• Mar

    How Travels With Nathan Began


    It was pretty simple, the blog was actually an afterthought, something to do, have fun with and maybe even make a bit of money with.

    It began as the result of a holiday in 2004. Me and my now ex-girlfriend (Carol) were having relationship trouble. It’s life, right? And so many people have these kinds of issues. Anyway, to make a long story short, Carol said to me: “We need to go on a holiday, and not something that’s involved with your family or mine, but something we do for ourselves.”

    For that, she chose Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, actually. At the time, I was heavily into freelance writing, working long hours on deadline and I didn’t feel I could spare the time nor the money. Our counselor disagreed and said we should do the trip. So we went to a travel agent a booked a one-week trip to an all-inclusive.

    Up until the time we left was working my butt off and and I even had to take my laptop with me to check in while we were on the road. (As it turns out, that didn’t work, which turned out to be a blessing, because it forced me to stop.)

    The day of the trip dawned and we flew to Mexico, then were picked up by the hotel we were staying at. So far, so good. It took a bit of awhile to realize where I was and to get a feeling for the place.

    Strangely enough, all these people were coming up to us and saying: “Hola.” I was profoundly embarassed because I had no idea what they were saying. I’d been so involved in my own life that I hadn’t taken any time to learn about Mexico at all. Fortunately, Carol came to my rescue and informed me that “Hola” meant: “Hello.”

    The trip was both strange and wonderful, all at the same time. For years I’d been living in Victoria, B.C. and I thought it was my last stop. I though I would live there, retire there, grow old there and die there. I wasn’t looking for anything else. I had no interest in Spanish, Mexico, or anything to do with Latin America.

    Our trip changed all of that.

    One of the major things I discovered was a heart connection with Mexico, something I never felt in Canada. Canada always seemed dry and intellectual to me. There, I was forced to be reserved and to follow the rules. In Mexico I felt much freer and happier in a way I couldn’t explain.

    One week in Mexico is all it took. I changed so much that by the end of the trip I didn’t want to return to Canada and it was emotionally wrenching to get on the plane for the flight home.

    On the way back, I said to Carol, “When we get back, I’m going to start studying Spanish.” She thought I was kidding, but within a couple of weeks I was in a Spanish immersion course at Saint Savior’s church in Esquimalt. Within a month, I knew more Spanish then she did.

    A year later, our relationship ended, on my birthday, strangely enough. That day we boarded a ferry to the mainland and my now ex-girlfriend dropped me off at a and bed and breakfast in Vancouver, B.C. where I stayed for five days. After that, I flew to Mexico for a 3-1/2 month stay. And that’s when the adventure began.

    © Nathan Segal Questions? Write to me.

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