Farewell Isla Mujeres!

The boat is all maintained, cleaned, organised and ready to go. We did the food shopping this morning and filled up the storage to the brim with food and liquid of all kinds. My heart and soul are ready to go. This is going to be one epic journey!

I’m saying goodbye to Isla Mujeres, an island I hated and grew to accept. It has taught me many lessons. One of them being that I need some space from the overwhelming world so I can clear my head, re-establish my sense of peace and heal the pain in my heart so I can love freely again. 

I have no idea how long I will be gone for. Maybe a month, maybe six. I was given a gift to allow me the freedom to relax a bit more and I’m taking that as a sign this is right. With some guidance from healers, I have managed to stop thinking about the future and focus on now. In Cuba with no (easy) Internet access, this will be that much easier. 

I am looking forward to the endless days of sailing and diving along the south coast of Cuba. Nothing to do but wake up, put on my snorkelling gear and connect with the fish. My goodness, I’m going to have a hard time coming back into the real world. Oh look, there I am in the future again… I haven’t even left. 

 
My goodbye phone calls have been made, all emails and texts sent telling people I love them and will think of them even though any form of communication will be ignored. This is my final post until I am back in technology. Don’t fear! The writing will continue and perhaps with a different style to match my different lifestyle. 

Until then my followers, know that I am off making new adventures to reflect on, learn from and write about. Sailing, yoga and loving life. My three most favourite activities in life! Until the next time!

The life of a man from a woman’s perspective 


I remember the days when I used to be so annoyed I wasn’t born a man. I mean, think about it, they don’t get periods, menopause or have to worry about make up and hair or looking the best to get a husband (I’m writing from a heterosexual point of view). They don’t have this “biological clock” that will supposedly tick in me one day. They don’t have the pain of child birth or having to stay home and care for the children. In fact, they get to roam free, married with children or divorced with children! Being childless, I can only speculate, but to me it appears that the maternal instinct means women are less inclined to have a life separate from their children forever. That’s the number one reason I am too damn scared to have children. 

As I get older and view the male species in a different way than when I thought the point of life was hunting for a man to make a little tribe, I saw the error in my ways. I will take all of that stuff and more to be a woman!! Men do not have it easy.

The real turning point for me was when I was travelling. I had met the most hilarious woman who has the most incredible views on life and has taught me more in our short time of travelling together than I will ever learn in my life. I was complaining about the machoism of these Latin American men who insist on carrying my backpack for me. I mean how freaking rude right?? I’m not some fragile little woman. My Dad taught me to only pack what I could carry, so I did!! I was so grateful not to be born in this country because how awful would it be to grow up never having to lift my bag?!?! In her gentle humorous manner, she offered me her point of view. “Yeah, I understand. They are pretty macho here, but the way I look at it, is that I know I can carry my bag. Men feel good when they carry my bag because it makes them feel useful. I don’t need them to know I can carry my bag, so I just say thank you and save my back. That way I’m happy and their happy and we’re all just happy.” Brilliant!!

So with this enlightenment, I went through the rest of Central America allowing men to carry my bag. I got so used to it, that I would comfortably find my seat on the sometimes three to four buses I would need to take to get to my next destination, without checking for my bag which always magically followed. You see, the people here are great. I tell them where I’m going and then I have at least one person who taps me on the shoulder to get off when I need to transfer, while another points out my bag for someone else to carry it to the next bus. What a brilliant system. I was exposed to the life of a princess!! Well, a princess in chicken buses that is…


But I’m going off track here, that’s point one. If you’re handicapped or weak as a man, you’re screwed. Half of the female pool has just disregarded you. Not to mention you always need to be aware of a solo women with heavy cargo. I walk through life in my own dream world not noticing there are people until I run into someone or they talk to me! I couldn’t imagine having to look at everyone and then doing something for them. Ugh!!!! 

Point two, money. That evil word, oh how I hate it!!! As a woman, the amount of money you earn doesn’t matter to anyone but yourself. If you make a lot, men are intimidated and other women think you slept your way to the top. That’s why I figured it would be easier to be a sailing escort (no sex included). I make no salary, but I am fed, watered and housed. Doing this as a man??? Well, you’re judged. You’re a failure, a loser, a disgrace to humanity and 95% of the female population will turn their nose up at you. What a stressful situation having to always perform and be the best and be smart! Some people just aren’t and if you’re a man, that’s a problem. It’s cute and sweet if you’re a woman! 

