A Travellerspoint blog

December 2014

Nothing changes on New Years Day, or does it?

by Andrea

(photo taken at Cozuma, in a horse-pulled cart on our way to cenotes, w/Jennifer, Jack, and Zoe)
Thank you 2014, and Chinese Year of the Horse for the leaps into new places.
Leaving behind the job that felt too small and worn out,
and wore me down.
Leaving our lovingly-restored Victorian
to a new owner
and galloping into the world only with
backpacks, open minds, and each other.
Leaving family and friends only geographically,
with room for new kindred to enter.
There are new blessings every day
in this nomadic life we have entered:

  • opportunities to see long-time friends in different states and countries
  • the warm, turquoise Caribbean sea
  • a conversation with a kind Puerto Rican on the entire flight from Miami to Puerto Rico
  • experiencing the magic of cenotes
  • kindness and generosity from strangers
  • crossing paths with people who quickly become new friends
  • love and encouragement from near and far
  • meeting cool parents who expose their young kids to world travel
  • yoga in new places
  • invitations to holiday meals and gatherings

(Jennifer, Maria, and me)

Dear 2015,
We hope to see more of the world, in good health and strength. We hope to see more old friends and make more new friends. We hope to learn and grow as we venture forth, and discover our second act.

Dear Friends and Family,
May you spend time each day doing something that matters to you, take a chance on something you want to do in this life, and dream big.

Feliz Año Nuevo y
Vaya con Dios

Posted by woa 14:17 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

The Architecture of Merida pt. 2

Andrea reporting

As we walk the streets of Merida, which are sort of crumbly, we continue to be drawn to the peeling paint colors and old Colonials.
Bougainvilleas flourish here and add such pretty color as they stand tall, or drape over walls. Even though parts of sidewalks are cracked and broken (you have to watch your steps), it's pretty clean overall. Perhaps because there are little trash cans placed all around the city.

And surprisingly, we see many Chevy Sparks every single day here!

I made a collage of sites that caught my eye:


Posted by woa 14:34 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

The Architecture of Merida

George Reporting

View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

There was a request from one of our blog fans for more pics of Merida architecture. It is quite diverse stemming from its varied European influences.

I am posting just a few photos that we've taken but plan on adding more when I get in the habit of taking out my camera!

Enjoy and Feliz Navidad!


Posted by woa 14:35 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Yes, we were kidnapped on the way to the Dentist in Mexico

George Reporting...

sunny 80 °F

large_Merida_door_g.jpgOkay. So I know a few of you warned us of kidnappings in Mexico. And I have been pretty
cavalier about any concerns regarding that possibility. But, believe it or not, we were
victims of a kidnapping right here in Merida, Mexico!!!!

One morning, we set out from our hotel in search of a dentist office because I had lost a filing
in my tooth during our Caribbean cruise. I had been munching on a bagel in Barbados when it happened.
I suppose it's a "pirate thing" to lose teeth now and then so I thought of it as an enhancement
to the pirate-fantasy delirium I was in at the time.

Nonetheless, my wife being the good wife that she is, pressed me to somehow deal with the lost
filing. My dentist in the U.S. emailed me with simple, reassuring advice that I could find
a dentist in Mexico to take care of it. But who would that be? And what would be the cost?

As it so happens, we were on our way to the city of Merida which the Internet states is a well
known city for 'Medical Tourism'. Apparently many Americans travel there to get large dental work
done at the fraction of the cost in the States, unbeknownst to us.

Strangely enough I thought it lucky to have lost my filing and now it was just a matter of finding
a good dentist.
In 10 minutes walking time, we arrived at a dental office just outside the main area but was
disappointed to see that it was closed. "Oh well", I thought. "Let's just walk around this
neighborhood anyway", I said to Andrea. We literally walk perhaps 20 paces, turn a corner and
past an open cafe where two women were speaking. We continued walking down the street a few steps
and I stopped to look at my map when one of the ladies pops out and asks, "Where are you from?"

To make this long story short, we learned she is a Mexican-American originally from Texas who
bought several homes in the area and now works as a property manager, sales manager, tourist guide,
Spanish teacher and potential Merida mayoral candidate. With her whirlwind like demeanor, we soon
found ourselves touring her lovely homes and taken for a ride in her car and shown parts of the city.
When I mentioned my dental needs, she called and made an appointment for me at the "best dentist
in Merida". About an hour later, I was in the dentist chair getting a new filing which cost a
grand total of $37 dollars U.S. I paid with my credit card so I could get the frequent flyer
miles as well! Chew on that for a second! lol

Afterwards, Andrea and I walked back to her house (Maria) and planned to take her and her husband
out to lunch to thank them. Instead, she pulled a "fast one", and made us eat their delicious
lunch they had just prepared.

