As I walked through the streets of old San Juan, I finally felt that faraway feeling. You know the one. You’ve been on vacation for a couple of days and then you finally surrender, and you are away for real, traveling, letting your eyes be filled with something brand new. Funny that the impossibly turquoise water didn’t do it, or the school of two hundred round purple fish, or even the lacy algae that fanned slowly as if by a breeze.
It wasn’t the mofongo with the mashed green plantains or the juice made of watermelon, lime, mint and sugar. Not even that. These were so delightful and yet, home still tugged away at me, the people I missed as well as the worries that ordinary life brings.
But again, as I walked through those streets and snapped as quickly as I could before night fell, I was for the first time during my trip truly far away. The colored walls transformed into paint chips around me, the black-blue of the smooth brick street under my feet was like a magic path. The sun warming the tops of the buildings, tiny cafes and churches, the smell of garbage even, brought me so fiercely into the moment that I felt more joyous than any other day.
Is that the trick? To find these moments that seem to vibrate with life? to know that at any moment this is available, if only we were able to sink in and see our regular old world as if we had never seen anything like it before.