I only have five days left in Mexico. This fact hit me out of the blue, and like a ton of bricks. I am sad. I am not sure I want to leave. And I am suddenly almost paralyzed, with the thought that my life will be oh so normal again, in just a few short days.
The first time I ever traveled, was with two people I still consider to be two of my best of friends, Dannie and Leah. We met at the concourse of DIA in 2001, and flew to Paris together. On the airplane, we stole drinks from the stewardess, since we were not yet 21. We got good and drunk on that plane, and were pretty inseparable for the following month.
We would try to be normal during the day. We tried to go to our art classes. We went on every organized tour, and to every museum. I took tons of photos. And by tons, I mean like 12 rolls of 24 exposures, because I still shot film, and film is expensive.
As soon as the sun would set, we would hit the town. Sometimes out taking photographs, but more often just enjoying the drinking laws in France. We would close down bars. We would wander the streets, making rubbings on the concrete. We would watch the sunrise. We would get into trouble the next morning, for being too loud, too late.
I fell in love with France. I fell in love with the idea that one could actually get paid to wander the streets of foreign cities, take photographs, and make a living doing so. It was all I wanted to do.
Life at 35 looks a lot different than what I had imagined at 20. I love my job. I love my school. I love my little condo in cap hill. But all this time in Mexico, has made me wonder- did I just give up on that 20 year old, who dreamed of a life made of new foreign places, of waking up each morning excited to pick up her camera and roam the streets? Did I accept second place- a life where I work two jobs so that I can afford to indulge my wanderlust each summer? Is it crazy to think that a life as a travel photographer/ writer/ blogger/vagabond is even possible?
A week left in Mexico has forced a bit of uncomfortable evaluation of these things. These questions made me a bit of an emotional wreck. I spent my days wandering the river, exploring museums, and just sitting in parks, observing the people around me.
Orizaba's slogan is a "magic town". I truly believe that.
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I'm Lauri. Teacher for nine months of the year, vagabond for the other three. I've traveled to France, Russia, West Africa, SE Asia and all over the US. This summer I'll be driving to Mexico with my little dog, Nilo.