Monday, October 26, 2009

Not the best pic by far, but the iPhone does enough

Gracias, no

I have never sweat so much on a regular basis in my life. The shade is alright, but the moment you move or step into the sun (which is most of the time), rivulets of sweat running between my boobs. I´m sure I smell fantastic. Hot.

After spending a couple of beach days in Cancun, Sar and I said farewell to our generous Portland friend, Adam, and headed out of tourist central into another one. I was glad to say adios to Cancun, touristy isn´t really my cup of tea. And to be honset, the beach gave me too much time to think. I started missing NYC and my people there a lot. I knew I would feel that, but I was surprised it was so soon. I mean leaving a cold, stressed city for a tropical beach and aqua waters is a pretty good trade off. You´d think I could just let go and appreciate it for two days. Well, lying there, as Sarah was cracking open coconuts like the little monkey she is, I couldn´t stop thinking about all of those people who´d wished me a bon voyage days before. I really can´t stop thinking about all of them, every day.

But here I am and every day I resolve anew to celebrate and take advantage of the time I have here. Getting out of Cancun helped. We arrived at Chichen Itza and had our first cultural experience. To be honest Chichen Itza itself kind of disappointed me. You can no longer climb to the top of El Castillo, due to some American tourist who got themselves hurt. And it´s not IN the jungle like I imagined. Everything had been cleared out. Nevertheless, I have a special affinity for ruins and nothing can conquer that. I just wanted to be AMONGST them. So Sar and I crossed the ropes and snuck into some Mayan ruins. That´s right, we´re rascals. They didn´t have any guards around, they were far too trusting.

That night we ended up in Valladolid, a smallish town about 40 km from Chichen Itza. And surprise, surprise, the one and only hostel has vanished since the Lonely Planet Guide was published. A helpful Californian turned Mexican told us to seek out Antonio Aguilar (former baseball legend?) who owned a lot of rooms in town. We saw another backpacker headed towards the hostel, scooped him up, and we all three ended up sharing a sketchy room a few blocks away. I liked Valladolid, much more than Cancun! We had our first authentic Mexican food, did not get sick, and learned something about Poland from Milosz (fellow backpacker), as well as Guatemala, where he´d been living for 4 months. I´ve got to say, very unusual day. And very pretty town.

Sar and I have been sticking with bread and cheese and apple for lunch, something else simple from the grocery store for dinner. And trail mix. I can´t wait to get out of Mexico, which is kind of expensive for our budget, to start eating more authentic food. And more interesting food.

Yesterday we ended up in Tulum for more ruins. SO GORGEOUS. The ruins are right on the ocean, it was a trade city and a fortress, and the setting is seriously unbelievable. That may be the most beautiful beach I ever see. We headed towards the Cabanas for our sleeping arrangements, Cabanas are those grass huts on the beach. Um, I really can´t believe how beautiful and peaceful those arrangements were. We had bought a couple of hammocks to hang, and since it was cheaper we decided to just hang them from the trees on the beach and keep our packs in reception. Sleeping under the trees and stars while being lulled by aqua waves? DREAMY. A chill wind and rain during the night? Not so much. But man was that beach beautiful. The sand around here is PERFECT sand. Sar and I went nightswimming and laid beneath the stars with a couple of friends she had picked up, playing the drums and conch. And then we crashed that friend´s cabana in the middle of the night when the cold and rain started. Well, it was good while it lasted. I could have stayed there another day, but circumstances as they were we had to head out this morning. We were fighting almost the whole time there so I didn´t take any pictures, which is kind of stupid, but I didnt want to remember this as the place the shit hit the fan.

We were going to take an overnight bus to Palenque tonight, some ruins I think I would FALL IN LOVE WITH. But the night bus is $50, a little steep, so I think we´re going to have to skip it. I´m pretty disappointed.

So far things have been up and down. We´re both pretty tan from all of our sunbathing, we´ve seen some unbelievable sights and taken some great pictures. And we`ve had a couple of fights. Yup, inevitable, though I didn´t expect it quite so soon. Some fundamental differences in our natures. But we´ll get over it, we have to.

