If you start to research a trip to Tulum, one of the first set of images that will appear are of the ruins right outside of the city. These are especially striking because they are built right next to the ocean. It's a very beautiful site. Back in the prime of the Mayan empire, the Yucatan held a population of millions of people who built cities, roads (there is a 70km road from Coba to Chichen Itza!), had expansive trade routes, and diligently recorded their history (which was quickly destroyed by Cortez and his posey). Walking through this ghost town felt like an incredible privilege and we wondered what assumptions would be made by the next civilization who finds our ruins.
I was on a plane last week, flying to Chicago for a family event, and I passed this couple in their late 60's who were returning from a vacation in Cancun (I am guessing). We were boarding, they were already seated in first class. The line stopped and so I was standing in front of them, and overheard their conversation. There's no privacy on an airplane, it's a public place, full of potentially observant people looking for something to think about deeply in case there is any turbulence and a distraction is needed.
Sergio is flipping through the in-flight magazine and casually turns to his new fling, a steely azure haired broad, and asks "Betty, have you ever tried Tika Masala?"
"No," she says. "That doesn't sound like something I would like." It's true, that does not sound like something Betty would like. Sergio slides past her answer and says "well, I've made it at home before." Betty says "really?" - her dismay that he might make it again is both wildly apparent and lost on Sergio. He continues to rave about Tika Masala as Betty grows increasingly quiet, not wanting to stoke the ember of conversation into a commitment that she won't keep.
The line moves on. The romance of vacation is over. Decisions will be made about trying a new dish or finding a new dish. I get it. It's tough to change your mind about trying something you have already decided not to enjoy. Because what if you try something new and you're disappointed? Or what if you find that you're not the person you thought you were? This person who now enjoys Indian food, who is she!?
Last week my grandfather, Pop, passed away. He was a month shy of his 97th birthday. He lived through the Great Depression, fought in WWII, built a house in Chicago and raised his family there. He married my grandmother on New Years Eve, just three weeks after after proposing to her and loved her so fiercely. She would have liked Tika Masala. He would have not. She dragged him all over the country to visit new places. Gosh, they had so many friends. It's strange, it feels like a piece of history is gone now. But isn't that true of every life? We carry these stories and experiences with us, our own timelines of history drawing in people we meet and love, marked sometimes by big events in the world and other times by a move or a heartbreak or a romance or a friendship. And then it's gone. Maybe a piece of it remains in the memory of people who are still here, who try to talk to ghosts or spirits, who put up pictures and read old letters, but really...the timeline stops. It might be a basic statement, but I want to have as many good days as possible on my timeline. I want to interact with as many wonderful people as I can and feel love every day. Isn't it just that simple?
We have yet to visit an art museum in Mexico, but I've been finding incredible graffiti and painted murals all over the place. Walking down the street you're likely to see amazing talent displayed on random buildings and brick walls all over every town. Can you even believe this picture below was painted on a wall of an empty building on a small side street? This could have been so easily missed, which is part of the reason I love it.