It sure feels good to be traveling again and here we are, back in San Miguel de Allende, MX after nearly three years in North Carolina. The world of travel for so many of us was at a standstill and it feels good to be out and about in another place. In the early part of the year we were invited to house sit and we feel lucky to be here in this beautiful home, in a beautiful city.
What's the best part???? I think the fact that we have reunited with so many of our friends that we haven't seen in so long is number 1. Then of course, the culture differences, the great weather, the warm and happy Mexican people, the colors and the food are all important to our lives here. I can't help but make comparisons to our lives in the USA though I always try to remind myself that comparisons, for me, tend to make me want to see one option as bad compared to one good. This is, of course, is not true. There are many shades in between.What have we done in San Miguel for the last several months. Our stay will be 3 months total with 2 weeks left right now. I knew we had many friends here but until we really made plans to see everyone I had no idea how large our community was/is. We have spent time nearly every day with one or two friends having a meal together. We have been coming to San Miguel since 2000. The first few years were short trips and then some for several months until our retirement in 2009 when we began to be here 6-8 months/year - always coming and going. In that amount of time, one can make many new friends. Because of the pandemic there were nearly 3 years when we didn't see these friends so this was the perfect time to reunite. A benefit was a chance to sample many of the new restaurants that have sprung up in SMA over the last few year - and several are vegan only!
We spent our time doing our usual activities; walking everywhere (carefully on the cobblestones!), yoga for me, tai chi for Ricardo, boxing for me, a new little mindful drawing art project of tiny repetitive pattern drawings, reading, watching a Netflix series nightly and as always, joyfully sharing our time with each other.
Very important to both of us was reconnecting with our project "Libros para Todos". I was able to attend the creativity summer camp that was held in Dolores Hidalgo and in San Miguel and witness some of the art, poetry and theater sessions. We also attended a volunteer planning meeting for the upcoming months and were so proud to see the enthusiasm and dedication of this team. The meeting was in Spanish with some translation in English which was in contrast to the early days when it was mostly expats who were involved. Having native speakers enables us to do much more with the students to support their love of reading. To all our family and friends who are reading this blog post - we thank you so much for your support of this program over the years.The weather here has been great. We arrived at the beginning of the rainy season meaning short rain storms many days but rarely more than one hour and in a short time it all dries up. The rain is mostly late afternoon or early evening so rarely affects our daily activities. Temperatures have been mostly in the 70's.
For me, it has been a pleasure being out of the USA to listen to a bit less of the politics and to not feel the divisive energy that exists there. To be honest, we don't follow Mexico's politics and there are surely issues of differences here too.
So now it is time to leave "home" to go "home". Home, as I have written before is where we are and though all our belongings are now in NC, I think I will always have some of my heart in Mexico.
Thank you for traveling once again with us. We have some tentative plans for the coming year so we hope you join us on these upcoming adventures.
Here are thoughts from Ricardo:
After too long, we returned to our second home here in San Miguel de Allende, Mx. Now we are finishing our third month taking care of friend's precious home here in Colonia Guadiana. The home has more comfort than needed. In the past we have had several visitors from up north visiting but this time it's been just Susan and me.
For the first time we see ourselves and our dear friends getting older and beginning to live life with more care and caution. For example, the streets are cobblestone which creates a beautiful atmosphere but now we walk keeping our eyes open, always in front and being more mindful.
Like our permanent home in Carrboro we have many dear friends which has kept us joyfully occupied sharing our time with them and many new acquaintances. Our lives are rich with many wonderful people here as well as other places in the world that we frequent.
The non-for-profit that Susan started 9 years ago is still flourishing and helping young children experience the love of reading and other good habits to help fulfill and enrich their lives. I’m so proud of her and our director Daniela along with the volunteers that continue to benefit up to 1000 children every year.
I will sign-off now as we get ready to return back to our home in North Carolina.