Point three, eternal bodyguard. I think this is the most difficult one. Men are not allowed to be scared, back away or hide behind anyone. They’re the ones that we women have the privilege of hiding behind!! What a hard job! I’ll never forget one of my travel romances telling me how difficult it was to be a man. He explained how in the morning when we decided what to do, he had to think about what shoes to wear. He wanted to wear flip flops, but thought maybe he should wear tennis shoes in case someone stole my handbag and he had to chase them. True story. I said I was glad I was me and not him. He’s right, I would’ve expected him to run and thought he was my knight in shining armour when he came back sweating, beat up and bloody with my handbag. How romantic! Luckily this never aspired. When I wake up, I think about what underwear to wear. That’s eliminated if I’m single. No stress there!!

All jokes aside, being human is difficult. From a yogi perspective, we all have this crazy monkey called the mind that we need to still. As a gender perspective, each gender has it’s pros and cons. From my perspective, I just like to look at everyone’s perspective and find the good so I can go through my day laughing and smiling. I appreciate that many men work so hard to make my life comfortable, like I’m sure many appreciate that I help them feel good. I’m going to keep on letting those men carry my bags, open doors and pay for dinners and wine for no other reason than we both enjoy the roles we play in this world to make life that little bit easier for everyone. 

We’re not in Kansas anymore!!

I just have to rant because I can’t get rid of the anger. If people get so angry because they pay 3 times as much for a taxi ($2.50 instead of 90 cents), go back to your own freaking country. It’s not discrimination. We are in a different country and play by their rules or leave. 

Let me just say something, people who think America is the greatest country and everyone should be like them, are unrealistic. $2.50 is much more expensive for local people here than someone coming from America or Europe who make enough money to be able to travel. Many people in Mexico and Latin America haven’t travelled. Not because they don’t want to, but because they will never be in a financial position to do so. 

I spent one month with very little food (bread for breakfast and one small meal later in the day) and it was horrible. I was so hungry and dreamt of food awake and asleep. But you know something? I had a choice. I could go to two countries and earn a wage the man I was living with would have difficulty ever making because of the lack of opportunity in his country. Whatever job would give me a pension, he will never get one. I just happened to be born in a country with more economic opportunity. I never complained of being poor because I always knew I had choices. 

I was hungry and broke, but I wasn’t, nor ever will be, poor. I have qualifications and education that will always pay for my basic needs. I have two countries I can search for legal jobs in and the rest of the world to teach yoga and massage under the table. 

I will never experience what it’s like to go hungry, for I have a family (and friends) who can always support me if I have no other option. I never have to worry about my children going hungry because if I ever decide I want one, I would return to a life where I make damn sure they are cared for. A privilege much of the world doesn’t have. 

I have choices, I have not lived the life of Mexicans or other people in countries with the same economic outlook. Right now I am choosing to be rich in happiness and peace, objects money has never ever bought me. It means I have less money, but I’m certainly not poor. 

So I don’t argue too much if they insist I pay 50 pesos instead of 15. In fact, they don’t ask me for 50. You know why? Because I speak their language, I ask about their culture and I treat them as a human being, not some strange person who clearly isn’t human because their skin is a different colour or they don’t speak English. I strongly believe people with this attitude should remain in their own country. It is exactly people with this attitude, the majority American, which makes me embarrassed to be American.

I was tired of hearing this man talk about how in “his country,” the price is always the same, whether people are rich or poor. Anger started bubbling in my veins as his body tensed and he started shouting about discrimination. Then he continued by unnecessarily insulting the liberals who “just lie down and pay it. It’s ok, it’s ok…” I stopped him right there and said I won’t listen to someone generalise and insult people. I look at people as individuals, not groups. I told him that until I go hungry and don’t have money to feed my children, I will never judge people for the way they earn money to fulfil basic human needs people in “first world countries” take advantage of on a daily basis. 

He started to argue the local people are not as poor as I may think and I said I didn’t have time to discuss this, I had other things to do. For I will not stoop to his level. He is choosing to remain uneducated and to only look at the world from his perspective. A perspective where everyone is taken care of by someone, which is a complete lie. That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean that I have to agree or even listen to it. 

