A messy year of striking volatility. However:
- Some of the most engaging travel, especially throughout the Amazons and rural NE Brazil.
- Epic reading milestones addressed: two readings of Cortazar’s Rayuela and Joyce’s Ulysses each, now making way through Cervantes' Don Quijote? All within a single year? Not to mention Pushkin’s Onegin, Gogol, the modernist poets, the Russian silver-age poets, Lovecraft, Swinburne, Azevedo, Прутков? I couldn’t have dreamt this up.
- More chess played than ever before, an affair I hope to one day more vividly capture in writing.
- More time without a working or any cell phone than prior imagined. Continuing the self-imposed digitally austere existence.
But health-wise, reckless.
Consequently we see the least amount of published content as of yet. And who am I to blame but myself? Wherever bound my footsteps and by whatever means of transport, can’t recall circumstances not a product of own design, nor decisions not soberly premeditated. Premeditated with a disgusting manifest of sobriety.
In being the unusually dynamic and widely diverse travel year, I’d effectively compromised well being at numerous discreet junctions.
Sometimes too much movement led to severe exhaustion. Sometimes exposed to an exorbitant amount of people for too long depleted all fuel.
Because I operate like a poster introvert. Sooner be a hermit than surrounded by conglomerates over enough days. And these last months saw enough conglomerates.
In the few days in Mexico City before my outbound flight, the megalopolis appeared even more overpopulated than my recollections of visits 8-10 years back. I now felt nigh suffocated in walking those central alleys. Case point: Calle Francisco Madera.
Much of it concerned my overall compromised and degenerated level of nutrition. As endlessly ascertained over the years, the nutrition factor impacts both physiological and cognitive functions second to none. I’ve been dangerously reckless:
Recklessly misaligned with the accepted norms of this vessel: not another of my age, not one double the girth and quadruple the wrinkles, but this one, with own caprices and pitifully heightened sensitivity.
Not new discoveries. Year in, year out, I’ve made the same invariable inference: avoid that which causes acute harm, and you’ll fare well enough.
Adhered to, and I’m content if not plain happy.
Let the acute stressors proliferate, and watch misery envelop.
(I’d explored the matter in detail a few years back.)
As much as I adore much that is culturally Mexican, it behooves me to avoid the traditional cuisine like pestilence.
I thus tended throughout the last six-month season less than a year back, opting to largely prepare at home.
But less diligent this short-circuited two-month sojourn in Chiapas and Oaxaca. As had transpired in the more distant, easily forgettable past, I abused the salsa, the spices, the corn tortillas and whatever combination of stressors (and love) the hand-held meals seemed to cater.
Perhaps further exacerbated by exhaustion and stress from the recent volunteering experience and the overwhelming cosmopolitan environment that entailed, but the said factors obliterated my stomach to mush.
The combinations deserve emphasis. Inspiring little harm in isolation, once assembled, the minions rattle all pandemonium.
And however sparsely I’ve digressed to alcohol post my two dry pre-2021 years: consumed enough precarious aliments, and that extra spirit, though modest, deteriorates matters further. Asserted timelessly.
Partially psychosomatic? The idea is not abject. But whatever be, I feel immeasurably superior without abusive chemicals, spices, heavily-fried or difficult-to-process foods; superior in body, in mind, in creativity.
Eliminate the toxic and the quality nurtures itself.
That, and drink abundant water. However bluntly obvious, I’m finding easier to transgress than ever conceived:
All factors equal, easier to neglect water in cold climates. Tougher to assert sufficient hydration.
Contrary to desirable wisdom, the more garbage entering the system, the more challenging to gauge water necessity: as if the toxins conspire to disrupt circuitry across the board.
Water recognizes no quality substitute: not coffee, nor soup, nor porridge (a detestable word in the English language), not even tea or the wondrous Yerba Mate.
Speaking of my two strict intermittent fast years to gradually halt by Fall 2021 - among the healthiest of states I’ve thus far achieved (save for the undesirable side effects such as the severe shedding of weight):
The body found ample time and leisure to eliminate unwanted toxins. The water circuitry thus operated at such overwhelming caliber that twice the traditional water amounts had I to consume throughout the day by fair estimates: and disproportionally concentrated throughout the morning.
Conversely, the less time I allot the body for cleansing purposes, the less it spends detoxifying, the less it seems to complain of water shortage, all the while of greatest necessity and peril.
The underlying conclusion: pump abundant water into your body by any means.
Across Latin America I deem Brazil the prime candidate with easily accessible and affordable quality food to be found along the bustle; Colombia a feasible although distant compromise. But nothing comparable in Mexico, Guatemala or Peru, thinking of locations this year traversed. Though I reckon it’s all individual and subject to body metrics.
And concerning nutrition advice: no opinion on what and how to eat should carry heavy weight be not the bearer of solid composition (look the part) and of at least 35 years: the older, the preferable. Younger corpses have yet to incur interest, though a heavy percentage look nothing laudable anyway.
That addresses the crucial. With regard to general travel experiences, anything remarkable worth imparting?
Same story. Most hyped and lauded hubbub doesn’t justify the time and related expenses. Cost/benefit.
Unless already en route or a reach away. Or come that singular phenomenon, be the likes of which a mere shadow, you’ve not before felt: something I find increasingly rare with age, occurrences tending to repeat under varying guise. But I’m not up to draw an exploratory survey at the moment.
Or because I construe travel as something internal, holistic and personal: not an exercise of dopamine extraction. And most truly cherishing experiences to remain in memory demand no inherent cost.
Questions, comments? Connect.