planes, trains, and automobiles
we just broke from lunch to have our siesta (YES! these really happen here!! every day from 1 to 4 to be exact!), and i'm realizing this is the first time since preparing for take off at 3 AM yesterday that i have really sat down and just breathed. and breathing and just taking it in (while simultaneously massaging my trapezoid muscles because traveling yesterday practically crippled me but i would never admit that because it screams embarrassing) is just what i need. it's been an overwhelmingly exciting and great first day. every once in a while i just stop and think "i can't believe i'm actually here and doing this! is this real life!?"
so we'll start from day one with the dirty details on my travel day:
(and everything in my head feels a little fuzzy like the whole last day all smooshed into one big undefined timeless blob, so just hang in there with me on this one)
i arrived at the airport at 4 AM sunday morning and met up with a few other students going abroad after saying goodbye to my family. saying goodbye was, of course, extremely difficult but i'm so grateful they were there to see me off. i don't know where i'd be without their love and support.
i turn into the biggest bumbling idiot when it comes to going through airport security, so besides the awkward me fumbling through my important documents and flinging shoes and bags everywhere while trying to lift them onto the conveyor belt, traveling went very smoothly!
we arrived in cancun around noon and took a bus from the airport straight to merida. it's about a 4 hour trip by bus, and honestly, this was the part of my travels that i was dreading the most. i have never been the biggest fan of buses (i think i will be forever haunted by the numerous elementary school field trips that involved a bus... someone was always loud/smelly/vomiting... and then one time i set the bus alarm off by touching the back emergency door.. and then there was that other time on the way home from an overnight field trip and my favorite pair of underwear fell out of my bag on the bus. and i didn't realize it until the "popular kids" were picking them up and swinging them around asking who they belonged to. i didn't claim them and watched my beloved poodle and rainbow panties drop into the bus trash.. wow this is taking turns it never should have, it was obviously a traumatizing experience?)
um so where was i going with this?
right, i was dreading the bus, but that sucker proved me wrong! i slept all but 45 minutes of the way there (more than likely courtesy of the dramamine i popped beforehand), it was air conditioned, and they played twilight! in spanish! you have not seen comedy until you've seen edward cullen/robert pattinson spitting threats at a werewolf in spanish.
a few students were already in merida, and timing our arrival based off of a tweet i posted about leaving dallas for cancun, they were able to meet us at the bus station right as we pulled in! (gold star for you, social media!) we were advised to take a taxi to the central house from the bus station, but the students that met us convinced us that "it was just a short path, we could totally walk it!" so we walked, and walked, and walked, each of us dragging two suitcases and a backpack down the busy (and rocky!) streets of merida. after probably 45 minutes (it may have even been shorter but it felt like an eternity) we arrived at the central house, melting into weak, sweaty puddles. (the group later apologized to us for peer pressuring us into saying "no" to taxis. they "thought the walk seemed much shorter without 100 lbs of luggage".) ;) at least the locals got a good giggle out of the 12 americans dragging their suitcases through the streets of mexico, i'm sure.
i felt so liberated while traveling by myself (well, without my parents. i was still in good company!) for the first time. being able to navigate, problem solve, and get through the day alone gave me such a sense of accomplishment and pride. it made me that much more excited to get to merida and take on the big city!
more of that to come soon.
i'd better give your eyeballs a break.