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Posts Tagged ‘cozumel’

Wouldn’t you rather be fishing?

Taken through the underwater windows aboard the Seaworld Explorer off Cozumel.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

Taken through the underwater windows aboard the Seaworld Explorer off Cozumel.                                   — Photo by Pat Bean

Do you have a favorite underwater photo?

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 “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” – Robert Frost

A tree that doesn't want to die. Now this is what I call a passion for life. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

When I first started writing about my travels, I tried to disguise the fact that I was an old broad. Then one day, after a hint from an online writing colleague that being an old broad was what set me apart from all the glamorous young women out there traveling in search of love. I claimed the honor.

I first heard the term “old broad” back when I was a journalist reporting on the environment. In writing about wilderness issues and the value of protecting it, I came across a group called “Great Old Broads for Wilderness.”

I sent this photo of me taken by my friend, Shirley Lee, in Cozumel to my kids announcing that I had a new boy friend. Even old broads want to have fun.

Wow, I thought, when I met some of these women, like Susan Tixier, the brain behind the organization, and author Terry Tempest Williams, as they exercised their passions to help protect wild lands from disappearing from America. Suddenly the term old broad seemed more honorific than derogatory.

Recently I’ve added a couple of new adjectives to my own old broad-persona that I feel fit perfectly. I’m a wandering-wondering old broad with passions for writing, travel, birds, books and Mother Nature.

One of my goals for this year is to rewrite my travel book with this voice. It’s too bad I didn’t do it the first time around. I won’t make that mistake this year with my blog. It’s a promise.

And my canine traveling companion, Maggie, who is also an old broad, is my witness.

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I found this basket planter in an RV park just outside Pagosa Springs, Colorado, both whimsical and a good way to recycle an old bicycle. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

 “Maybe I would become a mermaid … I would live in the swirling blue-green currents, doing exotic underwater dances for the fish, kissed by sea anemones, caressed by seaweed shawls.”

 I found the above quote by Francesca Lia Block, author of books she calls contemporary fairy tales, when I went looking for quotes with the word whimsical in it. It came up in a topic called whimsical quotes.

I think you would have to agree that it is indeed that.

Whimsy is something I look for in my travels. Things like a blue-flowered elephant, or a rock painted as a fish in a garden.

Behind each of these whimsical things, I picture their creator as a thoughtful, happy person, one who is not satisfied with the norm, a person who can laugh at themselves.

More power to them. Today’s world needs people who are not satisfied with the norm.

I couldn't resist this whimsical pirate outside a rum store in Cozumel and tagged him "New Boy Friend" in my picture files. -- Photo by Shirley Lee

Dr. Seuss said: “I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells … It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.

Did you know that’s exactly how you can see the details in a grain of sand. You look through the wrong end of your binoculars.

Perhaps the world we live in these days would look better if previewed this way. It certainly couldn’t appear anymore wacky.

“Nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited.” — George Santayna

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Ruins and tourists are all that remain of Tulum, a walled town by the Caribbean Sea built by the Mayans. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” — Henry Miller

About 800 or so years ago, Mayans built a walled city on the Yucatan Peninsula that today we call Tulum. The citizens of this fort-like town that stood on a scenic bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea were decimated by European diseases after a Spanish Expedition discovered the place in 1518.

Time and the elements reduced it to the ruins that today attracts hundreds of daily tourists. I was one of them a few years ago.

This journey back in time required an hour’s ride in a passenger ferry from Cozumel, followed by another hour’s ride in a bus to access the historic site. The day I took the tour, the water was exuberantly choppy, turning several of the passengers green.

Hamming it up for the camera, and tourist dollars. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The bus ride, however, was more gentle and flavored by the anecdotes of Angel, our tour guide. He filled our ears with tall tales of the Mayans, of which he was a descendent. He was an excellent press agent for his people, both those of ancient times and their kin who still live on the Yucatan Peninsula.

As I wandered among the ruins, ghosts from the past haunted my thoughts, their spirits floating through the air and hiding inside the cracks of the rock structures they built. What were these people really like, I wondered.

Walking back to our bus parked at the market plaza, where souvenir venders were loudly hawking their exotic wares – Angel had told us to wait to spend our money at a genuine Mayan gift shop that we would stop at on the ride back to the ferry – I sorta got an answer.

While I didn’t buy any souvenirs, I did pay to take the picture of two young Mayan boys dressed up as their ancient ancestors might have looked getting ready for battle – or a celebration.

These theatrical youths had found an ingenious way to support themselves. In this they were probably not all that different from the early Mayans. Or us. We all struggle to put foot on our tables and a roof over our heads as we search for a purpose to life and the secret to happiness.

It’s merely the methods of doing so that separate us from past generations and other cultures.

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