I’ve always treated my child’s birthday as a special occasion. No matter where we’ve been, I’ve always tried to bring something . . . different to it and other special moments. I haven’t, however, always done that for myself. Growing up birthdays were not very big events. I was either living with my abusive mother, with one of her friends, or in foster care. While there are many very good foster parents, there are also many that, well, frankly just suck. Hence, my birthday has often been a rather sore spot for me. I don’t mind becoming chronologically older each year because to me age really is just a useless number. But my birthday does tend to inflame various scars from my rather unpleasant childhood.
With our new lifestyle (I guess over 430 days can no longer be considered “new,” though), I’ve tried to recast several things in our life, this being one of them. Last year I celebrated my birthday by going to the wonderful ruins of Tikal in Guatemala and then getting a seafood dinner and margaritas later that night. On Tigger’s birthday he began dive instruction.
For this birthday we find ourselves back in Mexico. To celebrate my 44th birthday (sounds so weird to me because I don’t feel anywhere near that age) we’re heading to Mahahual in the southern Yucatan, near the Belize border. I had briefly entertained taking a trip to Ambergris Caye in Belize, but their exit tax is pretty stiff at $37.50 USD for 2 people (although last time they only charged 50% for Tigger), and I’m just not that enamored with that country to want to pay that, aside from Belize being more expensive anyway.
In Mahahual we’ll have a small cabin on a white sands beach, and the area is flanked by both the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and the Xcalax National Reef Park. I’m hoping to get in a dive or two while there as well, and hopefully will be eating some fresh fish.
Little by little I’m reclaiming my birthdays from rotten childhood memories and replacing them with amazing ones. Being a full-time nomad isn’t just about escaping the 9-5 corporate rat race after all. It’s about creating the life I want, and that includes sticking my tongue out at the less-desirable events of my past.