I’m nomadic by nature but strive to travel for a purpose. Writing and taking pictures as a job blurs the line between work and play, but still, I tend to stay busy in far away places. By contrast, this last week in Mexico was down time. Me time. As it turns out, learning time.
I was there for a very small wedding of two good friends, in a tiny town of old homes and a few fancy houses built by California surfers.
It felt a bit ironic, as a decade-long relationship of mine recently came to a close. What I did not anticipate about this trip was how much time I’d spend in my head meditating on life and work and how love might function within it. When the water was clean, I surfed, forgetting my thoughts. But when I wasn’t surfing, I had a lot of time to think, mostly in a hammock staring at the ocean. It was hard; tearful at times. Not because I was watching new love pledge togetherness, but more because I was thinking about a past love. Far away, even with such vast space and peace, you still can’t always find the answers. Sometimes there simply aren’t any.
Love makes you think about dying alone. Silent breakfasts on Sunday morning. What you’re going to give in this life and what this life is going to give, in return, to you.
It’s complex for a wanderer like me; I’d need someone who shares my lust for adventure, my love for empirical experiences that challenge the very foundation of what we think we know about human nature. My mother tells me that I have to drop ‘I am what I do’, but I can’t. When the dust settles, all you really are is the sum total of your deeds in life. I believe nature really is that simple.
At the crux of this, for me, is a lifelong goal to sail around the world and document the cultures and people I meet. It’s something I’m currently doing. I’d love to share it with someone, a friend who shares my endless love of and fascination for the ocean. Isn’t that what we all want? These kinds of connections are rare, but sometimes you find them when you choose to take the offbeat path of your heart. You find others like yourself, who have committed to a life less ordinary. This is my tribe.
And we learn, too, that it is possible to love someone thoroughly yet realize that togetherness simply isn’t going to work. Paths cross, and lives connect, but our tribes pull.
Mexico, your hammocks and salty breezes brought me back to my true self. And sometimes losing love is a necessary step towards the path to personal discovery. And that’s a brutal fact.