Friends in Far Away Places
The memories of the people I met a while back while on vacation still play over and over in my mind. If you read my last article, you’ll know that I went on a solo vacay to Mexico and I loved every friend-making memory of it! I met about 5 or 6 new people that I absolutely loved talking to while I was there. If you’ve ever heard of all the famous people that fly in and out and enjoy their vacations in Cabo San Lucas, you know that it can be a very popular place to be. But I wouldn’t trade any of the talks I had with my new hard working Mexican friends living day by day, making a peso here and there. These people have great stories and have wonderful lives just like anybody else. So when I hear stories on the news about how us Americans should stay out of Mexico it kind of saddens me because they are people trying to make a buck just like me and you. And us, as tourists are the one helping them put bread and butter on their tables at night.
Without telling all of their life’s story, I met a few that told me tales of their marriages, how they didn’t last and how they later divorced yet have children in the states that they send money to. I met one gentlemen that I will never forget that was from Veracruz. He seemed to have lived a full life. Married, had two daughters, divorced and now pays money to the ex to help support the children. And now at age 53 he takes me back with him and tells of the vigorous life he had in his early 20′s and 30′s consisting of being a horse jockey, flying helicopters and living in Italy at some point. Making money and blowing it just as easily as he made it. I asked him if he regretted living such a fast yet wonderful life in the beginning and now somewhat forced to work in his later years. He tells me that it is what it is. He did what he did and now he’s where he is in life. He wouldn’t take any of it back for nothing. I got his point. And from the excitement and his expressions as he shared his stories with me I could see that he probably had a wonderful time. But the planner in me can’t fathom living a life that is so whimsical and unplanned. I constantly worry about my next step and how it will be protected so in a medium-sized way I envy those that can let the wind take them where they may firmly plant their feet next until the next wind blows.
At times I regret not taking photos of all my temporary friends I found a pleasure in talking with. I felt as though taking a picture of them would be too touristy. But in my regret I think next time will be chock full of pictures. I still see them in my mind but soon enough the laugh lines and hand gestures that I have memorized will fade and I will only remember haunting silhouetted blurs of them in my mind. Or perhaps only remember certain details of them that were prominent. But I shall never forget my friend that I met last year. This time seeing him, he took me everywhere. I saw areas that I hadn’t seen before. He took me down avenues I would have never thought to have taken that landed me to familiar places that I had been before. He tells me one day that we would go snorkeling. “Snorkeling?”, I say, “but I can’t swim.” He said we would try it anyway. With a half joking tone I told him we will try it only if he saves me from death’s cold grip if things go awry. But in order to get to the area to snorkel we had to climb this I don’t know how many foot mountain. I call it a mountain but I really don’t know if it’s a large hill or just the stairway to heaven. I don’t know but it’s tall. And once I saw it, I thought, you gotta be kidding me. Dying on a mountain and later drowning in the ocean was not how I thought I was going to spend my vacay. You can breathe a sigh of relief because we didn’t snorkel. At this time of year the water is a bit too cold for my liking. But the journey up the mountain was still to come. I’m pretty tom-boyish in nature. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a girly girl but I do love being rough and proving I can do anything a man can do (to a certain extent though.) My friend was even impressed with my boyish behavior. But of course being the gentleman he was he would lend a helping palm out to me when he thought I needed it. Until finally I replied to his gentlemanly gesture, “I don’t need your stinking hand. I’m a woman.” He laughed at my verbal roughness and we made it successfully to the top. And it was wonderful. The sights looking down were great. I’m no fool, I did get pics of that. And really the point of my story is the fact that having been through that with him I definitely call him friend. A trust was forged that day. I would trust him any day of the week. He guided me down the right path, protected me from harm and made me laugh along the way. What qualities do you look for in a friend? I’d say that’s pretty close to the definition.
I have always made friends wherever I have gone. Whether it be Kindergarten or my first day on the job, making friends has just been a talentless gift that I have always possessed. So why should making friends across the ocean be any different? I even became acquainted with an expat from New York. She’s been living there for 16 years and has loved the lifestyle that she leads in Cabo San Lucas. She does confide in me that there are things she misses. Grandchildren that she wishes to see but overall she is happy. It was a pleasure exchanging thoughts and ideas with her that could someday be valuable to me in the future when I make my move there. It’s okay to lend an ear to a stranger. It’s okay to call someone else brother. We all are similar in nature as well as different. It’s our differences that makes us interesting and brings us closer. I don’t mind making new friends even if I they are temporary. I hope to see everyone that I met this past visit again someday. Even if I do later in years and they actually remember me, we would still shoot the breeze as we did. And if I don’t, they have still enriched my life and my way of thinking no matter how minute.