I didn’t sleep very well last night. The noise just wouldn’t stop. Roar. . . shhh. . . crackle. 3:30 am and I was still awake. I really can’t complain, though. It was the sound of ocean waves pounding the shore so loudly I was sure if I stepped out of bed I’d go sliding across the wet, marble floor of my hotel room and land right on my softest body part. (Though with weight gain due to stress, menopause, and the sedentary life of a writer, I seem to have an abundance of soft body parts as of late.) My second-floor room is about eight-feet-down and twenty feet away from the breaking waves at Akumal beach.
You may remember Akumal from one of the first Drop Me Anywhere votes, Ancient Civilizations. What am I doing here and, more importantly, what the hell have I been up to? Well, that might just be a whole other book. Oh yes, writing and pitching a book to agents, that’s one thing I’ve been up to.
Another thing I’ve been busy with, and which would also answer the question of why I’m in Mexico, is selling my house. On Friday, May 12, I sold the house which I bought nearly fifteen years ago. It’s the one I had rented out for the year of location independent living and traveling around the world on your votes. I’ve been spending a lot of time there in between tour leading assignments and other random travels, and have really enjoyed my extra-high, double-sized air mattress purchased at Walmart (seriously, it’s like sleeping on a bed of air). But it became a choice; live my dreams of writing the book Drop Me Anywhere – One Woman, Two Suitcases, and Absolutely No Plan, planning the Female Empowerment Mission Summit (FEMS), traveling and continuing the Drop Me Anywhere project, or staying in the house which I love. Sure, I felt passion for my house, but I’d rather feel passion for my life. So I sold it (my house, not my life).
So here I sit, at my old favorite, La Buena Vida restaurant (you might recall the phrase I used the first time I was here. Something about being “drunkity-drunk-drunk.”) about five feet from the water’s edge drinking what may or may not be my first margarita of the evening – there may or may not have been a Mai Tai to start out with – eating a burrito while listening to both that noisy ocean on the shore, along with a great guitarist/singer playing old rock mixed with mellow country (let’s get to the point, let’s smoke another joint. . . ) and trying to just breathe. There’s a slight sea breeze cooling the humid air and my table sits in the sand, literally seven feet from the ocean. Hanging from the thatched umbrellas covering the various tables are subtle green, blue, and purple lights creating a magical, dreamlike ambiance.
Another role keeping me busy has been my involvement with the Rose Mapendo Foundation. Rose is a Congolese death camp survivor and a peace activist. She’s also my friend and my hero. I’ll be telling you more about her and her foundation in a soon-to-come piece for Rebel-With-A-Cause.org but, in the meantime, you should know that she made me Executive Director of her foundation and, though the position is currently unpaid, I’ve felt a tremendous responsibility to do right by Rose and the foundation so I’ve been working like crazy getting bank and PayPal accounts set up, website and social media passwords, and booking Rose for speeches and other events.
I’ve also been pitching and writing some magazine and website articles. One will appear in next month’s print issue of Cruise Industry News and you can find a political satire piece I wrote right here.
Finally, I’ve been leading tours because, well, a girl’s gotta make a buck and writing doesn’t pay a whole lot these days. I recently spent a month leading a couple of tours in Cuba and when I leave Akumal next week it will be to fly to South Dakota to guide some tours of the U.S. National Parks. In July, while in between tours, I hope to post a Drop Me Anywhere vote. Yes, you’ll once again be able to tell me where to go.
As you can see, I’ve been a bit busy. I’m hoping that selling my home will save me some money, as I won’t be paying for both a mortgage and lodging when I travel and, when I’m guiding tours, the company will be paying for my accommodations and food. There will be no repair costs to worry about and no maintenance to deal with.
In between all the projects I’ve mentioned, I hope to snag a literary agent, finish writing the book, and plan the Female Empowerment Mission Summit.
For the next week, my office will be filled with sand, my water cooler will dispense margaritas, and I will remind myself to breathe. Tonight, I will continue to enjoy the smooth baritone voice accompanied by the strum of a guitar and a calming sea breeze.
He’s now singing, “Give me one good reason why I should never make a change.” The song is called Budapest which has, so far, been one of my favorite locations along this journey. A sign, perhaps? Yes, take that leap, reach for that star, live that life and ignore the fear.
And stay tuned for a voting opportunity coming sometime in June.