Travel the world to see the different perspectives this amazing planet has to offer. Why waste your money if you travel expecting people to have your views, your food and speak your language?? Embrace it or leave it. Leave people like me in peace to explore the beauty of the world and look at people as kind and beautiful creatures. Everyone isn’t kind and beautiful, but leave them and focus on the beauty that is in this world. There is too much not to find it every day. Which is exactly what I’m going to do with this man who chooses to remain in his world. I shall leave him and focus on the people I have found on the island with good hearts. 

Just two lonely souls…

I was reading my favourite blogger’s latest entry when a cheeky mood creeped over me. He talked about loneliness. Well, we all know I’m having that problem too, so I sent him a comment about it being a shame we were oceans apart. He’s a sailor too. We had a comment conversation back and forth and then shit got real. He private messaged me and asked how serious I was. 

Let me rewind four months. I wrote my first blog entry, he was the first to comment. I was totally new to this whole blogging thing, so I looked at his site, saw photos and read some of his entries. I thought “wow, we think alike!” Then reading his about page, “oh my god, he’s around the same age as me!” Then I saw his photo and my eyebrow turned up. “Quite sexy!” 

I stalked to see if he was sailing with someone, I discovered he wasn’t. I thought, should I send a message?? I looked over at Captain Cool, we’d just had a month apart and lots of things changed for the better, so I was all loved up and let the moment pass. I’m human after all, there’s no harm in looking!

I followed the sailor’s blog and always felt a connection. When things got difficult, he sat there deep down in the back of my head, giving me comfort there was someone else out there like me.

Back to the present day. We both like the idea of being on the same boat, I don’t like the idea of going pretty much to Canada. It’s cold!!!! I’m a little afraid of having a bucket as a toilet on a 22′ boat. But it’s a tempting offer and he lit a spark in my soul the first time he contacted me, so there must be some reason our paths are crossing, right? 

Friends are telling me to just do it. Follow your heart! What do you have to lose? Well, my heart is a bit confused right now because things have been changing so rapidly recently, so I need some time. 

I went on a sail today with a different captain in the marina. It was great! My soul opened and danced as it always does when those sails go up. The boat was the biggest I’ve ever sailed and super smooth. A 58 foot Camper and Nicholson, a Rolls Royce of a boat. I spent three days cleaning the inside and the hull so she ran extra beautiful. What a great reward after all the work!!

Anyway, I sat in the bow on the best bow perch ever and chatted with the sea. I asked for guidance on what to do. She said I should go, but not just yet. I want to go to Cuba, I’ve almost been two times, I don’t want to miss it again! Plus there could be drastic changes happening in the next year and I want to see how it is now as it sounds so amazing. 

Then I got to thinking about how beautiful my life is. My friends say they admire me and I’m brave and strong. Yeah, I guess I am. I just closed a door because I knew it wasn’t serving me anymore and that was hard and scary. But look what happened. Another opportunity arose, almost immediately. I’m not saying I will take it and if I do, it could be wonderful, disastrous or somewhere in between, but if I was still halfway in the doorway, I never would’ve sent that message. 

Life is always teaching me these important lessons and I’m glad I’m learning and very quickly. 

In a week, a world of opportunity has opened up to me and it was simply because I stepped through that door and closed it. Now there are various open doors for me to try. All of that fear, all of my tears, all my sad emotions are worth having and overcoming because my life just gets more and more beautiful. Simply because I have no expectations, no plans and no responsibilities. I simply have to follow my heart. I wouldn’t dream of living any other way. 

Why are you thinking about dinner when it’s only breakfast?!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally normal to ask people what their plans are years, months, days or even hours in advance. But why?!? Why do we as humans have this need to plan? 

Back before cars, planes, trains, technology, modern life, etc, there wasn’t a lot to have to plan. People woke up in the morning, did their job which didn’t involve sitting in front of a computer, and came home. They probably couldn’t even plan meals because they didn’t know what food would be available.

HOW LIBERATING!!!!

You know how I know? Because at one point in my old life, I tried to meet up with a good friend and I couldn’t for five weeks. I mean seriously?!? I had something booked every night for five weeks??!? I fainted just remembering it. That happened for months, I remember other things would come up that I would rather do, but I already had other plans and I worked hard to get out of them without offending people. 

