I’ve been in a period of transition recently, so it's felt like a natural time to try out some new things, one of which is slowing down. I think a lot of travelers have been through this kind of shift, especially when traveling becomes more of a permanent lifestyle as opposed to just a quick trip to a new place. For me, this change has been a gradual, if conscious choice as I started longing for more of a home-base and the stability it offers.
Slowing down is beautiful because it allows you to get on intimate terms with a place. You can make lasting friendships, really learn the language, feel the textures and rhythms of a place and live so fully even as you’re on the road. For me, this has meant that while I’m learning to speak Spanish more fluently in general, I’m also learning a specifically Mexican, chilango Spanish. It’s colorful, gritty and so playful. I've been getting to know the university, taking a few classes and even doing real-life stuff like going to the dentist!
I’ve also been enjoying the way I’m able to spend my energy in different ways, since I’m not tiring myself out with long bus trajectories, or always worrying about where I’ll sleep and finding a place to eat. Instead, I get to play with living like a local, exploring the myriad of local markets, and cooking, really enjoying being able to prepare my own meals with fresh, local ingredients. I don’t know if you can fully appreciate the beauty of having a kitchen until you’ve been without one for months. Such a luxury. It’s also part of a desire to work more on my creative projects; being on the road is a constant stream of inspiration, but it’s really hard to find the time to sit down and write so I’m working on finding balance. Living in one place, I’m hoping to create new routines and have more time to write and work on new projects.
So when Mexico City started calling to me, I came. It’s intimidatingly large, but the little neighborhoods outside of the center of the city offer calm, each with their own quirky personalities. These are the little details I’m discovering and delighting in now.