Yesterday marked the end of our fourth annual visit to Cozumel for some relaxation, compressed air therapy and vitamin D acquisition. A few years ago it was christened "The Mexican Reset" for the effect it has. This year was especially rejuvenating, as we weren't researching anything, we weren't leading anything, we weren't in any unusual/stressful personal triangles.
We were just chilling where the ocean meets the land, and frolicking with the fishies below the waterline. So strong was my desire to simply be in the moment that I didn't even take many photos. No blogging. Just eating, laughing, diving, napping and exploring.
Getting off the tourist track, shedding the company of ex-pats, and getting into the real local Cozumel unveils a small island that is an odd mix of Third World poverty and handheld modernity, where a wide screen TV may shine above a dirt floor, and the kid that lives in a shack with no electricity has a smart phone.
Travelers who reach out to connect will most likely find hard working locals who are able to eek out a living in the tourist trade that might seem tenuous to us, but for many of them is something they aspired to and actively flocked to from other parts of Mexico. We've barely scratched the surface, but I find it fascinating.
Returning home, life looks cluttered, overburdened with trivial things, and all too complicated. Another kick in the pants down the road of honing in on what is important, losing what isn't, and focusing all the more strongly on what remains.
I had some time to lazily reflect on this today as I took a sick day; felt awful coming off of a week of vacation only to call in sick, but somewhere along the line Saturday or Sunday I picked up the bug that was going around our travel group, and was running a fever and battling chest congestion by the time we returned. The company I work for is smartly clear when they say that if you are sick, don't come into work. You'll just give to everyone else and make the situation worse for everyone.