Oh, my Lovers… I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. It would seem that for the first time, I have lied to you. Not intentionally, of course… I would never betray you like that. But I had previously promised posts on New Zealand and BA, and, well, my faithful, that is just not going to happen.
After my last post, a fellow Earhart reached out and told me it was a good read – and asked me if I knew why. I had an inkling, but I asked him to share just the same. This particular individual and I had previously discussed my disgust with some of my previous posts – they didn’t possess my usual energy, my style of reminisce, my passion for the the journey and the desire to share it with you. I got behind and felt obligated to rush it, to catch you up, at it was more of a chore than a labor of Love. Anywho, his reply to me was “Because you’re writing about what’s important to you and it shows, not just breezing through what happened to stay caught up”.
He’s 100% correct, and you deserve better. You’ll not get a post about New Zealand, my Lovers. I was already hesitant to write the post… NZ was such an epic journey, an experience of a lifetime, a journey into a new world, a two week adventure with some of my favorite souls….. I tortured myself for not wanting to write to you about it… but I want to keep NZ for me. I hold the trip so near and dear to my heart that I could never do it justice with words, and a half hearted, forced post would just diminish the most amazing two weeks of my life. So, I’m being stingy. NZ is mine. You can’t have it. Sorry, not sorry.
As for BA – arriving late, severe jet lag, a skydiving back injury, being away for my nephew’s birthday and the holidays all topped with the impending departure of my best mate Kis made BA a very tough month for me. The good moments of that month are limited to Slack jaw competitions on the rooftop, sunrise at a club that didn’t get hopping until 4am and a farewell go kart race for the ages. We spent Christmas in the parque, attended an epic drum concert, and I sacrificed a night of sleep to catch up with My Saving Grace on her way through to Cordoba. There was steak and Malbec… everywhere… and I even found a bar with Bulliet Bourbon (no rye though).
Cue Cordoba. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the glorious parts of this lifestyle is the fresh start you get every 4-5 weeks. I had convinced Kis to come spend NYE with us before jetting back to his honey empire, and My Saving Grace was awaiting my arrival so that we could begin and end 2017 together. It was a rocky start after aforementioned Bulliet contributed to a missed flight, but I arrived in the capital city of Argentina and kicked it off with a stroll around the university town with MSG. I had heard a lot about Cordoba, and most of it not good…. opt out, they said…. boring city, not much to do… our expectations coming from KL and BA had been prepped for a “sleepy town”….. but Cordoba stole my heart from second one with it’s tree line boulevards, expansive parques and friendly nature. I was in love – it felt a lot like Birmingham. A college town, big enough to have everything you need, but not so big it is overwhelming. The weather was pleasantly mild (this would change), and the people were as nice as they could be – especially considering my extremely limited Spanish. There were fountains. There were squares. Couples danced on corners. How could you not love this place?
The Earhart crew arrived a day after I did, and we set to preparing a NYE feast. After months of hot plates and microwaves (sometimes), we were treated to full kitchens in our spaces and we set to making use of them with an Italian NYE. The Remote Yogi made Vegan Pesto, Starbucks whipped up his carbonara, and I committed much more time than I anticipated to my dad’s famous meatballs and my lasagna – but it was all worth it to see the look on my fellow Harts faces as they lined up to devour the goods. Around 10pm, we started a round of toasts that went well past midnight – there wasn’t a soul that didn’t participate in one form or fashion, even if it was only to raise a glass, shed a tear, or utter a laugh as we all recounted the past 7 months and planned for the rest of our lives as a tramily. It was a moment you had to be in to truly understand, but hopefully you get the idea.
I spent the next day or so exploring with MSG, saying my see you later to Kis, and settling into the Cordobese lifestyle. It wasn’t the hustle and bustle of what we were used to. It was mornings of CrossFit.. dinners at home… days in a workspace with expansive windows displaying the cathedral Iglesias de Sagrado Corazon de Jesus… Tupperware club…. weekends at the river… the most normal of “normal” lifestyle I’ve experienced since leaving for Remote Year. In the realm of #newnormal, we mountain biked through the Sierras chicas and hiked to a waterfall fed swimming hole…. we learned how to make empanadas…. twice. We drank Fernet and Coke from plastic bottles with the neck cut off. The steak…. some of the best steak I’ve ever had in my life…. so tender, so juicy… from the corner market.. and costing less than $5 per portion. Oh, and it took me four attempts, but I mastered eyeballing homemade chocolate chip cookies.
While there isn’t much to report on the super exciting from from Cordoba, I can report that I am continuing to shock and amaze myself at my own potential – and in that same tone, the love and support from the community around me that facilitates this growth. I’ve accepted that I’m human and I have feelings, and I’ve accepted the fact that the possession of such feelings is not a weakness. I’ve made a move professionally that I never would have had the stones to make a year ago. All things made possible by the community of fantastic souls that I surround myself with on a daily basis. Amazing humans that push me to be better… or just to be the me that I’ve always been and never had the courage to embraced. A caring, brave soul… a bad ass professionally… a leader of my life if I would only get out of my own way. “Vincit qui se vincit” has always been one of my favorite quotes – the translation literally is “(S)He conquers twice who conquers him(her)self when he(she) is victorious – the popular interpretation is to stay humble in victory – don’t be arrogant, smug or cruel – I like to think of this as a broader theory that you are your biggest obstacle – or maybe more so your pride. Humility serves us all. Don’t believe me? Travel the world for eight months with 40 beautiful souls and I dare you to not have it change you for the better.