Travel

Isla Mujeres by Talia Hannosh

There are moments in time where you really feel alive. You can feel your heartbeat, the air circulating through your lungs, the blood pumping through your veins. You can feel your thoughts escaping into the air and taking flight. It’s within these moments, that you can really feel what your purpose is, why you’re here on this planet. And quite simply- it’s overwhelmingly magical. I have felt this way a few select times in my life. The most recent and powerful, was when I was sitting atop a roof overlooking the ocean in Isla Mujeres, México.

Isla Mujeres is a magical island. The streets are always bustling with people, working, selling, shopping, breathing, living. Isla Mujeres is not one to shy away from color; the brightest structures I have ever seen were walking through the streets of this island. Street art is on every corner you turn, houses are painted coral, turquoise, yellow, orange. Just walking through the city made me appreciate the beautiful pigments life has to offer. The air is breezy and kissed by salt from the ocean. My senses were constantly being offered something new to see, feel, touch, smell, hear throughout my stay.

One morning I woke to orange light flooding over my face.

 

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Still tired from the day before, I opened my eyes slowly, only to be greeted by the most breath taking sight. The sun was slowly taking her time crawling in to the sky. Her light was vivid this particular morning, offering my eyes the most fiery sunrise I had ever seen before. I saw orange in away I had never experienced. The vibrant sky touched the ocean waves on the horizon line, and it was like the beautiful blue water and the rich bright sky were working together to bring out the best in one another. The smell of coffee was slowing creeping its way up the stairs, and just the slightest wif of it was enough to wake me up. I pulled the covers off of me, and walked down the cold cement stairs. I was greeted by my mother, which was no surprise, considering she and I were the only early risers in our family. After each pouring ourselves a strong cup of the magical energizing elixir that coffee is, I followed her up two flights of stairs and on to the roof top of our villa. The stairs to reach the roof were so narrow, we were forced to bend our backs forward just to ensure we wouldn’t hit our heads on the long cement bar above us.

And there we were. My soul and my mother’s, dancing in our bodies, overlooking the most magnificent view in what felt like the whole world. To our right was the powerful Caribbean Sea, and to our left, the waking city. Every glance and every turn, we were greeted by a different view. One of my favorite things about early mornings in Isla Mujeres, was that they were always the perfect temperature. Humidity had not gotten his chance to dominate the air yet, and all I could feel was the brackish and cooling ocean breeze. My mother and I would sit there together, enjoying one another’s company, for as long as our sleeping family would allow us, until finally, she had to go back downstairs to my waking siblings.

But this morning, I wanted to stay on the roof longer. So after my mother left, feeling particularly inspired, I grabbed my Luna Ukulele, and started strumming a variation of several different chords. I would play my ukulele, then I would write a line or two in my travel journal, and then I would appreciate the view and where I was. Soon enough I was singing, my vocals and ukulele vibrations being carried by wind and lost in the sea. An hour had passed, and then two, and still I didn’t notice. I was so engrossed in being there, just living and doing what I loved best. This memory will always be so special to me, because my soul had truly felt content. For a fragment of time, I was not worried about who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, I was just allowing myself to do what I had the most innate desire to do.

Soon the city became fully awake, and I was still sitting there with my legs criss-cross-applesauce, playing my ukulele and singing my heart out. People were walking along the boardwalk beneath me, looking around trying to find where the music was coming from, but I was so high up, I was invisible to them. So I kept playing, trying to hold back giggles watching the confused strangers attempting to locate the veiled musician. Soon I became curious to discover if anybody had stopped to listen, so I peered over the edge of the roof that overlooked a small alley. To my surprise, I saw a man who was lying on his back, with a back pack supporting his head, just staring up at the roof, beside him a little puppy companion. In shock and embarrassment, I quickly concealed myself again.

A few minutes later, my embarrassment had resided and transformed in to a feeling of flattery. The fact that this man had loved my music enough to just lay there to listen and simply be was such a powerful, uplifting experience. I had no idea how long he had been there, perhaps it was hours or maybe even just minutes, but that didn’t really matter to me. He wasn’t like the others, he didn’t care to unveil my identity, he just wanted to enjoy the music. Somehow my music had made him feel something powerful enough to stay there, right beneath me, and it was incredibly heartwarming. This complete stranger resonated with the feelings, thoughts, and emotion I poured in my songs.

Sitting on top of that roof, completing concealed, just singing and writing, has to be to most remarkable moment of my existence. I was so in tune with myself, and my thoughts, so aware that I was alive. It’s a powerful resolution, becoming aware that you are alive. Everything makes sense in moments like these. You are not worried of the future, you are not mourning of the past, you are just accepting of the present you are in.


 

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