I think I was always meant to live abroad. As I stand in my kitchen in Mexico, making a meat sauce for tonight’s pasta dinner, I’m listening to a Parisian playlist I found on YouTube. It’s a mix of flavors and I love it. It conjures up so many daydreams of living abroad…
I imagine living in Paris. I wake up and drink coffee on my veranda, finishing a piece I’m currently writing. Maybe I take a cooking class. And when Husband arrives home, we listen to songs that sound like they’re gliding off a record player while we sauté buttery food that melts in our mouth. And wine.
Then I daydream of shopping for fresh pasta or bread or – let”s be real – pretty much any carbohydrate in Italy. I walk home past vendors that know me and know what I am out looking for that day with fresh ingredients in a brown paper bag, basil poking out of the top. I wave hello but can’t stop to talk because it’s Friday and the kids are getting home soon which means we are going for gelato. And wine.
Now I’m aware that mostly I’m daydreaming of food.
So then I think how cool it would be to live in Kenya. I sit in front of a sunset that silhouettes Umbrella Thorn trees in the distance and Husband joins me (with wine) to recap our day. We laugh at the adventures that seem to find us down roads that have no names. It reminds us of the Dominican Republic where getting behind the wheel was an adventure in it of itself, and it always brought us to a place where the sunsets were spectacular. “Way back then when we first moved abroad, remember?” We would remind ourselves.
Or what if we lived in New Zealand on a big plot of open land… with a porch overlooking a view that reminds you how big and grand the world really is. (Because if I’m daydreaming, I’m going to give my thoughts all the luxury and gluttony it wants.) We are exhausted from a day of outside adventures: hiking, kayaking, surfing. Rather, Husband is exhausted because that’s not really my thing but New Zealand has great wine, so I sit on our porch watching the sunset – and the wine bottle – drop lower.
And since, I’m already in Mexico, I know what my days and evenings look like in Guadalajara. Morning walks with the dogs to the tienda on the corner for fresh squeezed orange juice. I don’t even like OJ but I’m fully invested in this. This is an orange juice of a different kind entirely. I grab a lonche from the place down the street that is not so much a restaurant as it is someone’s driveway that they’ve turned into a place to eat. And in the evenings we sit in our backyard patio with bistro lights above and marvel at the papaya tree. And then my mind drifts to different parts of Mexico…
We explore the history of Mexico City one bite at a time because we’ve heard from several people that the food there is second to none. Then I see us celebrating festivals where the city explodes in bright colors and firecrackers. But mostly, I daydream us back to the beach. Quiet, relaxing days – a month long stay at a remote beach with fish shacks and tianguis to browse. We wake up and spend all day on the beach. We go home only to make margaritas before our evening stroll and the next day is no different. Beach. Beer. Fish Shacks. Margaritas. Sunsets. Each other.
A beach family once again.
I don’t know these places intimately… but I’d like to. I know my daydreams are starter kits; small slivers of stereotypes that I’ve seen on screen or that I’ve experienced in a touristy glimpse but it excites me all the same to know there are infinite places out there in the world to experience. To live.
I’m back in my kitchen. Swirling around the meat sauce that is almost done and I think about Ratatouille — the stew, not the movie. I’ve never tried it but that doesn’t mean I’m not curious. I have a basic idea of the flavors yet I don’t know it first hand… but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to it.
The world is the same. So many daydreams, so little time.
Do you dream of living abroad or traveling? Where to???