In terms of my travel, I’ve taken lots of different paths. I’ve traveled to places for work, perhaps knowing a co-worker or two from a previous job or not knowing anyone at all. I’ve gone to places only having done research on the area a few days before, cramming in as many foreign words and phrases to help me find my way around. Other times I’ve gone having done research months beforehand to help myself acclimate to my surroundings. At times I know exactly what to pack in my suitcase, and yet others I’ve guessed and packed last minute while finishing one job and moving on to the next. Everyone has a different travel style, and traveling with others is no easy task since everyone prefers a different approach to packing, figuring out what activities to do, and how much they want to spend. Having traveled with my family either going with them to a location or meeting them after a job ends, I am no stranger to varying individual travel styles. My recent trip with my parents to San Jose del Cabo in the Baja area of Mexico was no exception, even on a simple day at the beach.
Spending a couple of days on the beach is very unusual for my family; we’re not very good at being lazy on vacation and find plenty of activities to fill our days. However, my mom and I both agree it’s not a bad idea for us to do nothing for a couple of days and re-energize. However after my parents and I have been laying on chairs under umbrellas, the urge to get up and explore strikes us as we head to the pebbled beach. We place our shoes near the edge of the shore, but head in different directions when we reach the water. My dad prefers to stay near the waves, but in the same place the whole time. He prefers to stay where he is comfortable and never leaves where he started near the water. Even when we’re at home, he prefers to stay with the familiar and the routine. My mom, however, is the opposite as she wanders in another direction, but stays away from the crashing waves for fear of her inability to swim. She’s excited to find seashells and beach glass for me, sharing her treasures and telling me, “We need to find a plastic bag so you can collect more for your jewelry-making.” She’s cautious, but adventurous and eager to find what’s beyond the familiar.
I find myself somewhere in between my parents’ personalities. I start nearby, taking in my surroundings, but I’m eager to wander and prefer to find what adventures lay beyond what I know. Sometimes I stay beside my mom, but other times I take off with my parents staying behind in the distance. No matter how far I wander, I am still able to turn around, look back, and know where I started. I constantly do this in my life. I’ve always wanted to be on an adventure, ever since my dad recalls taking me to school for the first time, watching me as I skipped along the sidewalk. I may appear to be quiet and timid around others, but I thrive on being alone, free to be independent and explore as I please.
It would seem that all of these different ways of experiencing travel would only tend to clash or never agree on anything. That may happen, but the one thing we can agree on is that we look out for one another. Before we head back to the hotel, my mom points to the hillside, “Do you think that’s a house?” I look at the set of blue-domed buildings, “You mean those?” Before I know it, a wave engulfs us from behind and we fall down. My hat is caught in the waves, but my dad, who remains near the water, is able to chase after it instead of watching it become swallowed into the ocean. He falls down a couple of times as the waves cover him and he reaches for my hat. I tell him to hurry as he grabs my hat and another wave approaches. I may not prefer to stay in the familiar like my dad does, but I’m thankful there’s someone always watching out. I’m beginning to see I need both points of view to travel. I need the adventurous, eager side of my mom to see potential and the cautious side of my dad to remind me there’s always people at home who love and support me no matter what.