I think I’ve mentioned in another blog that I’m quite popular with the old salty dogs here at the marina. Actually this one was young, but he said, “Do you have dinner plans?” My mind went into instant panic, “WTF?!? It’s breakfast! That is sooooo far away! Say something that’s not yes.” You may laugh, but it’s a true story. I said, “Umm, I have things to do today and then I don’t know.” 

I love it when people ask what my plans are. “I teach yoga Monday and Wednesday evenings until we sail to Cuba.” Everything else I have to do, including working for other people, is when I want to do it. It is so liberating!!!! Especially after a busy life where I had a boss (well he didn’t really manage us, but I still had to do 37 hours of something). Sometimes I want to be alone, so I am. Sometimes I want to chat, so I have a sea of people (excuse the pun!) to choose from. Sometimes I want to take a nap or sleep in (ok that rarely happens, life is too beautiful to sleep late) so I do. I don’t have an alarm clock and I go to bed when I’m tired. What a concept!!

“Where are you going after Cuba they ask?” I smile and say, “I have no idea.” I actually don’t know where captain America wants to go after Cuba, because that’s too far away and it will probably change. Hell, things could change and I don’t even go to Cuba with him! I don’t plan, I don’t have expectations and I don’t want any of that. I can’t predict the future, so I’m just going to focus on this moment. That way I do what’s right for others and myself at that specific time. 

This lifestyle is so great for many reasons. The most important for me is that it allows me all the time in the world to connect with nature and to honour my body and my mental state. If I need to take a break from physical work (as long as we’re not sailing!), I can. If I need a rest from people, I can. I don’t have a job that requires me to be there. If I want to cry, sometimes I go snorkelling and cry with the fish. I just do what I want, when I want using nature to guide and comfort me.

Many people won’t understand this way of living or will think it’s selfish. It’s not. I take care of me and it allows me to take care of others. Something I wasn’t doing before because I had nothing left to give. Hell, I didn’t even have an opening to receive. I can introduce you to some people who have said I have enlightened their lives and given them a fresh hope. Does that sound selfish?? I have almost nothing and that gives me the freedom to give and receive with few limits. 

Letting go and having faith 

I made a really hard decision a couple days ago. It seemed last minute, but I had been thinking about it for a while and something in me just clicked and said
it has to happen now. 

I have lots of practice in the field of letting go. I have moved various times meaning I have lot go of the physical presence of close friends and family as well as a home I had built to be safe and secure. I have also let go of material possessions, jobs, numerous romantic relationships (although usually not my choice!!) and expectations. The easiest thing to let go of was possessions. I don’t think it will ever be easy to let go of romantic relationships. 

I have spent the last month in a bit of turbulence. In case you don’t follow my blog, here is a quick summary. I left a boat I had been on for over a year. The captain and I had a relationship so that was not easy, but I wanted (still do!) to cross the Atlantic. I found a boat which was doing the crossing, spent 10 days with the captain, decided he didn’t value my life as much as I did, so left for Mexico where some of my sailing friends were. They had connected me with a captain who was looking for someone to sail with. The captain wanted sex (I don’t), one of my friend’s went crazy on me and I was again thrown into a storm desperately searching for a life boat to help me. 

I always had CC. Thanks to technology, we could still talk and I spent many phone calls crying down the phone to him while he offered me words of support and encouragement. He said I was always welcome back on his boat and so in the back of my mind, I had him as a safety plan. The more I started being hassled by other captains, the more I thought about returning before my money ran out and I couldn’t afford to go back. 

My friends are great and supported me with words of encouragement. I suggested to one friend I was going to go back to Colombia. He said I didn’t seem the type to walk backwards. I sent him reasons of exactly how I am that kind of person and while defending myself, realised that whenever I do that, the person is usually right. I planted that seed and carried on living in the past and future. 

I was born in the United States, but haven’t lived there in 11 years. I will probably be lynched, but I no longer feel American and am not proud to be an American. Isla Mujeres is an extension of the US and is full of the type of people who don’t make me proud to be American. All the locals speak English, the supermarkets have more “gringo” food then Mexican and everything is in English. I don’t like it. So I found myself hiding in the boat and just counting down the days until we leave. 

I was preparing for my yoga audition and remembered a grounding exercise that a teacher once did. I think it is the best thing ever to get someone to be in the current moment. I did it in my own personal practice and again for the audition. I suddenly realised that I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching. I was busy thinking about my past and getting to the future. 

