May 4, 2020

These times of Coronavirus provide a release in my mind and body. I embrace the self-isolation and quarantine as a way to step back, test, and explore my unfettered soul.  I am finding freedom and change.

The hot weather permeates San Miguel, and it makes me happy since I hate wearing cold weather clothing and shoes.

I am awaiting a fresh pair of Teva’s from Amazon as I left my old pair in the blazing sun. Where they curled up into themselves like a ribbon on a present and there was nothing to do but throw them out.

Wearing a pair of flip-flops that without stability on the uneven cobblestones or slippery sidewalks leaves me vulnerable to another broken leg.

I am not wearing a bra either. I didn’t when I was younger and was well known at the Santa Barbara Council Travel, where I worked and wore low-cut blouses. We also wandered barefoot in the office. It was a beach town, so that is my excuse.

I get claustrophobic in situations. When I think I am unable to escape or wear lots of clothing, including a bra, my condition is acerbated.

As for the bra, I wore one, not underwire, when I noticed my boobs sagging years ago.

Now at 61, and I think they’ve fled as far south as they can go, so why not shake ‘em around a bit and cool off! Poor Glenn, sometimes he doesn’t know what to do with me.

I am experiencing the bohemian, traveler, hippie nymph of my youth returning and exploding out of me. Loosing 35 pounds after last year’s Yucatan trip, I feel buoyant.

We are desperate to travel again but have canceled our planned trips for the foreseeable future. First, it was six months in SE Asia, then it was six months through Mexico, Guatemala, and Cuba. We will pick them both up, but when remains a mystery.

We moved to Mexico and live in San Miguel de Allende.  Two years go fast when engaged. The move has changed my attitude about how I want to live.

The United States bored me. Neighborhoods flowed from one town to another and looked close to the same wherever I went. Doing anything was easy for me with no sense of accomplishment.

I wanted different!  In language, culture, weather, environment, architecture, and inhabitants. Challenged, I am reminded of the high I had while traveling the world. I was alive, convinced I could be again.

Each day I carve into myself permitting joie de vivre, happy, happy, joy, joy me to further emerge and say, “Come on Ria, shake your boobies out”.

Why was this relaxed, daring, audaciousness not a part of me in the United States?

One of my answers is, the United States has a prudish and restrictive mentality.

Advancement in a person’s life there needs to follow codes and rules. If not, the weight of going against the popular work-till-you-drop, have the house and kids, and please, don’t shake your boobies attitude will set up for failure.

Americans talk a big game. And propaganda spewed out since the invaders first landed differs from reality. During this world crisis, the “Emperor Has No Clothes” is clear.

America seeks attention, but also hides behind the curtain of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

With Christianity, consumerism, conservatism, and criticism at the top of the food chain, who can be free? Guilt was present wherever I looked. The C’s pushing the boundaries more than ever.

My travels encouraged wanderlust and investigation. Making me act like I might accomplish anything. When I returned “home” I crashed hard and long.

There is something said for living simply. Whatever that means to you. Travel wasn’t simple though, it could wrap you up in emotions not experienced before and overload your senses. Now ask, how cool is that?

With my life in a backpack and money belt and a guidebook in front of me, I could throw a dart each morning to determine where to next. That, to me, was happiness and freedom. What does living appear as for you?

I am proud of my photos and recognize a woman of boundless energy making friends who didn’t care what I had done in the past. All they cared to know was if I was good for an evening of sharing stories in candlelight, an eight-hour bus ride, or inclusion in their journal.

I was being seen for who I was right at that moment. This was freedom.

After leaving my country and it’s restricted mores, I am finding freedom once more. I am being judged by the same traveler criteria. Am I good for a hearty laugh, a bit of travel, honest friendship without strings, and can I mix a good margarita?

Above all, I can shake my boobies!

Sometimes, you just have to go for it, and break chains.

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  • Reply marcia klein May 4, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Dear Ria, What a terrific blog. Brought back our first travels around the world, hippies, at the age of 55. You were a lovely young woman and I am so glad to know you now, lovely as a more mature woman.

    love, Marcia

    • Reply ourprimeoflife May 4, 2020 at 10:09 am

      Thank you Marcia,
      I know so many people are finding this crisis a very hard time to endure. And my reaction is so different from the precipice I would have been on just 7 years ago. It is good to make life changes. Especially when I have Glenn, the best partner in the world, standing next to me. Each day brings new possibilities and I am primed to take advantage of them. Wishing you both good health and may we soon be able to frolic as the hippies we are.

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