when i had the freedom (ie - dinero) to take a holiday a couple weeks ago, i quickly leapt at the chance. a few phone calls and a stop at the bus station later, i was on the road. destination, quito.
even in those first few minutes, as we pulled out of the terminal, my head started to clear.
only three months before i had arrived in macas, totally unsure of what was in store.
and now, here i was. seasoned traveller, a few more words of spanish under my belt, navigating ecuadorian life with much more ease. not doing so badly after all.
in any endeavor, it's easy to become engulfed in the details and struggles. but taking a breath and looking at the big picture can give so much confidence to keep going...
we arrived in quito at 6am. after crossing the city on various buses and trolleys (enjoying lovely glimpses of colonial architecture on the way) i finally got to my friends apartment. showering and napping never felt so good. (those night journeys are quite... something)
the week was refreshing in so many ways. i heard an english talk for the first time in months, (one of those life-changing, re-prioritizing talks. amazing timing.) got to speak a ton of english and connect with friends, go shopping at the artisan market (bargaining until blue in the face...), have an artsy painting day, sleep, read a nice fat book all the way through, start journalling again. it was all exactly what i needed. everything that had become overwhelming started to shrink down to a managable size. and i started feeling more like my old self.
at the end of the week i travelled back home via the road that runs down the 'avenue of volcanoes'. the high bare mountains gradually got greener and more lush. the thought of soaking into oblivion in the thermals was just too tempting, so i got off in banos and checked into a hostel. the courtyard was overgrown with trees and flowers.
the next two days were completely lovely. great food, hotsprings at night, the lights of the town strung up and down the hills, and the gentle sound of the waterfall above. banos has a way of folding you in and spoiling your senses. its hard to leave.
but sunday came, and it was time to wrap things up and head back to macas. i was anxious, it was the first time returning after officially moving in. how i felt on arrival would be an indicator of how much i could let myself settle in.
as we sunk further down into the oriente, i slowly relaxed. finally, when we pulled into macas a few hours later, i was happy and relieved. and home.
there is a point when it becomes ok to give in. to stop holding back. to accept where you're at. a point when you stop struggling and everything becomes aligned. life flows a little more easily.
(to keep mine flowing, i bought one of these fantastic things. hours of bliss and relaxation at home for only $13.
if it's not raining.)