CDMX Part Cuatro: The Final Chapter

Here we are my Lovers. The final week of the adventure that was Remote Year Earhart. 51 weeks. 7 days shy of a full rotation of the earth that I spent circling it with 50 47 42 39 35 32 of some of the most quality humans I ever met in my life. Earharts. Braveharts. Danceharts. My Harts.

With most of my core group still business retreating it up, I took Monday to spend some time with the ladies in RY that mean so much to me. It started with a bistro lunch work date with the Dinster where we talked life after RY over a bottle of Beaujolais. Later I cheffed it up for my Medellin roomies, SaraBear and Kiminy, along with Kellz Bells and Momma Gorks. I threw together my signature roast chicken with some mashed potatoes laced with ooey gooey Oaxacan cheese while we sat in their kitchen indulging in wine and memories. I’ve always been a guys girl, but the last 51 weeks had taught me that there are amazing women in my life, and all I have to do is trust them enough to let them and the result is life long relationships with strong, beautiful, caring ladies who empower and enlighten me. I’m so grateful to those on RY that pushed me to tear down that wall, my distrust of female figures, because it led me to the friendships I had in that moment along with a hundred other moments on RY that I never would have had otherwise.

As Tuesdays go, I was busy with work calls the majority of the day. I found time for some outdoor cafe working and even snuck in a mani/pedi before my favs got back home. House and heart full again.

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artwork credz Mel

Wednesday brought the unveiling of the hard work Yancey Pants had put into our farewell video, but not before a screening of a surprise video from our former city teams, a heartfelt and hilarious congrats from those who had provided recommendations, experiences, laughs and love along the way. After we watched our send off from them, we were given a first (and second, then third) showing of the video below. Yes, we cried. We also laughed, smiled, and felt the weight of what we had achieved in the previous year. I dare you to watch it and not feel the same.

As we all cleared out, Kiwi, M and I convinced Momma V to join us for a carnivorous feast at Sonora Grill. The venue itself was an eclectic mix of 80s and 90s music videos paired with a Bern’s like offering of steak galore. We over-ordered, overshared, over drank and over loved. On our way back home, we stopped to grab some drinks (because we hadn’t had enough), but its after hours and Marky and Kis have to bribe the gas station cashier to sell to them while V and I wait in the sketchy cab.

Thursday was B U S Y as I tried to balance work with running this month’s PI event alongside Duffs. The afternoon found us Ubering far from our Condesa bubble to a double cart trip to Walmart (my first Wally World all year) to stock up on food and booze for our rooftop bar and bbq to raise money for Yugen Build. After we filled our carts with snacks, beer, tequila and charcoal, we headed back to the workspace to set up for the night. I had to excuse myself to join M in a frustrating attempt to procure a whip for tomorrow’s balloon adventure, adding to the already stressful nature of the evening. Beer without ice, beer pong without beer pong balls, a ticket system with no tickets, charcoal with no lighter.. but somehow, as these things always do, it all came together at the last minute. I parked myself at my familiar spot behind the bar and doled out beers and shots to a stellar turnout to raise money for the Yugen Build. Kiwi was on the grill charring hot dogs and brats to soak up the drinks, and Kiminy and Kellz had arranged for entertainment by La Laura Guevara, so we swayed to her velvet voice as DL and Flickty took the beer pong championship. The night ended with Rappi burritos and leftover beer. Hey, too much is better than not enough, right?

The next morning (and I mean morning), M and I loaded up in the previously mentioned rental to head to Teotihuacan for a hot air balloon ride for two above the pyramids. Recall in week 1 I had decided against this adventure at that time, but its and RY staple, a CDMX must see, and we weren’t going to miss it. We arrived to a chilly morning, and it wasn’t long before we were soaring high in the skies above the former Aztec ruins. The views were breathtaking, and the ride exhilarating, albeit a bit scary because the foundation was straw, so every movement felt as if we might fall through. We landed our balloon and M tried to work out our next meal with the tour guides. I’m both grateful and resentful of his advances in Spanish – on one hand, he gets done what we need done, but on the other, because of his fluency, I’m never pushed to use mine. Either way, we ended up with breakfast and were hooked up with a tour guide for the pyramids.

We spent the next few hours in the grueling sun touring the moon and sun pyramids amidst the Teotihuacan ruins. I have dressed WRONG for this windy day, and several times in ascent and descent, I give the fellow tourists around us a show. You’re welcome pyramid goers.