I still can´t quite believe I´m here, that we actually pulled it off. And I forgot how lonely traveling can be.

Everyone´s really friendly, and I really wish I spoke spanish.

On to Belize!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Sarah and I are safe and sound in The Nest hostel in downtown Cancun.
We have enjoyed a couple of beach days to get back to our full-rested
selves after our packed last week or two in NYC. Adam, a nice guy from
Portland we met at the airport, has joined us as well, first in the
Hotel Zone, and then at Isla de Mujeres (Island of the Women). More
details shortly, but I'm writing this on my precious precious iPhone
and it's pretty tedious. Suffice it to say, the sea here is blue like
someone poured Kool-Aid into it, but I am ready to flee this tourist
city! Tomorrow: the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza! Field day for
the photographer in me!

I can't believe how much I moss NYC!

Love, Laura

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On the cusp of my Walkabout

Here we are. Morning of. I got 2 hours of sleep last night (predictable), and I'm heading to therapy in a few minutes for my goodbye session.

And I just needed to say, I am such a lucky girl. The last week has been filled with activity: finishing up the job, purchasing my last items for the trip, keeping up with the gym, etc. And all the cracks were filled in with people I love taking me out for farewell coffee/lunch/drink/... I had a small party, and I was overwhelmed by how many people gathered to say goodbye. And these last conversations with dear friends have been precious. It makes me not want to go! I have such a support system here. Honestly, it takes my breath away.

Friday, October 16, 2009

For the newbies:

For any new visitors to the site, here are a few important early posts:

Though of course I encourage you to peruse the archives.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

planning and executing these things is rough, guys. Just so you know. Especially when you don't have a lot of money.

I am putting this out into the universe: money will come through, I will have enough!

Trying to keep Cancun's beach in mind.

Monday, October 12, 2009

shot in the heart

Aaah, immunizations. Something we (I) have been putting off since the beginning of this crazy plan. What can I say, I have an irrational aversion to needles. If I see a needle, especially if it's coming towards me, I will cry. This isn't an emotional thing, and I know very well that the shot isn't really going to hurt. Tears just come out of my eyes. I can't help it. And yes, it's pretty embarrassing.

Not to mention costly. Yikes. Sarah and I called around to some Travel Health Clinics in NYC and in asking for budget-friendly options, an extremely helpful nurse pointed me in the direction of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. They are New York City's only primary health care center dedicated to meeting the health needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities and people living with HIV/AIDS-- regardless of any patient's ability to pay. They are welcoming to all, regardless of sexual orientation or insurance coverage. (Perfect for Sarah and myself, two of many of the insurance-less in America.) And they could give us most of our immunizations for less than your average travel clinic. Score.

They were such a pleasure to work with from beginning to end. From scheduling to rescheduling to popping me into recently cancelled appointments. In everyone's greeting and demeanor at the office. In the nurse's willingness to call several different people trying to give me a cost estimate before I committed to the immunizations. To promising me multiple times that if I couldn't pay, they wouldn't make me. They give health care no matter what the financial situation is. (Of course I wouldn't want to take advantage of that, but how amazing are these people?!) Everything moved along amazingly efficiently, and I could just tell that the people that work there are generally happy, and happy in what they are doing for the people of NY. The clinic is clean and bright, in Chelsea. A complete delight, through and through.

When I am rich, I am donating money to them. Period.

They immunized me against Hep A, Hep B, and Tetanus. I decided against Meningitis because it's pretty expensive, so here's hoping I don't get that (it is deadly).

Tomorrow: Flu at Walgreens.

Wednesday: Yellow Fever and Typhoid at Mt. Sinai.

Next week: starting our daily course of doxycycline for the prevention of malaria.

Thank you Callen-Lorde. Thank you modern medicine.

And not one tear this time.

Cheers, Laura

Monday, October 5, 2009


One of my many goals for this trip is to develop my photography skills. I am going to great pains to lug my big ass camera around with me. I added a link to my Flickr page in the sidebar, please visit. In flipping through the archives on my computer, I rediscovered this shot from a trip to Scotland I took 4 or some years ago. I like it. It was the weirdest twilight hour on a tiny island only reachable at low tide.

Cheers, Laura