TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

Sometimes You Need a Break – Creating the Feeling of Home When Away From Home

Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist

“It’s a funny feeling that becomes surreal,
needing a vacation from your full time travel is real.
Once in a while you need to lie down and stare at the wall
and feel content to do nothing at all.”

Heather Markel, June 2019.

 

I’m in the town of Posadas, five hours west of Iguazu. I am the only tourist here. This is not an exaggeration. There’s nothing to see here. It’s not a small city, it’s just done no marketing to attract tourists, and the only way to do anything touristy is to take a bus, or create a personal tour. I’ve decided to do the moon walk at Iguazu. No, not the Michael Jackson one, the kind with the white disc in the sky shining brightly. I found out after arriving in Posadas that there is one, and, of course, it’s only once a month, and the next walk isn’t until mid-June, and it’s only the month of May when I get here.

A church in the main square of Posadas.

Photograph by Heather Markel. Copyright 2019

There’s nothing remarkable in Posadas. A couple of churches, a big metal statue, some shops, a quick trip over the border to Paraguay, and, well, life. I wonder if I should have gone to Cordoba or broken up my 18-hour bus ride from Salta by stopping someplace else. But then that feeling hits me – I need a break. This life of travel is AWESOME and amazing! I am so happy and grateful for it. But, sometimes it gets tiring to have to pack, get to the bus stop, shove everything in, sit for hours, go to a new hotel, start over, feel like you want to see stuff…and this town is so mellow and quiet I am delighted to take a break.

“A chance to catch up, have boring days, and no sightseeing.”

Because of my bad experience I wrote about, I’m still feeling a want for security, so I’ve booked into a business hotel. I have a huge room, it’s like being in a nice Marriott or Sheraton, except for less than $30 USD / night, and includes breakfast. I can easily live on $40/day, and spend most of my days catching up with my blog, and taking advantage of the fabulous WiFi to do interviews for my new video series – The Inspired Nomads. I finally have time to develop some of the country guides I’ve been thinking about since so many people have started to ask me for information about the various places I’ve traveled, and hey, I need to make a buck here and there! 😉

Andres Guazurari monument in Posadas.

Photograph by Heather Markel. Copyright 2019

The joy of both doing nothing, and also, doing only what I want to do, are newer joys in my life. In my old life, I had a hard time doing nothing because it seemed like I should always be doing something, and doing nothing really only happened when I was sleeping, which, of course, is still doing something. And, do only what I want? Sheesh, who was I kidding! In a life focused around money making, that was an afterthought. Now it’s my main thought. Who would have thought? 😉 This concept of home, though, still comes up for me. Once in a while, I pass by a store with dishes. The other day I went to Paraguay and a guy tried to sell me a dish towel. Of course, I have no home to put any of that stuff in, so I passed all that up. But, I do like to feel like I can sleep in a “my bed” and actually unpack clothes onto a shelf, for example. But, after a week or two of that, I get the travel bug again and am delighted to move on!
Note – if you ever go to Paraguay from Posadas here are some tips. There is an international public bus to Encarnacion, Paraguay. It’s 50 pesos (about $1.10) and gets you through immigration and into the center of Encarnacion. It’s crazy – you gotta be at the front of the bus, run off, be first through immigration, so you can make it back on to your bus before it drives off without you. On the way back, people have so many bags of shit and it’s a hell-hole of shoving to get back on a bus. If you’re small like me, prepared to be shoved, stepped on, and squished. The train is a better option – same price, slightly less shoving and you don’t get stuck in traffic. Also, Encarnacion is basically a shopping town. There is nothing I found particularly beautiful or worth visiting. Unlike Posadas, it doesn’t feel inviting, either, just like you should be shopping or leaving. The people, however, are mostly lovely. The police officer I met actually gave me his number and told me he’d take off work to show me around! 
The other experience I’m enjoying is going back to the same cafes and supermarkets, etc that has allowed me to become friendly with the owners. They all are lovely to you right away, and I’ve gone to a music gathering and feel I’ve got a place to go where people know me, more than one place. Funny, because sometimes you need to feel not just like you have friends nearby, but like people know who you are when they see you. If you ever get to Posadas I highly recommend the Cafe Colon – the owners are LOVELY and they make some of the best coffee I’ve had in Argentina. The flat white is amazing. 
Speaking of which, I met a lovely woman in the restaurant of my hotel, traveling on her own for work. We’re going out for a drink so I have to finish up this article. Ah, the joys of just being and enjoying where you are, in the moment, no pressure, and meeting lovely new people.

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