*** none of these photos are relevant to this blog post, but it's beautiful here, so enjoy!
Since the beginning of Alternative Routes, I’ve debated how personal I want to be in my social media presence. In the age of the selfie, a big part of me is terrified I might get sucked into the narcissistic vortex of the social media circus, but another part of me knows that what makes travelling with Alternative Routes unique, is my ability to be open and share with the people around me. I want to keep that part of this venture real and visible, because really it’s the reason I’m doing all this, travelling and starting AR, to keep sharing unique experiences with interested people.
I wondered if I should share with you my trip to Mexico, and how I could make it relevant to AR’s fans and passengers. Can you believe I almost forgot who you were? I understand now that of course me taking a trip to Mexico is relevant. Because, for the first time in a long time, I remember what it feels like to be a traveller! For too long I’ve been hosting people in the vulnerable position of getting to know a new place without getting away and being in that position myself. This time it’s me that get’s to be blown away by the unfamiliar landscapes, smells and food, and the new palettes of colour, the most beautiful colours! I’ve been reminded of the value of authentic travel experiences and feel more in touch with what it is I set out to do in the beginning.
Wow! Are we lucky people, the one’s who chose to travel. I’m sitting in a blissful daze in my Airbnb in San Cristobal de las Casas, freezing my ass off under a blanket, so happy to be getting some weird sort of vacation from my vacation. Everyone does this right? Takes “me time” in their travels? Time to veg, in whatever form that takes for them, time to process all the new experiences they've had, the people they've met, and the drinks! But only enough time to remember how nice it was to be on the Pacific Ocean playing in the waves drinking Mezcal Margarita’s with the boys back at Puerto Dreams. Making decisions is hard when you travel. There are always so many places to go, so many people talking about beautiful things you need to see, it’s amazing anyone ever gets out the door in the first place.
The good people from Dalhousie’s school of Planning invited me this week to present at their PechaKucha fundraiser, and although I have no idea how I did with my slides and scattered brained chatter (prerecorded from this very same room), I hope that somehow I touched the people there with my desperate rant about how important public transportation to rural places in Nova Scotia is to enhance the cultural experience of this place for everyone. Because of Mexico’s extensive transportation system my trip has been fuller than I ever could have imagined. I’ve travelled to four cities in two weeks with six different modes of transportation, not including the plane that got me here. The options here are so vast, I even met a couple that chartered a plane for a much too reasonable price, and yes, they arrived with all their limbs!
So it seems this working holiday, that was starting to look just like a regular holiday, got me back to my roots. Reminded me of how Alternative Routes came about in the first place. My imagination is running wild, and I’m picturing being in your shoes again, I (almost) can’t wait to get home to plan all the ways how this second summer can be better than the last. And now since I’ve found my roots and vulnerability, I think I will be able to share it with you more sincerely than I would have before, because to me, AR is more than just a shuttle, and it's more than a way to travel, it’s a way of living.