We talked for awhile and find that Maria has many great contacts in the city and we are grateful
that she will be helping us find a place to stay here for awhile.
Finally, we were "let go" from our kidnapping ordeal which cost us a grand total of $37 dollars
and included free lunch.

So we want to thank those of you who told us to be mindful of the kidnappings in Mexico. We are
more mindful now and hope more kidnappings occur in the near future. :)

Posted by woa 05:40 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

The Only Time in the World

Mayan Architecture and our new Watches

sunny 81 °F
View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

Well I did a pretty good search on the Internet and did not find references to a new theory,
about Time and the El Castillo/Kulkulkan structure, I'm about to put forth here.
Firstly, the importance of 'keeping time' cannot be overstated when traveling. I suppose WE had
been taking it for granted because there were a few days where we had no way to regularly tell
accurate time. This was because I do not wear a watch and Andrea wore one that worked sporadically
due to a dying battery. It occurred to me, quite alarmingly, that we were not efficiently recognizing
what was the actual time. And now we were traveling in such a way that time jumps either an hour ahead
or an hour behind sometimes in the same day.

We resolved to buy new watches while in the Caribbean and found two good solar watches (duty/tax free)
in St. Thomas at an area named 'Little Switzerland'. With a name like that, how can you not find
a good watch?
Of courses when you a buy a new watch you get a booklet with it the size of a King James' Bible.
Then you spend 30 mins figuring out how to set all its features. Also, our new watches are waterproof
so naturally we had to go swimming the Caribbean to see just how so.

We enjoyed our new solar timepieces and felt comfortable that we would not miss anything important.
However, I soon remembered why I didn't like wearing watches in the first place. They mostly
stress me out because I would constantly check the time and start to plan on 'what time' we
would be at someplace/anyplace, and if I didn't get there, based on the time I wanted to be there,
I would begin to feel a little stressed about it. Maybe there is something about 'Time' that
is deeply ingrained in me? I now recall that I had even written a blog post about the Pink
Floyd song 'Time'.

Flash forward several days to standing in front of El Castillo/Kukulkan in Chichen Itza. It's a bright,
warm comfortable afternoon and we are enjoying walking around the ruins at our leisure. There is
no place we need to be at any specific time so we could just walk and learn about the area.
Andrea decides to go look at postcards so I sit on a bench which has the quintessential view of
the famous pyramid. Mostly famous because of the snake-like shadow play that occurs every year
during the Fall and Spring Equinoxes (Youtube it). That is certainly a magical occurrence even
in this day and age so imagine the impact on the population a thousand years ago. No doubt the person, who
could say with absolute certainty, that the "snake will crawl from the sky to the ground on this
day", was perhaps the most powerful person in the Mayan world.
There are other theories about how this huge pyramid was used but they mostly relate to signifying
when it was time to plant seeds or sow vegatables. Theories on how the pyramid is aligned
to the stars and planets seemed mostly a way for the ancients to continue to maintain power over
the people then, and for the new age ministers to do the same to us today.

Anyway, as I sat and stared I began to see the pyramid more as an ancient timepiece. There are
exactly the same # of steps on it as there are days in a year. There are platforms that can
group those days into blocks we call 'months'. And there are stone pieces that jut out of the
staircases that remind me of a sundial. When Andrea returned, I hypothesized that perhaps
the pyramid worked as a daily timepiece too. I could imagine that the Mayan priest/timekeeper
would step out of the top of the pyramid and then gently place a large jade/silver or other
reflective object upon the step marking the correct day of the season. The Sun would rise, striking
the object and people from a far distance could then see which step the light came from and know the
exact date. Walk closer to the pyramid and you could then tell, by the shadow created by the stone
protrustion beside the step, roughly what time of the day it was. Hence, you had exact date
and time at your disposal 1400 years ago.

Ancient people depended on time for reasons not to different from today. And if you really
wanted to know what time it was 1400 years ago in the Yucatan, you just had to come to
Chichen Itza. Perhaps having 'the only time in the world' was what eventually led to its decline?

Hypothesizing is a kick, isn't it? lol

Posted by woa 05:32 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 11) Page [1] 2 3 » Next