On my way back home

It is time for me to go back. It is time to go back home, back to Romania, back to Iasi, my hometown. There where my roots are, where I grew up and got ready to stand on my own two feet, there where I am now coming back, to gather my forces and my allies, to start creating a new kind of life for myself, rising and standing again, maybe differently now, on my own two feet.

The sun is setting, high above the clouds, sending its orange light into the dozed off silence of the airplane. I look around me for a moment, then I turn my eyes again towards the hypnotising light of the sun. The next time it will set, I will already be in Romania. I smile – the first day of my trip started into the light of a sunrise, seen high in the skies from another airplane, the one taking me to Paris. Now everything is coming full circle. One journey, which felt like a lifetime, is coming to an end, in between the light of a sunrise and the light of a sunset.

It is so that this Light Journal, the blog of a girl’s one-year trip around the world, is coming to an end. And we must say goodbye.

I want to thank you. It has been a joy to have you accompanying me along the way, sharing with you moments, and feelings, and images. And who knows, maybe we’ll see each other again, in one part or another of this world!

Epilogue on the back of a photo: The beginning of my new Romanian life came with orange marigold flowers, grey rainy clouds and a lost luggage, and the loving smiles and arms of my friend Irina and her daughter Mara. Interesting mix, isn’t it? Well, if this is how it started, I can’t wait to see what the rest of it will bring!

All of Yucatan – the Mayan ruins, the coast: Chichen Itza, Celestun

Chichen Itza is a Mexico “must”, as everybody told me. I visited this ancient Mayan city on a cloudy day, when the grey colour of the ruins was contrasting even more strongly against the green leaves, a contrast that, because of the light, seemed much more vivid in person than through the lens of my camera… In the quiet sound of the morning, lizards were coming out to get a little sunlight, hummingbirds were buzzing around looking for honey, and people were slowly filling the place, trying to understand the secret meaning of these stones and pierce into the mysteries of a great lost civilisation.

In Celestun I got close to the living Mexico, just as in Chichen Itza I had the feeling I was exploring the ancient Mexico. I came here to see the pink flamingos, but I discovered much more – a fishermen village, asleep under the heart of the summer, but somehow alive behind the shaded windows, inside the houses, in a bag of seashells left alone next to an empty boat, or the shadow of a little boy bicycling away on the dirty road. With little hotels right on the beach and children accompanying their parents at fishing, at sunset. With secret lagoons and mangrove forests, with pelicans, and seagulls, and ibis birds, and pink flamingos – majestic, slow, beautiful, gracious, pink flamingos.

Merida, the heart of Yucatan

Merida is a city to be enjoyed. It is a city to be tasted slowly, without rush, with small, long sips, just like a glass of good tequila. A tasting to be done early in the morning or late in the afternoon, out of the way of the unforgiving tropical heat. And to be declined between tours of the city’s main square and long walks along El Paseo de Montejo, admiring the palace-like houses of the 19th century, and longer or shorter visits, as it may please you, to any of the city’s many museums, filled with local contemporary artists, historical tales and Mayan artefacts.

And for the long afternoon hours, or for the early evenings, it is best to take refuge into the comfort of your own home. Especially if you have the good fortune to stay in a place facing the main square, with a view to Merida’s beautiful cathedral, entertained by the passing people, cars and horse carriages, or by the occasional “trova” song played by one of the groups which are lining the square each night, offering their services and their serenades.