„I’m not a hobo, a lot of people do that!”
… says a female voice in my headphones while getting mad about the false assumption. The voice comes from an audio book. To be precise from the audio book „Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail“ by Cheryl Strayed that I started listening to even before I started my trip through Mexico. Cheryl is trecking on a very long and very exhausting trail through the snow of the Sierra Nevada and the heat of California’s desert. Now and then she has to leave the practically empty track in the middle of nature and one of these times, she meets a journalist on the highway who is interested in her story. This is where I got the quote from the beginning from. However, he is absolutely sure that Cheryl is a homeless person that is just walking the trail because she has no home. While at first Cheryl is eager to make things clear, she realises throughout the conversation that this comparison doesn’t come out of the blue. While listening to this passage, I find the image pretty funny; a person that is carrying everything she possesses on her back, someone who hasn’t taken a bath or washed herself within a few days and that only had a roof over her head three times during the last month is trying to explain that things aren’t the way that they look like. Even though she takes the „Hobo Standard Package“ that the journalist is offering to her, consisting of food, a beer and a cigarette, with pleasure.
I’m listening to this paragraph while I’m sitting on a small piece of lawn in front of a gas station. I just bought a pack of wheat tortillas, a can of black bean puree and a small can of mixed vegetables in the supermarket next to the gas station and now I am enjoying a selfmade, improvised vegetable burritos. My stuff is lying all around me on the ground: my big travel backpack that contains all my belongings for the next one and a half months, my day backpack with my wallet and my laptop and my cotton bag with a blanket inside. I have to laugh while listening to the audio book. Then I stop and start laughing even harder. If Cheryl provokes that image – then what about me? Me, a young girl, all alone, somewhere on a highway in the Mexican La Paz, munching a burrito consisting of supermarket ingredients.
Just let things happen
These are exactly those situations that I always told myself „No, this is nothing I would ever do.“ And mostly I just keep thinking it even when I’m already deep inside that situation. Until I stop for a moment and realise: „Hey, this is not so bad.“ You may ask yourself how I ended up there alone on the gas station? Well, a carsharing experience brought me here from Cabo San Lucas in the south of Baja California Sur. I found the driver in a facebook group and in the end he even took me with him in his car for free. Once arriving at La Paz, I should’ve stayed with a girl from Couchsurfing but as she would’nt arrive until in a few hours, I decided that thinking with an empty stomach has no sense. So I made my way to the Oxxo supermarket with my huge backpack on and grabbed some food. Said, done and with a full stomach I decided it would be the better option to make my way further to the center and took a camion that brought me here, to this sushi restaurant where I am writing these lines. Enjoying a cold beer.
Why worry so much?
So, what do I wanna tell you with this short excursion to Jessy’s travel adventures through Mexico? Well, I want to share a piece of wisdom with you that I learned through situations like this one: sometimes it helps to think less and to just do it. Eyes shut and go for it. Okay, maybe you’ll have to look left and right once or twice. But just confront yourself with things without worrying too much before about what maybe under some circumstances could be. In Spanish they have the beautiful word „preocuparse“ which means „to worry about something“. It’s constructed with the prefix „pre“ („before“) and the verb „ocuparse“ („to deal with something“). So, taking this word literally, it means „thinking or worrying about things even before they have really happened“. What a poetic way to describe one of the most important lessons I have learned in life.
All of this doesn’t mean that you should go for everything you can find without even getting some information about it. Information is important. But take one step at a time and when some questions remain unanswered before your adventure, well, that’s totally okay. You cannot plan every single second in life. Sometimes, you’ll just have to wait for the things to happen and then you can see how you can cope with them. But there’s always a solution. And if you don’t find it on your own, then ask for help, it’s that easy. „No hagas planes“ – Don’t make plans. Mexico definitely influenced me a lot in that way. But hey, what kind of adventure would it be if everything would be super predictable? Presumably a pretty boring one. Because you just learn and grow when you are actually facing new and unknown obstacles. So, why don’t you try to now and then just risk some things without thinking about them too much. I promise you, you’ll be surprised about the worlds that gonna open up before you that way!