Yes, we’ve been traveling for months and in some ways it has been a vacation. We don’t have jobs. We don’t cook dinner. We don’t have to clean the house. Even with all that, our trip has felt less like a vacation and more like traveling. I think there is a difference. On vacation you relax, go at a slower pace and try not to think about any other responsibilities. On the contrary, when traveling you are on the go, visiting different attractions, learning new information and soaking up interesting experiences. We have been traveling since the end of July. Now, it is time for vacation.
When we return to the States we will be relocating to a new city. Looking for a new car, apartment and job means we will probably have to hit the ground running. Because of this, we have decided to end our trip with a sort of beach vacation–an opportunity to reflect, relax, and re-gather our energy to start anew upon our return. So, today we find ourselves in Mar Del Plata, a beach town that’s a 5 1/2 hour bus ride south of Buenos Aires and the summer playground for many Portenos. We took another comfy ride on a luxury coach bus, where I tried to get some much needed rest. I fell a sleep for a bit, but was rudely awakened by the man across the aisle snoring so loudly I could hear him through my earplugs. Argh! I reluctantly woke up and eventually we pulled into this sunny coastal city. As we cruised down Avenida de Colon toward the sea’s edge, it felt like we were on the drive into Clearwater Beach, Florida. The road slopes slightly upward and I eagerly anticipated the moment when the Atlantic Ocean revealed itself before our eyes. Once it finally did, the view took our breath away. Ocean spread in front of us as far as our eyes could see and the breeze from the water cooled the air at least 10 degrees. It is gorgeous.
We arrived at the final stay of our trip, an apartment we found through Air BnB. It is hard to believe after so many different hotels, hostels and apartments over the last few months, this is the last one of our trip. And we couldn’t have chosen a better final stay. The apartment is small, but absolutely perfect for what we need. Big comfortable bed, hot shower and a well-equipped kitchen. But the most impressive feature is the balcony which overlooks the sea. In fact, every window in the apartment has views of the ocean making us feel like we are floating on the sea. Our host, Carlos, was incredibly welcoming. He shared with us they myriad restaurants and attractions we could visit during our stay. Apparently there is a section of town with great seafood restaurants and his mention of a nearby casino certainly didn’t go unnoticed. We ventured out for some lunch and to stock up on groceries. We searched for a grocery which was more than just a “mini-mercado.” We finally found one, excited by its size, but this excitement soon wore off. The veggies were all caked in dirt, the meat looked a few days old and I couldn’t find any peanut butter. They sell dulce de lece by the gallon-sized bucket, but no peanut butter. This makes me very sad. We finally settled on brown rice and some frozen veggie concoction, along with some other snacks and necessities, then began to walk back to our place. Exhausted from the early morning, snoring man on bus and the weariness of travel, we then took an epic nap. Let the vacation begin. A king sized bed, the ocean breeze blowing through the window and the sounds of waves crashing against the shore are a recipe for the perfect nap. Add to that the very little sleep we got last night and waking up early for the bus and we were both asleep within seconds of our heads hitting the pillow.
Once we peeled ourselves from our comfort, we made a much anticipated homemade dinner. The first of many in our near future. If we had to choose the one thing we have consistently missed the most on this trip (besides friends and family, of course), it is cooking for ourselves. We can’t wait to get back into this habit. Happy to be in the same place for 5 days, we plan to continue much the same way we did today, with the addition of some beach time and maybe a trip to the casino. We will cherish each moment of this “vacation” from our travels because the real world beckons and will be here before we know it.