Thursday, November 24, 2011

Indie Travel - Love Affair

When we travel, our senses are heightened. We feel more alive and we’re more free to do things we might not at home. We can be who we want. There’s an air of urgency to everything we do – we know our time here, in this place, and with these people, is limited. If we want to do something, we have to do it now. It’s no wonder then that many travelers have relationships on the road. Tell us about a “special someone” you met while traveling. 


A kiss 'n' tell? No way! 


Of course one would have to kiss in order to tell, and it's been a while since I've traveled anywhere where someone was interested, or in whom I was interested.......Does that say something about the life of an 'older' person? I'm not even 60 yet!


So  here's an almost kiss 'n' tell story. 


When I was in San Miguel de Allende in February of 2010, I met a fellow through mutual friends named Francisco. He was once an architect, built a lot of schools. Then he went to the US, illegally, lived in Houston for about 10 years where he ran a landscaping business. When things got sticky, he tried to get a green card, but was told to go home before the government came and confiscated everything and deported him. He sold off his equipment, and came back to Leon where his family lived. His son chose to stay in Houston and live with an American family to finish high school. Nobody was threatening to kick him out, so now he speaks perfect English and is a rock musician. Francisco wishes he would go to college, but for now he's living out his own dream. 


Francisco was charming and smart, nice looking, and very attentive. He found me attractive and made no bones about it. He brought me roses for Valentines day. He held my hand as we walked around the plaza and took me out for a meal a couple of times.


Francisco had a van and several of my women friends hired him to take us on a tour of Guanajuato and Dolores Hidalgo. It was a great trip. He also took a couple of us to a hot springs where we swam around in a cave. Francisco had ambitions to be a writer and worked often on his book. We had several things in common and though his English was a little better than my Spanish, we mostly conversed in Spanish. It's much more romantic.


Francisco at the silver
mine above Guanajuato.
He'd done such a good job driving that I recommended him to my landlady when she was desperate. Her friend ran the San Miguel Writer's Conference, and the arranged driver for the keynote speaker, Barbara Kingsolver, had wrecked his car. Francisco got the job of driving the famous author and her family. After the conference, she hired him to take them on a long trip through central Mexico and then to the airport in Mexico City. So, as my trip was drawing to a close, he was off having a wonderful time being a tour guide. He arrived back in San Miguel just in time to take me to the airport. We hugged goodby and I flew away. 


Soon all the ex-pat women in San Miguel wanted to be driven around by the same Francisco who had driven Barbara Kingsolver. In short order Francisco had enough work to support himself with no other jobs and he could work on his book. 


I saw him briefly again when I was in San Miguel in September 2010. He'd sold the van so he could open a shoe store, and he spent his days, between customers, writing. Now his book is done, he's gotten it published, and he's busy promoting it. I hear from him once in a while, but I don't expect anything in the future. I'll try to keep my jealousy in check, that he's finished his book, and I've not finished mine!! He will always be a good contact and ready ally. He's a genuinely good man.