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Now, I have no real way to back up that statement. Normally, I would scour the internet with some statistics to reinforce the truth I’m spitting out at you. I’d find something that would tell you that travel will ease depression in 12309984% of people or something crazy obvious like that.
Unfortunately/super-fortunately, I don’t have the internet right now. This is a very good thing. I was getting a little interdicted there for a minute. See what happens when you aren’t completely plugged in? New words!
I’m on the move for the next few weeks. I started my adventure in Panama just yesterday and it has already been quite a journey. I’m in a country that I’ve never been in, where I can’t communicate with everyone, and on top of those things, I’ve taken this journey as una sola gringa. I’m learning Spanish (slowly). I’ve seen the cities, the people, the dogs, the garbage, the forts, the first place Columbus touched the Americas, the church where the Black Christ is, the Atlantic, the Pacific. Hooah! That was in one day.
We had a flat tire at 3 a.m. in Panama City. We drove across the continent. And when everything began to settle and I was doing yoga last night, some women showed up at Linda’s doorstep and asked us to take an unconcious woman to the next town over to see a doctor. Even as I write this, a man walks by me along the beach carrying a huge machete and a basket. This place is pretty remote so I have no idea where he came from.
While all of this might sound exciting, nervewracking, stressful, and possibly odd, it really hasn’t felt that way. When you’re travelling alone and you don’t really know the language, you don’t have any other choice but to adapt, and to analyze situations when they come up, when you’re in that moment. Anxiety and fear don’t really have time to rise up. Stress really can never take hold. You’re forced into living right now because if you’re thinking about the past or the future, you’re never going to understand anything that anyone is saying and you’re not going to be able to act when you need to.
You really don’t seem to have the option to escape into your mind. Now I get it. Adventure junkies, travellers, gypsies. You’re all just trying to get out of your heads. You’re trying to escape fear by daring it. It all makes so much sense now. I suppose I’m one of you too. This feeling of adaptation is so calming. There’s no question of “do they like me?” or “does my ass look nice in this?” No one’s going to tell you to get a “real job,” and prattle on with the job description for an administrative assistant in their company. If they do, you’re not going to understand a word of their judgement.
Without the confines of language and cares, there’s only time to suck in the air, soak up the moment and let it pass on into the next one. And something inside me says that that feeling, well, it’s good for your health.