Our quick 4 day trip north to explore while our bus got a quick four day head retooling has turned out slightly different than we had imagined it.
Our four days has already become 10 and we know we wont see the bus again for another 6 (at least). The bus itself is still without engine and the head is in transit to Oaxaca city for further work. I cant really tell you what has been or is currently being done, because we cant understand our mechanic. Hilariously, while we are fully confident he’s the right guy (within a few days’ drive) for the job, and our spanish seems good enough to manage almost every conversation we find our selves in- neither of us can communicate with our mechanic. That was true when we were in person, and it’s proven far worse by phone/skype. In the last few days we’ve taken to finding some overly generous soul that speaks both spanish and english and convincing them to call our mechanic to get the most recent details for us, let him know we cant yet return and find out that he isn’t ready for us anyway… communication at its finest. We keep picturing ourselves having gone back to the shop a week ago only to have found out that the work wasn’t finished and wondering whether we would now be sleeping out back with the chickens or if he would make one of the kids move so we could have a spare room.
Luckily, Karma in her infinite wisdom knew that bus wouldn’t be ready and came up with diversionary tactics to keep us busy. We appreciate her thoughts but aren’t fans of her chosen method. As most of you know, our days here so far were spent sitting inside our rented room between vet visits, staring at karma and stressed out about her health and well being. Luckily, we feel confident that part of our trip is behind us. Karma has been eating on her own and as i write this is even getting to the point where she’s keeping the meds down. Hopefully within a few days she’ll be healthy enough that we can begin the treatment for Ehrlichia (tick-borne disease) and contemplate getting back to the bus within the week. We now know far more about dog illnesses and treatments than i ever thought we would. I can honestly say that (much like when you yourself are ill in a foreign country) you shouldn’t get online to try to find out what is wrong. It only scares the shit out of you and makes things worse…
Had we known this little trip would be extended, we might have packed slightly differently. I might have grabbed more than two pair of shorts and jen likely would have at least stuffed the coffee press in the bag. We packed our single Trader Joe’s bag for a weekend, not a half month. We feel pretty remote without the bus (our home) or any of our stuff but it’s also been an interesting period of time for us. In between the vet visits and medication routine we have had a huge amount of downtime where we try to distract ourselves from thinking about the dog, especially when things weren’t going well.
We filled a lot of that time with trying to figure out our lives, or at least what/where is next. We have really enjoyed being in one place for a while, even if we don’t have any of our things and the stay was a bit eventful in all the wrong ways. I think we are both becoming aware that while travel was the image of freedom that we used to keep ourselves going early on, it isn’t the personification of said freedom that we choose forever. Yes, we love what’s happening right now and will always love travel, but we also long for other things. Family and friends, a place to call home, space to be creative and entrepreneurial. As wonderful as our lives are during this adventure, those things are all missing. We feel their absence and talk/dream of ways to mesh missing pieces of our old life with pieces of our new one.
We realized yesterday before going to the vet that we were almost disappointed to go back to the bus and hit the road. The only of the above items that we gain here is staying in one location (and maybe the dream of an entrepreneurial leap at some point in the future). We have no home, none of our belongings, friends or family…yet its still been a nice break from things. A nice chance to look at things from a different angle.
That realization combined with the fact we no longer have to focus all our energy on the dog, has prompted us into even more discussions. Discussions about what our plans are, what/where our perfect life would be…as if we weren’t having enough of those already. We haven’t lost our drive to explore, but we are also painfully aware that we are burning through money that will eventually run out and leave us needing an answer. Do we travel until all our money is gone and then return to society (hopefully a bit wiser and more centered than before we left) or do we make another leap and use most/the remainder of our savings to try and find another path? To start something on our own that excites us and fuels us in the way that the travel and exploration does? Is there a path ahead of us that we haven’t yet stumbled upon?
We have no answers to any of these questions, but are realizing that some of the possibilities are just as exciting as the travel to us. Sadly none of them (that we have imagined yet) answer all needs at one time, and most of them have a startup cost that we can’t afford…but we are learning tons about ourselves from the conversation.
Thanks Karma, for the opportunity to dive into deep reflective time…but mostly thanks for starting to get better.