After our ruins tour, we load up to grab lunch at La Gruta, a neat little restaurant nestled in a cave.  The atmosphere is beyond amazing, even if the food is mediocre.  We’re both practically falling asleep at the table, and have a combined battery percentage of 3% in our phones (read: maps), so we devise a plan to get back to CDMX on our limited juice, both personally and technologically.  I took the first shift, so we weaved our way back to the highway with both phones dying before we even got there.

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Between the two of us, M is definitely the one with the better sense of direction.  Much like my Spanish, I haven’t had to rely on my own merit because he’s so good at it that I just trust and follow him.  The problem with this is that in true Markolepsy fashion, he’s now lightly snoring in the passenger’s seat and I don’t have the heart to wake him.  But I’m an educated woman, so I can figure this out, right?.  We aren’t close enough to the city yet that there are signs for CDMX, so I decide to just follow the signs that point to the airport…. and quickly land us on a road that is not the highway we were previously on.  M wakes up long enough to ask a local “Dónde está la Ciudad de México” who replies “Derecho, Derecho, Derecho” (straight straight straight), and he’s back to Marky nap land while I follow the old man’s instructions.

Problem number two: this road isn’t straight.  It forks.. in a very unclear V fashion… a lot. Still not having it in me to wake M, I just make the best decision I can at each fork, hoping that some context clues (mainly the plates of the cars around me) are leading me in the right direction.  Thankfully they are, because soon I am passing the airport, and before you know it, we’re in a city like atmosphere.  The adventure is far from over though, as CDMX is a large city, and we live in a very small part of it… somewhere…. not close to where we are.. and neither of us has any clue how to get from point A to point B… so after a couple of failed attempts, we pull into a gas station and buy a phone charger.  Google maps FTW.

Safely back to our Condesa ‘hood, we drop off our rental car and hustle over to Cicatriz Cafe to meet DL and Kiwi for a (second) mezcal tasting, and this time I walk out with 6 bottles of the rocket fuel to take home with me and share with friends.  Momma Joe eventually joins us and we plan to hit the pool hall after swinging by our favorite taco joint.  After several tacos and a nearly 20 hour day, suffice it say M and I never made it to pool.

Friday is our last official day of RY.  I’ve already got a busy day planned between packing, getting my last set of coordinates, checking those if us staying an extra day or two into our bonus BNB, but when M proposes we go hit a few of the sites we haven’t seen yet, I agree.  While I was waiting on him to come scoop me up to head downtown, I figured I would start packing.  I started toward my closet to grab my suitcase, and was suddenly stopped in my tracks.  It was as if someone has built a brick wall of all of the emotions, thoughts, feelings and implications of the fact that this is the last time I would pack my suitcase as a member of Earhart.  I was frozen, unable to move another inch towards my suitcase. So I did what I do when I’m hurting.  I wrote.

Once I processed what was going on internally, I was able to throw a couple of items in a suitcase before M was shouting beneath my balcony, my very own modern Romeo, hurrying me into an Uber.  Once we got downtown, we grabbed a couple bikes and pedaled around, marveling at the sinking buildings of CDMX, which was built over a lake and sinks an average of 8 inches per year.  I’m due to be inked with my last set of coordinates, so I bid M adieu and join Sarabear and Dre by Day  (the designer of my current set of digits) at the shop to complete my set.

photo creds Dre By Day and Marky Mark

Friday night…. we were together.

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The weekend came to a close as we all slowly departed over the next few days.  Each goodbye got a little harder, and after a week in the Yucatan, my last see-you-later was said at the Cancun Airport, where I walked around, hollow and dazed until my flight was called.  Even at the last minute, I was gripped by a need to panic, not board this flight, not end this year. But everything I learned this year would be for not if I didn’t take it forward and use it to continue living the best life I can imagine for myself.

So, after:
21 Countries
39 Flights
4 Overnight buses
8 Trains
18 Hotels
20 AirBNBs
5 Hostels
2 Homestays
18 Boats

I closed the Earhart chapter.  But if you think that means this is over, you haven’t been paying attention.  And boy are you in for a treat.

Until next time my Lovers,

Specifically Yours,

SR

Pics are up to date!

