Tulum, Mexico, Simply Being

Life has been so juicy that I have not had time to write. I’ve been too busy eating fish tacos, guacamole, and growing another rear end. I’m teaching private photo crash courses, walking around with a look of wonder on my face, eating, reading in a hammock, dreaming about my next adventure in Belize and seeing my son in Guatemala, and trying to stay warm in the soft rain but mostly just being content.

I moved off of Isla Mujeres and now I am in a tiny town by the sea living in a hostel where I finally have a kitchen to make a darn cup of tea. I had my water heating coil from Thailand with me but those prongs don’t ignite in Mexican electrical outlets.

So I was camping at the sea and got tired of sand in every crevice of my body, spartan accommodations (meaning no sofas or cushions) and living on sand. But now that I am in a crowded hostel I appreciate seaside camping.

Nature rocks! Nothing comes close to its beauty. As I laid in my tent trying to sleep while the rain pelted my tent I thought warm thoughts of Belize and being in the sun – being safe in Guatemala with my son and daughter and eating healthy food. Just appreciating that we are alive in this moment and not elsewhere.

I am experiencing the good karma of simply being. I am shedding anxiety and just being. I don’t feel in a rush.

Today I felt happy just walking my laundry to the cleaners for them to do and having my teeth cleaned. I felt I had achieved something. The dentist told me I have a bunch of cavities – I don’t believe him – I think he wanted more money. But I paid him only $60 to clean my teeth – the other dentist wanted $80 but I didn’t want to pay $20 more than I pay in Thailand. I know I am not in Thailand but I also do not have health insurance – my health insurance is traveling to third world countries and hoping to never get ill or injured in the USA as I can easily afford paying for my medical maintenance out of pocket when it is in rupees, Thai baht, or pesos. My teeth feel yummy and smooth now. The dentist was a lot younger; I am now old enough to have my doctors be a decade or two younger than me. I just told the girl in the other bunk here in the dorm what my age was and I’m even older than her parents who are 48. She was lying on her bed when I told her and looked like she’d lose her lunch in a New York second.

She said, “You are NOT 54.” I usually don‘t tell people but I sometimes like the shock as it is a comic moment.

These youngsters here are partying non-stop and won’t shut up until 1AM but usually it’s later. I don’t know if I can take 2 more nights of this stupidity. A bunch of twenty-nothings getting drunk and listening to moronic music that will not be remembered in 10 years. Push my ear plugs in way deeper. I still heard them.

But these young ones are in some ways wiser than I was at their age. Some of them even get married and are responsible like my own son. And they know to travel and not get tied down to a job right away.

Some of these sweet youngsters are able to sleep in all this noise – astounding.

But after a few days I am learning how to do it too.  I always wanted to be able to fall asleep on a plank at the center of the universe, on an airplane, bus, or boat, in the middle of a rock concert.

Oh dear maybe I should not have had that pork taco right before bed preceded by the sugar doughnut slash croissant – it was not a proper croissant but a puffed up piece of bread with sugar sprinkled all over it.

I feel actual bliss and freedom. I can roam where I want to. I feel less and less anxiety. I left the western world only 10 days ago but it takes time to wash off the west.

When I made more money I was less happy. I didn’t know this until I left my life behind, filled with expensive clothing, ritzy furniture, top dollar restaurants and deep debt. I owed so much money living like that but now that I live simply I don’t owe anyone anything.

I was at the bank the day before I left the USA and was getting my finances in order with one of the bank clerks and she said, “You can sign up for online bill payment” and I said oh I don’t need that and she said, “Well how do you pay your bills?”

I said, “I don’t have any bills.”

She was stupefied.

She said, “Many people would want to be in that position.” And she smiled through her gasping. I felt so grateful that I had no debt. I am free and clear and can live my life the way I like. That is a grace and a beauty. It took a lot of work to be debt-free. Keebler cookie elves did not arrive and give me a full bank account in the middle of the night.

Courage takes practice.

Living the high debt life made me sleep less peacefully. I was nervous and stressed trying to earn more money to pay everything off.

But I can travel because I have no debt – that is bliss – I could not do it before because I had to pay for my ultra lux life; I owed on my cashmere sweaters and all the toys we used to buy. I can live life more richly without that stuff. I feel rich now but I did not feel rich when I made more money.

Interesting how more stress isn’t worth more money.

Major insight revealed.

Piling up stacks of money isn’t that fun. It is stressful and I like being relaxed. It costs a lot more money to be in the States working than it does to be here having a wonderful time.

for now kindly go to http://www.youtube.com/user/zestyzippy

to see the latest videos from Mexico – Fun in Tulum and Simply Being.

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3 Responses to Tulum, Mexico, Simply Being

  1. Caroline Cattermull says:

    So do you make enough to survive from photography???x

  2. bartnikowski says:

    Caroline,

    Yes I am grateful that I can survive and thrive from photography. For 25 years it has been my sole income. And I raised my family on it in California in Silicon Valley which is a pricey place to live. Now that I am on the road full-time I am teaching photography worldwide to private students (international travelers) and am creating an online course to help people take better photos – it is very exciting to be able to reach photography enthusiasts this way. Right now I am working on the section : How Not to Take a Portrait with goofy photos of me that illustrate bad timing, unflattering angles, and poor composition. Funny. Also I do photo assignments for ex-pats and anyone who needs photos for their web sites. And it is a joy to work with many non-profits.
    Kindly
    Mary
    http://www.bartnikowski.com
    http://www.youtube.com/user/zestyzippy
    https://solofemalevagabond.wordpress.com/
    to buy photos go here:
    http://bartnikowski.smugmug.com

  3. drlisachu says:

    I love you, Mary! You are LIFE!

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