Sure there are a mountain of tourists on this island, I’m sure some of them are ok. There are also a lot of locals and since I’ve travelled alone loads, I know how to find them and I can speak Spanish with them. I can’t do that hiding on the boat pining over the past and hoping for the future. 

I was invited to dinner the other night and just before we were to leave, CC called me. We had already talked that day so nothing urgent needed to be said. I was so busy laughing and making faces at him that my dinner companions left without me. I felt hurt and as I walked back to the boat, realised that my flaky yes and the fact I was involved on a phone call probably made it seem like I wasn’t interested. 

I started texting CC about how rude it was and we were chatting and something just hit me. I am so busy focused on him, that I’m not living in the moment. I’m so busy trying to come up with ideas of how we can get back together that I’m not present. CC doesn’t do that. Quite often he doesn’t call when he says he’s going to and doesn’t even send a message about it until late the next day. It’s probably because he’s living in the moment and doesn’t want to interrupt it. So why don’t I do the same? Relationships will never work one way. If I spend all my time coming up with ways of how we can work and live together again, but he does nothing, how is it ever going to work? It won’t, I’ve tried six times before.

Some people live in a dream world without an intention of making those dreams come true. That’s fine, but it’s not me. How can I work towards getting a job to pay for my student loans and save for a boat if I’m concentrating on something in my heart, I know is hopeless?? If I thought there was a chance, I would keep working on it.

So I followed my own advice and decided to let go of the past and the future and tell CC I didn’t want to speak to him anymore. It was incredibly hard and hurts deeply in my heart. For I have not only let go of my security blank, but most importantly, one of my closest soul mates. In a time where I feel so lost and alone more often than not, this was a very scary decision. 

I don’t know what the future holds and I’m not going to guess or focus on it. Of course I have a dream of what I would like the future to look like. I will focus on that by being present in this moment and talking to people about my dream and being in the moment by sharing life with people I meet, whether they are Americans or not. I will be open to opportunities that are around me that I haven’t been open to, because I haven’t truly been in the moment. 

Whether CC and I meet again or not is now really up to him. For I have tried for a year and hit brick walls. I recently gave him a business idea that would make more money and life more enjoyable. It was met with lots of words of excitement and no action. I can’t do any more. All I know is that as long as I am present in the moment and truly experiencing the challenges and rewards life gives every single one of us, I will get to where I am supposed to be. So here I go without a security blanket and without a person who understands me and the sailing lifestyle, but with all the faith that I am on the journey I am meant to be on. 

The pirate slayer 


Photo: Crocodile in the marina!

“So I was lying there, dancing with dragons like I always do, when I heard some engines approaching. I thought it was strange and then as they approached closer, I started making a move. The boat crashed hard into mine and by the time I had grabbed my gun and went on deck, one of ’em was already on board.”

Meet Captain Marine from Texas. He’s been our neighbour since I got here. After he got over the hurt of hearing that he wasn’t my type, we’ve been spending a lot of time together. Wow, he is probably one of the most interesting people I’ve come across. He is in his 60’s and has truly seen and done almost everything.

Captain Marine spent 10 years of his youth in Venezuela, but still has a thick American accent when he speaks Spanish. He was a marine in the Vietnam War, an engineer which required him to live in various countries, has romantic love stories and sailed around the world pretty much by himself. He started off with a girlfriend until the above story happened.

Now he’s retired, the ‘Captain’ of 7 grandchildren and still thinks he’s 21. It’s great! I am inspired by his energy and passion for life. He doesn’t think he’s seen or done much, so he’s just going to keep going until he can’t. He lives on a Rolls Royce (Camper & Nicholson) of a boat which he keeps absolutely pristine. It takes a lot of work considering it’s 58 feet, all wood and tile and he’s alone. That’s why he likes me. He pays me for something I would do for free because there isn’t much to do on my boat, and my captain doesn’t have such exciting stories.

Since I gave up my material possessions, I seem to have more room for people. Or maybe it’s been since giving up the stressful rat race. I don’t know. It’s just beautiful to meet people and give them all my attention and really listen. He’s teaching me lots of lessons I don’t even know yet. It’s evident that it was very important our paths crossed. One thing he taught me was how to make an incredible treasure hunt if my nieces and nephew manage to make it on board before they are too old.

What’s that? You want to hear the rest of the story? He’s ex-marine, it won’t take much to guess. They never got passed the cockpit and him and his girlfriend were physically unharmed.