We moved to San Cristóbal about a year ago. Actually, moving there wasn’t the intention, it just kind of happened. We had been living in Tulum previously and it didn’t take us long to realize that Tulum wasn’t for us. In my mind Tulum is the classic case of “a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there”. Our intention was to move to Mexico City but we had spent enough time in Mexico at that point to know that we wanted to explore it more so we decided to take the long way to Mexico City. I took time off work and we planned for two weeks of exploration of Mexico. We arrived in the cool mountain air after a 17 hour bus ride and immediately fell in love with San Cristóbal. A few days turned into a few weeks and that turned into signing a one year lease.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end
–Closing Time by Semisonic
It usually doesn’t take us long to become restless after arriving someplace new. The newness of a place quickly wears off and the desire to be somewhere else kicks in. This was no exception. I was certainly more content in San Cristóbal than I had been in other places. It’s a fabulous little Spanish Colonial city in the highlands of Chiapas. The climate is close to perfect, if not a bit on the chilly side. It offers a great selection of small restaurants, cafés, artisanal chocolate shops and it has a very interesting if not tumultuous history. We found a very comfortable and well located house to live in and had a really great time living there. All of that didn’t prevent the restlessness.
The problem with the restlessness this time was that we just couldn’t decide how to direct it. Over the last several years there have been many conversations about the things that we might want to do. Some of those things we have explored deeper and decided against others have been dismissed outright due to changing political climates in the areas we wanted to explore. One of the ideas that has been lingering but not explored was the idea of a Pan-American highway trip. It was during a mini-vacation on the beach that the idea of this trip really sank in. It’s one thing to have an idea in my head, it’s quite another to make a public declaration of that idea. I wrote a blog post about the plans then. That post had us starting this trip next year. I wanted plenty of time to plan things out but, as is often the case, once a decision has been made I’d rather start sooner than later. When I spoke of this plan with friends I always ended with the disclaimer “This is still a maybe. Until money has been spent it isn’t really real.” In April of this year, I spent money on the purchase of a truck/camper for the trip. That step made it all the more real. As real as it might have seemed in that moment, there was still a lot of time and life generally plodded along as normal without too much thought of this upcoming adventure.
Our lease didn’t officially end until August 11th but due to some timing considerations we decided that we would move out on the 2nd of August and make the trip to the US to reunite with Moby (the truck) and begin the trip then. However, there is currently a bit of civil unrest in Chiapas. That civil unrest didn’t really worry me too much. It was more an annoyance or a minor inconvenience than anything. That is, until the day that the streets were on fire in San Cristóbal followed by the protestors blockading the road to the airport. All of that coupled with the fact that Cate had to depart early to tie up some loose ends in the US before starting the trip and I decided it best to get out while I could.
It wasn’t until I handed over the house keys to the landlords that it really sunk in. This is happening. We’re all in. There’s no turning back now. For better or worse we’re embarking on a brand new adventure and I couldn’t be more excited or more apprehensive. This most definitely feels real now.