rolled in and out around my legs. I did that everyday and hope to do it more in Los Angeles.

Where one land ends, another begins,

M