I was going through old photos on my laptop to get rid of ones that I’ve kept for no reason besides laziness. I found these two shots that made me start thinking about the value of not planning out your whole day while traveling.
My significant other and I have been to a couple of dozen countries together, but when it comes to our styles of exploring a town or city, we’re at different ends of the spectrum. She won’t walk two blocks without consulting the guidebook map, while I would rather leave the hotel carrying nothing but a camera and money. I try not to wander into hellish parts of town I can’t get back out of, but otherwise I tend to have more fun and discover more interesting things when I wander with only a vague idea of where I’m going.
These two photos are from Puerto Vallarta of all places. I didn’t see but one other tourist while I was taking these shots, which is interesting in a town where there are always thousands of tourists esconced in their beach complexes. This was during the Virgin of Guadelupe festival last December. I rounded a corner while out wandering and poof—there’s a procession of people heading to the cathedral. Not just ladies holding up paintings of the virgin, though there were a few of those. Also people in bizarre costumes, dancing down the street, like these guys. Are they supposed to be Aztecs? I have no idea. It was quite a sight though.
OK, I’ll admit that it’s good to have a map if you’re trying to find a museum or that elusive Internet café your Lonely Planet book swears is right next to the post office, but often the best memories surface from times when you weren’t looking for anything at all.
I am on a boat in Panama this week, so probably no more posts until I am on dry land and can get wired again. Hasta luego.