Vacations

Let’s immediately address the obvious. It’s been a while since I wrote something! A hint to why it’s been like that can be found in the title. After 8 months of pedalling I treated myself to some vacations which I spent at home in Slovenia. Some of you learned about this with a various level of surprise when your phone rung or I have simply showed myself in front of you. All the rest found it out just now.
Soon after entering Mexico I have started to think what kind of surprise I can prepare for my brother’s, Matjaž’s 30th birthday. And in lack of a better idea I have decided to totally shock him by showing myself at his birthday party. It goes without saying that nobody knew nothing about the whole thing since otherwise it would not have been a surprise. Besides in doing it this way I made it possible that a little piece of this surprise was available also for some of you.
The path from the idea to its realisation wasn’t that difficult. Thanks to almost endless possibilities of internet I was able to find a plane ticket, plan my route back home and later arrange with a kind Warmshowers host to leave Lou and my stuff with him. Then I can take a little backpack and some gifts then sit on an airplane and some airports later I arrive to cold but familiar surroundings.
I would have been lying if I was not to write that a promise of soon being reunited with family and friends, would not have filled me with anxiety and longing to return home as soon as possible. For vacations. So for days before departure my thoughts were barely here in Guatemala but more with people I miss here on the road.
And so came early Tuesday morning when a taxi showed in front of the door and I sat inside and went towards the adventure ahead. Taxi to the airport, then a few planes and airports before in Venice I sat inside a GoOpti van that took me home to Ljubljana. Really an odd feeling when you come home for vacations.
Almost immediately upon arrival in Ljubljana I’ve almost bumped into a former colleague. Ljubljana really is just a bit bigger village. I do have to be more careful if I want for the surprise to work! A little more than a week separates me from the family lunch when the surprise is due to happen. And this week I used for slowly adjusting to different temperatures and the new/old environment.
It’s interesting that not a lot has changed. There are the same saleswomen in the stores, the same waitresses in the bars, buses have the same lanes,… But nevertheless I had to readjust to this environment. What shocked me the most was when I stepped outside the apartment building and greeted passers-by with a greeting or a smile. Nobody greeted me back, only a bit puzzled, dull stare came my way. Soon I abandoned this practice of greeting. Apparently back home this is a forgotten thing.
Almost equally shocking was driving a car in the morning rush hour on so familiar streets. Only few can rival the speeds and aggressiveness of our “home” drivers. There were moments that I felt more afraid driving a car on these streets than riding a bicycle on the roads of Central America.
Just over a week of vacations came Saturday and the family lunch. After I managed to successfully “hide” from certain people for more than a week, an hour before the event I almost drove pass Matjaž. I really should pay more attention to where I’m going.
I know you are all curious how the surprise worked out. Still a novice in writing I do have troubles to properly describe the whole turn of events so I’ll make it short. Yes, the surprise totally worked. I couldn’t have imagined the shock I gave to all who were there. Amongst all of them, the person to recover from the shock the fastest was my grandma who has asked: “Will you also come for my birthday (in December)?”
Three weeks of vacation flew pass by me without even properly realizing when. Meetings with friends over a beer or a cup of coffee that all have been too short. Time spent with family that was never long enough.
Now I’m sitting at the table in the house of my host Sergio that has looked after Lou and my stuff here in Guatemala. Writing these lines and thinking of the events of these vacations. As with all vacations, I wish that this one would last a bit longer. But here, on the other side of the World, Lou, the road and the Smiles of strangers are all waiting for me. Following one’s Dreams is sometimes harder than it seems from a comfort of well-known, familiar environment back home. However I have never detected that living one’s Dreams is easy. But as they say around here – “Vale la pena!” (It’s worth it)

With a Smile on my face, until next time!
Simon

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