When I started writing this post, it was feeling like a fall day in Mexico City, even though it’s mid-December. The camellon walkway in the center of my street is littered with leaves, and somehow I’m first noticing the trees becoming bare. In the States, this kind of day could even be called Indian summer, the resurgence of warmth after a surprisingly cold spell the past month or so.
I realize I haven’t updated this blog in quite some time, and I am finally feeling the momentum to get this post up before it’s been an entire year since posting! It is surreal these days to be realizing the year is already coming to a close . . . It has gone fast as the years seem to do, and especially since I’ve been busy with lots of new projects and exploring this year! About a month and a half ago I started working at a publishing house here in Mexico City, and I’ve been on a cool, crazy learning curve ever since. My boss is fun and energetic, and the first book I’m publishing is going to be a nature photography book, which I’m excited to be working on. It has definitely gotten me excited to publish a book of my own one of these days!
In other news; we adopted a dog! He is sweet and oh so travieso (Spanish for naughty!). He was a rescue and has some separation anxiety we’re dealing with, some crying when we leave the apartment, to our neighbor’s dismay (if you have any tips on how to deal with anxious dogs, shoot them my way!). Slowly, though, things do seem to be improving as he gets used to his new life with us. We’ve had him for about three months now. His name is Alux, which means cow. Just kidding, it really means “sprite" or "spirit" in Maya. He is definitely a spirited creature, so I think the name fits well. It brings me a lot of joy having this guy around; there is always an excuse to go out for a walk, the motivation to go for a run, or just amble around the dog park, where he can run and play. Alux gets along with all the other dogs, and he loves people, too. He is a really great companion and he just celebrated his one year birthday! We don’t have an exact date for his birthday, but we decided to celebrate it on December 13th. At this point, he’s learned to run and bike with me; he is quite the athlete, in spite of being smaller than the (big) dogs I grew up with.
And of course, I didn’t adopt a dog on my own; I went into it with my partner in crime, Javi, who I met almost exactly one year ago! We’ve had some cool adventures together, from traveling for a week to Costa Rica last April, to moving in together (!) in August, and of course our little Alux. I’m grateful for the support and love he brings to my life! He also taught me to play dominos, which is surprisingly more fun than I initially thought. We laugh.
I was at a bit of a standstill about what I wanted this blog to be, which is part of why I haven’t been updating it much (in addition to be so fricken busy with the freelance life, plus my part-time job in the office). Of course, I initially started it to chronicle my travels. Traveling and writing for me have really gone hand in hand, so that has shifted since I’ve been much more rooted to this place in the past year. I remember arriving how nervous I felt about signing a three-month lease, and now it’s been a year and a half that I’ve been in Mexico City!
Some cool things have come from this site though, like the eight months I spent travel blogging with Goats on the Road, another travel blog who sent me on a trip to New Hampshire and then to China last year to learn and write about traditional Chinese medicine. After a while though, writing blog posts of the Top 10 Places for this, Top 6 Gadgets for That got very tedious, and I started to feel that I was just creating crap content for the internet, which is not at all a goal of mine. And that is definitely not what I want this blog to ever be. I’m still thinking about what to do with it in the New Year. I do want to put up some more information about Mexico City; I’ve been so lucky to have had many wonderful visitors this past year, and I think there is some useful information I can share on here. Plus now I am in Guatemala, so I'll plan on putting up some pictures and stories from this trip. Change and continuity are things that I am always counter-weighing and trying to balance in my life; I suppose the same is true in a way for this site. It definitely rings true as the year is coming to a close: what do we hold onto from the past year and what do we do differently? Whatever is to come, I feel confident and optimistic, about our ability to morph and change and to not take things too seriously.
Back in April though, I knew it was time for a change. I stopped blog writing and began working on a research project that I had been commissioned to do by Buró Buró, about contemporary art and pedagogy. Publication pending! So that was a big part of 2017, and a rewarding project to be involved in. I definitely pushed my comfort zone with this one, researching, interviewing, and writing in Spanish.
My parents also made it to Mexico for a visit this past year, which was another highlight! My mom braved Mexico City for a week and got to see my little home and the life I’ve made for myself there. It was really special to share this chapter of my life with her. A week later, we flew to Cancun where we met my dad, who just joined us for the Yucatan part of the trip. We rented a car and did a little road trip, from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, from the ruins of Coba to the colonial city of Valladolid and then two days in magical island Holbox, that makes you feel you’ve been transported to a pre-car past, where the roads are made of sand. These moments are always a gift.
Going into 2018, I feel optimistic. I feel there is a lot of positive energy around, and new and interesting pathways that are opening. In the coming months, it will be interesting to see which ones materialize and which ones fade away. I am excited about these are new opportunities, and I feel happy to be on a path that is challenging and rewarding. I have learned so much this year, and I am grateful for the journey that this year has been.
Happy New Years everyone! Wishing you all a year of joy and continued adventures.