planning our return to the road
Our conversations have been really interesting over the last week or two. We are trying to figure out the best timing for a return to costa rica to pickup the bus and as expected, it ruffles up any number of conversations related to short and long term plans. We know that the sooner we leave the more time we have...to enjoy the trip, for the bus to break down, for whatever might come our way. But all those things that brought us to portland keep making us want to push off into the new year. Holidays with friends and family, continuing to work with our new group of zenbox clients, the next set of projects on the house/yard- all make it easy to picture staying longer even though we should have bought our one way flights weeks ago.
There's also much planning to be done before we take off, which is a bit intimidating. Moving out of our house has become second nature (in fact we're killing time away from home as i type), but planning a 2 month drive home- thats a whole different story. There are documents to get in order, arrangements to be made etc...and its a world away from where our hearts and brains have been.
Just yesterday as we were leaving a friends' house (one of our homes away from home while we have airbnb guests), the lady who occasionally cleans the house was telling us how she planned to return to mexico to be with her family. We were immediately elated for her, but soon realized she was fearful and hesitant because of how "dangerous mexico is right now". She proceeded to tell us about how her nephew had been kidnapped last week and of all the troubles she hears of back home in "all of mexico".
Wow. We still get questions about what it was like to drive through mexico, or if we would do it again- but it always hits us on a deeper lever coming from a local. This conversation was a stark reminder for me of all the warnings and fears that we faced from everyone before leaving for our last trip. Conversations we hadn't counted on having to have again.
These conversations are never easy, especially when we're talking about someone's home (rather than say, one of our family members talking about a friend of a friend whose uncle told them a story about something that happened to a nephew's brother's friend once in mexico) but we still take her story with a grain of salt. Everyone is afraid of what they don't know or cannot see.
Everyone in the states said we were crazy to go to mexico. The people of baja warned us not to go to mainland mexico. Those on the mainland warned us not to go to baja. Every country in central america warned us not to go to every other country in central america...and yet in all of the above we continued to feel more comfortable and safe than in many places back in the states. Certainly I'm not saying risks don't exist. There are problems in mexico. We could become a news story in one of these countries if unfortunate timing occurs...but we could just as easily become one tomorrow driving the interstate home to portland.
For us, we don't even need to have a conversation to decide whether the risk is worth it to drive home tomorrow, nor have we felt the need to discuss driving back through mexico and central america. Timing and logistics conversations however...those we talk about in great detail.
We spent a night in Issaquah with Tad and Gaila, friends we met on the road during the maya rally. It was a good reminder of why we should be excited to return. Conversations about things we saw en route, things we learned and the good we did along the way. These were just the reminders needed to start building my excitement. It was also awesome to talk and catch up with them about current events, the struggle to get by in "normal life" here after making the leap; and the big/exciting things they have underway (including starting a shared housing community for moto travelers. Check it out if you travel at all by motorcycle).
It was an interesting chance to get to know better them under normal cIrcumstances (since we had only known them while living in a vehicle and talking about life plans in a pool in el salvador). We continue to have much in common and could connect for days if we had the time... and it's a clear reminder to us how much everyone that takes this kind of trip, or any kind of leap from the norm is profoundly impacted in all phases of life after they return.
We share some home brewed beans in the morning (tad's become quite the coffee roaster) and then head back south to portland for a special birthday before moving further on to wine country for a few more days away from home. Having an AirBnB guest requires more planning in the winter...