December 15, 2020. Chiapas Mexico
Probably every motivational speaker knows the story of Cortez in the Early 16th century. When he landed in Central America, he intentionally set fire to his ships. Thereby making it clear to his men that there was no going back home to Spain.
I did something like this. I checked out of my one bedroom rent controlled apartment in San Francisco where I have been living for more than a decade. In that decade, I have hosted many touring cyclists, proudly showed off my city, and made friends world wide.
As documented in this blog, in the last year and a half, I have been touring a bit. I have visited some of these friends. I also got a good education in cycle touring from Les Cyclomigrateurs in Asia this spring. Then as we all experienced, the pandemic caused it all to be put on hold.
So, while I was waiting for things to resolve, I got my hip replaced. This went amazingly well. Many thanks to my surgeon in San Francisco, Neil Bharucha, and my companion Lucy Rojas. I was on my feet and walking just hours after surgery. Now six months later, I am leading an active life with no issues.
Eager to get on with the retirement project, I started looking for places in the world which are relatively Covid-19 free. Asia and Australia have many excellent examples. Unfortunately they are not available to American tourists.
The island of Bermuda is quite good, and also available. Unfortunately it is too small for any meaningful bike touring.
Given that I was interested in furthering my Spanish language skills, I looked closely at Latin America. It turns out in southern most Mexico, there is Chiapas. If you believe the New York Times, this is extremely quiet with respect to the pandemic.
Having effectively burned the ship, I am ready to start the next chapter in true nomadic style. However, before I go off exploring, I ought to wait out the pandemic a bit.
Chiapas is thus a temporary nesting spot for me. Mexican Immigration has granted me a half year. Hopefully this is enough time. I will use it to form a good team, improve my Spanish language skills, and learn the culture. Then, I will have to burn the ship again. Hopefully I will not have accumulated so much junk.