Also, this adventure will be shared over several posts...there is a lot to share and I don't want it to become a novel.
In the Fall of 2007 I took a job that I had no idea would change my life in the way it did. It wasn't the actual job that caused the change but the friend I would make because of this job. I became fast friends with one of my new co-workers, Carolyn. This friendship would be what it took to get my butt to travel across Mexico for a month and work on an organic farm. For some, that isn't a shocking thing to do...but for me, it was a big deal.
Now, I've traveled quite a bit...and I've lived in New York and London; but the only time I'd ever carried a backpack was at school,...and when I think of an "organic farm" it generally involves the nice people I get to interact with at my local farmer's market. I'm just not the "outdoorsy" type.
How it all began...
Carolyn invited me out to meet up with some friends to hear a local band play. We were all outside talking between sets. All of us were teachers. Carolyn, Natalie and Melissa had been friends for about a year and they all had similar interests (camping, hiking, biking etc...) The girls started talking about the possibility of a trip to Mexico for the following summer. It was obviously an idea they had been throwing around. I was standing around listening to them talk about their plans to go to Mexico for a month... backpacking through southern Mexico and working on an organic farm. Since they were all bilingual teachers, they all had experiences in places like Mexico and had "backpacked" across various lands. The young ladies (all at least 10 years younger than me) were getting excited about the idea of their trip. I was really excited for them!
Carolyn looked over at me...
c: You should totally go with us! That would be so much fun!"I looked over my shoulder to see who she was talking to. Maybe another one of their young, "outdoorsy" friends had arrived. No one was standing there.
Oh..she was talking to me!
In our short friendship, Carolyn knew that my idea of camping was a night at a hotel and my trips to Mexico always involved an all-inclusive wristband and free airport transfers. I wasn't even a kid who "camped" in my backyard.
me: Uh....really?? I'm not sure...camping, farming and carrying my belongings on my back across a foreign land where I don't know the language....um.....is not really my thing.At this point the other girls were encouraging me to come with them.
It was weird. It only took about a minute for me to decide that this is something I needed to do, even if it was something I wasn't sure I really wanted to do.
me: I'll go! It sounds reallyThe girls started laughing. It was October. We weren't going until July of the following year. To me, it was time to get planning.
scaryexciting! Now, what do I need to do to get ready?
I got home that evening and began to freak out a little. Was I REALLY going to backpack across Mexico? The thought of it was really scary to me. Would I be able to keep up? Is it safe? How much Imodium can one take without dying?
I got a text from the girls telling me how excited they were that I was going to go.
There was my answer. Yep...I was going to Mexico..... What in the world had I agreed to do?
next post........planning is key (if you don't want to be left to die on the Mexico/ Guatemalan border)