The infinity or horizon pool of my VRBO, Vacation Rental By Owner for those of you yet to experience this inventive trend in travel, ended up being one of the greatest highlights of my recent trip to Mexico. After over a year of being trapped in a box, also known as my house and my very local environment, fully inoculated and with the world opening up a bit more,
I found myself on a United Airlines flight bound for adventure.
Well, Puerto Vallarta to be completely accurate. I felt like I was finally getting out again, way out, and seeing the world. Yes, that world – it’s still there.
The travel experience was not without its heavier than usual processes associated with COVID-19, and after taking the extra time to fill out, text, upload and sign any number of important governmental documents, we were finally on our way to our destination in paradise.
If you’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta, and I hadn’t, you can see why movie stars like Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had houses there. The beauty of the landscape is stunning, with dense green mountain jungles and warm gentle waves lapping up on the sandy beaches of this peaceful bay. Fresh fish and the world’s, dare I say, best margaritas are everywhere, along with local art and authentic Mexican music being played at dinner for romantic travelers like me.
One special evening had five strolling musicians play, for a few pesos, “Gema” requested by one of my travel companions. ‘Gema’ means gemstone in Spanish, and a few of the lyrics translate to “you are like a precious stone, like a divine jewel.” Halfway through this song as I sat at our table positioned near the edge of the water in the sand, my friend, and then I, began to ball. What’s interesting about this is she’s fluent, while I know some restaurant Spanish, but that song’s deeper meaning seemed to resonate beyond the undecipherable foreign language through my sun-soaked skin directly into my heart. Pass the napkins please, I was a blubbering mess. Both of us were in tears by the end of this song as the purple and pink sun set over the far away horizon of the Pacific. It was a truly magical moment.
So many of our special times on this trip involved the beautiful view of Puerto Vallarta’s ocean horizon. This was something I hadn’t realized until much later after returning home. When scrolling through photos I noticed this unifying element of the distant horizon. The photo accompanying this blog piece was taken by my partner. It’s the infinity pool I mentioned at the top of this piece.
I realize now I had spent many hours wading in that pool staring out at that far away horizon. Yes, the scene was stunningly beautiful, but it finally occurred to me what was actually going on at a deeper level – I was staring out into my own horizon of possibilities which I discovered, after some time, was unlimited.
That boxed in feeling of being quarantined broke off and away, leaving me free to feel the experience of new possibility. As I like to say, “Nobody puts – Barry/Baby/insert your name here – in a box.” And I mean nobody. So I freed myself while shedding what felt like a very old skin. Lightness returned as I baked in the sun, covered in sunscreen of course, sweating my you-know-what off in the humidity, all while climbing the hilly terrain of the Zona Romantica.
What would my life be like when I returned home to Los Angeles? And for the first time in a very long time I melted – see high temperatures and humidity combined – into a deep place of acceptance and flow. Finally experiencing true relaxation in my bones, I was in a place of absolute surrender. Letting go and letting God let me open up to a deep knowing that I’d be okay, along with a hint that something beautiful lay ahead.
I realize not everyone can get on an airplane at this time and head off to some far away exotic place, and you don’t have to.
Climb a hill in your hood or go to the top of your building when the sun is setting. Visit a local park, lake, or stare out over a vast and endless space of land – all of these help our minds to create perspective, possibility, and remind us of the expansiveness of the world we live in, and the inherent beauty just ahead.
We need this type of perspective from time to time. And it’s easy to lose sight of it, but we mustn’t. Our freedom and sense of possibility resides here, and it’s where our imagination gets the chance to fly, to be inventive, and it’s the exact place where we get to breathe in the fresh air of what smells like our visions and dreams. Again, it’s free, so have at it, and see what begins to unfold in your own imagination. It’s your time. And you’ve got this.
Barry Alden Clark is a writer and professional life coach. His work is focused on helping people live their best lives by acting as a guide for them to connect more deeply with their internal life force where creativity, purpose, and true freedom reside, while using humor, compassion, and kindness as hallmarks for the process of personal evolution. Recently Barry published his first book, “Living Life Now: Ingredients for Thriving In The Modern World,” now available on Amazon, and launched his new podcast “Living Life Now,” available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Music. You can reach Barry at www.barryaldenclark.com.