With Miami just on the horizon, the air is rife with excitement. After all this time back in L.A., I’m getting ready to fly away again, and it’s a gift to plan for another adventure on the road, as I race to meet yet another taste of the world. Interestingly enough, I came across some old writings earlier in the afternoon, from all the way back in late 2008 when I joined my cousin for a road trip through Mexico! It was such a joy: I never knew the writings existed in the first place, and when I started browsing through them, I couldn’t help but laugh at all the crazy observations I made throughout that glorious trip…

“December 27, 2008; outside an office depot…

And I’m sitting in an F-150 waiting for my comrade (cousin) to come back to this truck with a memory card for our camera…Well, to be honest, it’s his camera, but the poor sucker didn’t want to take even a single picture throughout our five-day drive. At last though, I convinced him to go and look for a memory card, and he’s now doing just that. The only problem is: that all happened about thirty damn minutes ago, and I’m still just waiting here in the damn truck! I feel like an abandoned dog…”

What an amazing time: I’d just gotten my diploma from John Marshall High in the Spring earlier that year, and had just finished my very first Fall semester at Pasadena City College. I’d also just turned eighteen in November, and was on full-throttle obnoxiousness about finally being ‘legal’. But most importantly: as I took to the road, I was driven by the sense that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by spiraling myself into the unknown. I was ready for it all, even when I was anything but. This would make for a rambunctious sojourn through my mother’s native land, as I met new cousins, the motorcycles they rode, the clubs they drank in, and best of all: the beautiful families they went home to at the end of another spin through Oaxaca; that is, just before they capped off the night with some of the greatest late dinners on the planet!

Tlayudas in Oaxaca, Mexico; 2008

For this and so many reasons, it was an incredible trip, but the best part was meeting uncles and aunties and a host of other relatives that I’d never known existed before. They were an unforgettable cast of characters, all of whom I loved immediately, and each of whom I still remember vividly, as if we were hanging out through the dusty trails of Mexico just the other day. Now, as I get ready to plunge into things with VONA, I can’t wait to see everything I can get my eyes on in the South-East coast. Though I don’t think it’ll be anywhere near as awesome as Oaxaca, somehow I still trust it’s going to be an amazing, hilarious, and unforgettable time all the same!