Conceding to the Universe

Hola mi amantes! I’m coming to you today as I soar high in the sky above the Caribbean on my way to San Andres island. This is the third weekend in a row that I’ve jetted off to Caribbean destinations in Colombia – first it was a house in the middle of the ocean, and then a beach hidden deep in the jungle – now its time to live the island life for a few days before heading back to Bogota. But with some time to kill, I thought I’d check in with you with my latest personal discovery in yet another brain dump post.

I used to believe that in order to love my Harts, I needed time away from them _cue solo side trip_. See, in a past life, I was the kind of person who would sacrifice my own well being to make sure that the people I cared about were happy. After being taken advantage of in this respect time and time again, I started to view this as a weakness, and attempted to reinvent myself as someone who didn’t give a fuck about anything but what she wanted. Ahem, this doesn’t work for me {insert Starbucks “toasty marshmallow” reference}. I’m not saying people aren’t capable of change, but once a caring soul, always a caring soul. What I did learn as the number of people that I cared about in my life grew, is that in order to love and care for those around me, I need time away to love me. Surrounded by the group, I allow myself to be swallowed up by the pursuit of their happiness ~individually and collectively ~ and I’m not complaining, I love every minute of it, and it is a much more fulfilling way of life when those around me are constantly recognizing and appreciating me for who I am. What I didn’t realize until I landed in Cartagena is how draining it can still be on me if I let it, and that my happiness {while still mainly derived from the joy of others} requires effort on my part to focus on me and recharge that spirit of giving. So, in order to love my Harts, I need time away to love me.

I’m not big on faith. I have a hard time accepting that there’s a grand master plan out there, or a celestial being is guiding my life, or that my mood is dependent on where Mars is in orbit {cough, control freak, cough}. That said, sometimes the Universe speaks so loudly, I can’t help but give it a little nod and an “ok, ok”. When planning my flight to Cartagena, the launching point for a weekend at Casa en el Agua, I decided to take a few days on the front end for myself ~ a funny notion, considering this was the consensus of at least half the Harts.

When we landed in Bogota, it was gloomy. I was sick. It was cold. Sure, cold is relative, but when my suitcase is loaded for endless summer, 50 degrees and rainy is a bit uncomfortable. It was fine, I told myself, only a few days until I was coastal bound. When making my usual initial grocery run [er, Rappi delivery], I hesitated on a few items I would normally get for the month {mainly the makings of a PBnJ}. I also heavily researched gyms, and hesitantly held off on signing for the month. When I packed for Cartagena, I WAY over packed, a severe deviation from my usual minimalist travel style. All of the above mentioned out of character moves made complete sense the moment we landed in Cartagena. I stepped off the plane, the Caribbean breeze hit my skin, and I knew I > was > home. Month 11 wasn’t meant for me to spend in the mountains of Bogota {which I’m sure is a lovely place rich in experiences}, but rather on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, gazing out at the sparkling waters and recharging my so{u}l<ar> batteries. That’s why I couldn’t bring myself to buy a jar of PB. I see you universe.

Cartagena is a beautiful mix of Miami and New Orleans. I had booked a swanky top floor condo in the Miami-esque area of Bocagrande, a peninsula of high rises that overlooked the bright blue waters of the Caribbean. A mere 5 minutes cab ride away is Old City, a walled maze of brightly colored buildings, energetic activity, and a distinct New Orleans vibe, if you replace the jazz with salsa. Less than 24 hours into my trip, I booked my AirBNB for another 10 days.

I didn’t spend the whole time alone. As I previously mentioned, there were other Harts with the same idea I had, so I hung at the pool with Duffs, had lunch dates with Mel, birthday dinners with the crew, a week of the Marky and Noir show featuring jungle treks, beaches, hammocks and _boulders_, and of course, the tramily gathering at Casa en el Agua. But when I was alone, I was never lonely. I slept. I ate clean. I drank lots of water. I took myself out to dinner. I ordered food in and binged on trash TV. I laid by the pool. Caught up with friends. I wrote. I read. I watched every sunset. I worked, long days, that I didn’t mind because I was slaying. I woke up every morning to the sound of the waves crashing and a view of the ocean that put a smile on my face. I started to feel rejuvenated and refreshed, felt my confidence return and my mind start to ease. I missed my Harts, but I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. Ok Universe, I get it.

As we begin our descent into San Andres, I have to regrettably say that the time allotted for this brain dump is up. I’m off to more Caribbean adventures and can’t be bothered divulging my inner workings anymore. Until next time Lovers…

Randomly Yours,

SR

Sad you didn’t get any adventure updates? Guess what… pics are UTD