Monday, December 27, 2010

Da Blues and Blogger Guilt

Meh. Pft. Whatever. My mood has been pretty low of late, I keep thinking "I must blog!" but my depressed mind says "Who cares? Nobody, that's who, nobody wants to hear your blah blah blah". And so I sit and stew and toss and turn at night and write blogs in my brain that never hit the keyboard. I really do have lots to say and not all of it negative (though admittedly a good majority of my "brain posts" are on the downer side of the blog scale of happiness).

I had a lot of adventures this year, some of them really fantastic, out of this world even! The whale shark experience of 2010 was phenomenal, I loved my day at Xplor and the unique day in Cozumel scuba diving with dolphins. I did the "Day of the Dead Festival" at Xcaret, snorkeled many cenotes and Xel Ha, climbed Coba, camped on the beach, discovered "El Meco" and Sian Kaan, watched a mama turtle lay eggs and later watched a different nest of turtles hatching. But I have found that over the last few months I have been pretty house-bound, not interested in picking up the camera or doing much of anything. I put on a happy face for Max, manage to play with him and keep his spirits up, but at the end of the day I am just a big giant pile of "meh".

I'd love to happily scream "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" to you all, but it would probably come across as pretty darned fake. It's not that I wish anyone an Unmerry Christmas or a Crappy New Year, but I am just not in the holiday spirit. I miss my family. A lot. My parents are on a cruise so I haven't spoken to them, my brother is on a different schedule and time zone so no phone call with him either. We had a nice Xmas dinner with some friends, low key but lovely, but I still wanted to be with family.

Max and I investigated going to Canada for these weeks, but we just couldn't afford the tickets. Perhaps that is why I am so blue, got myself excited about a visit to Canada only to let myself down. My last trip back was more than six years ago. I was pregnant with Max, he's never been to the land of blizzards and black ice. While I have not vocalized my depression or how much I am missing the family, Max HAS, crawling into my lap with tears in his eyes saying he misses his grandma and grandpa and his uncles and cousins etc.. It is not easy living in Cancun with no family around. Good friends are few and far between, at least ones you can trust and be yourself with, those kind of friends I can count on one hand.

And thus, I hibernate and hide, not wanting to be the "bummer" in the group, not wanting to be the whiner or the party pooper, I just keep my mouth shut and keep it all to myself. I put on the smily face that I have so much practice using, my old shrinks used to call it my "Little Mary Sunshine" face, the one that convinces everyone that my life is freaking fantabulous and that I am a ray of light in the world. I desperately try to look on the bright side of life (yes, there always is one), keep moving forward and enjoy all that Max brings me everyday. I honestly don't know where I would be without him, he keeps my head above water (unless we're snorkeling, haha), makes me feel like there is at least one thing in my life that I have done right. Yeah, he makes me crazy too, but gawd he's a spot of joy.

So, there you have it, my happy holiday post (snicker). Don't mean to bring you down and I'm not looking for sympathy or advice or anything, really just trying to get a blog post done so the night-time niggling of guilt in my stomach eases up while still being honest. I'll try to come up with some lovely, light-filled Happy Happy things to say soon, I promise. Maybe it's time to dust off the camera and just go play outside and start snapping. Too darned cold to go to the beach but if we bundle up a walk in the park might not be so bad. Saludos a todos, hopefully I won't be gone so long next time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Celebrating Latin America at Ground Level

Steven Roll is passionate about Latin America, his blog Travel Ojos shares tales and experiences throughout the region with joy and a love for the culture. I've enjoyed his blog immensely since it began and I was thrilled when he invited me to participate in his "Celebrating Latin America at Ground Level" e-book project. With contributions from 29 locals and ex-pats from a variety of countries, the book covers everything from food to culture to language and life, a fascinating look at the wonderful region we call home. I've loved reading all the stories and tales, some truly talented writers make this a "must download" for anyone with a love of all things Latin American. Please take a moment to download the FREE e-book and enjoy a peek at life south of the border from some talented bloggers. Big thanks to Steven for putting it all together and inviting me to be a part of this terrific project!

Here's a list of the participants and their blogs, show them a little love!

Margaret Snook (Cachando Chile) Chile
Laura Quinn (Lonely Girl Travels ) Travel
Ernest White (Fly Brother) Travel
David Miller (Matador, Operating on Stoke) Patagonia
Conner Gorry (Here is Havana) Cuba
Eileen Smith (Bearshapedsphere), Chile & Travel in general
Ayngelina Brogan (Bacon is Magic) Latin America
Nicholas Gill (New World Review) Travel
Carlo Alcos (Matador, Vagabonderz) Travel
Steven Roll (Travel Ojos ) Mexico
Jim Johnston (Mexico City DF and Live on Arrival) Mexico
Rebecca Smith Hurd (All About Puebla) Mexico
Mark Francis (Guate Living) Guatemala
Katie Alley (Seashells & Sunflowers) Argentina
Ben Box (South American Handbook)
Abby Tegnelia (The Jungle Princess) Costa Rica
Vicky Baker (Going Local Travel) Argentina
David Lee (Medellin Living) Colombia
Holly Elizabeth Worton (Ecohotelology) Sustainability, Travel, Latin America
Nora Walsh (Travel Ojos contributor) Latin America
Genny Ross-Barons (Roatan Vortex) Honduras
Leigh Shulman (The Future is Red) Travel
Margaret Snook (Cachando Chile) Chile
Cathy Brown (Expat Daily News in Central and South America)
Tracy L. Barnett (The Road Less Traveled) Travel
Jessie Kwak (Unpaved South America) South America
Mark Chesnut (Latin Flyer), Travel
Julie Schwietert Collazo (Matador, Collazo Projects) Americas
Jill Greenberg (First World White Girl )

D is for Dengue, Depression and Dread

I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my cal...