From Alison: On March 27 we flew from Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and then travelled down the coast by hired car to the small fishing village of La Manzanilla. We have rented a casita from our friends Pam and Larry. Almost the entire front wall of the casita opens up onto a patio with a pool and a beautiful view of tropical gardens and the ocean. We feel as if we’ve found heaven. We plan to stay here for at least two months, probably three, and maybe even four. We need to rest, regroup, and integrate the past months of travelling. We need to stop for a while. We need to rest.
From Don: Saturday March 30. I wrote yesterday that I want to spend more time running towards God as fast as I can and letting my heart open to the greatest extent possible. Maybe that was too ambitious a goal because I woke up feeling groggy and didn’t get out of bed until 10:00 this morning. By noon I’d had breakfast and felt somewhat better. Letting go of all the inner tension I’ve been carrying for so long seems to be a reasonable and achievable goal for our time in La Manzanilla. More openheartedness and more closeness with God also seem achievable in this moment.
Letting go of all the thinking and planning and doing of travel is top of my agenda, if I have an agenda at all. Skimming the leaves off the surface of the swimming pool is the height of my ambition today, and then helping Ali make our supper in the evening.
It is hot here, probably not as steamy as Myanmar in March, but hot enough and steamy enough for me, especially in the downtown area. It’s so nice to have a pool to step into, a cool breeze off the ocean, and the time to do absolutely nothing for as long as I need: to sit, to reflect, to meditate (but not medicate), to let every fibre of my body relax until I’m not holding any tension anywhere. I got weary to the bone and tense in the muscles of my body with all the travelling: so it’s time to rest completely and to relax deeply until I get sane and healthy again. To travel the way we have for most of the past two years has been amazing, but now it’s time to stop, regroup, refresh, relax, revive, and allow whatever arises into consciousness without effort, to guide us to the next phase of our amazing journey.
I hadn’t realized, or hadn’t wanted to admit, just how stressed I’d become with all the travelling, but now that I have that awareness it’s time to do something about it.
From Alison: And we’re in the right place to do it. What has emerged is a keener understanding of our travel rhythm. We’re good for about six weeks of constant travelling – a week here, a week in the next place. Then we need to stop for a while; for more than the two weeks we spent in Koh Samui after six weeks of mad travel around India. I look forward to spending more time in different places like we’re doing here in Mexico. More time meaning two or three or four months, so we have time to integrate what we are experiencing, both internally and externally, and to better get to know the local culture. And even though I have weeks of “work” to get the blog up to date that will keep me well occupied, it feels like heaven to me that we’re not going anywhere for a long time. Don’t have to think about travel plans, or make decisions about hotels or methods of travel, or itineraries or agendas. Just stopping. Heaven.
Photo of the day: Delicacies at the night market, Phnom Penh
All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted.
© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2015.