I have changed a lot in the way I travel over the years. In the past, I made detailed lists of all the things I want to do while I’m away. And while I’m fairly good about pacing myself and not overdoing it, that usually leaves a lot of thing on my list undone, which has always made me feel regret of my vacation, even before I was home.
But recently, especially when it comes to Oaxaca, I’ve gone in with very few plans. But rather, I’ve tried to leave my itinerary blank and put myself in the position to have good experiences.
The wonderful thing about unplanned travel is that you just never know where a day will take you, and that’s never more true than with the time I spend in Oaxaca. So on my recent trip to there, I knew that rather than have a list of what I wanted to do, I just needed to keep in touch with @oaxacking and that in his hands, I’d end up experiencing the best that Oaxaca had to offer.
It was Sunday and even though I woke up with an idea in my mind with what it might look like, it quickly turned into a day of #liveoaxaca with Omar.
Our first stop was Tlacaloula, which I was so excited to be going to. While the Sunday market is known as one of the best weekly markets in Oaxaca, I have never had the opportunity to check it out.
After our meal, we continued wandering through Tlacaloula.
We got back into the car and started driving to I don’t know where, but with Omar I don’t worry as I know he has a plan.
We got back in the car and started driving towards Hierve el Agua, (which I could tell from the signs), but I also knew we weren’t actually headed there as it’s too busy on a Sunday. While I had a pit of disappointment about missing out on Hierve el Agua again, any disappointment was erased at out destination. San Lorenzo Albarradas, is a tiny town, not somewhere most people would stop, but we were there for something special for me to see. As we stopped the car at a tiny school yard and I was treated to the most amazing sight of 2 Lapiztola pieces.
Due to “government restrictions” of what can be painted on walls in Oaxaca Centro, it’s hard for me to see good pieces of street art while I’m there. Of all the Oaxacan street artisits I’ve encountered, Lapiztola is my favorite. So much so, I own a print of the image above which hangs in my living room and reminds me of Oaxaca everyday. But seeing the image on a wall as it was intended was very moving for me. I was very thankful to Omar for bringing me to see these.
San Lorenzo Albarradas is a small quiet town. In my everyday life it takes a bit for me to disengage, but here it was so easy to slow down and appreciate the simple beauty of things.
In the center of this small town, we came upon an empty sun-drenched courtyard and decided it was a perfect place to sit quietly.
Our next stop was Yagul, an archeological site associated with the Zapotecs where there are prehistoric caves dating back to 750AD.
And as quickly as the rains poured down on us, the sun reappeared. Feeling a bit parched, we stopped at a roadside stand.
Our last stop for the day was in the town of El Tule, and while I didn’t get a photo of the famed 2000 year old Montezuma Cypress tree that is their claim to fame, I did get a shot of this:
It’s becoming harder and harder in this world of being so connected to find unique travel experiences. My Instagram feed is filled with travel images of other people’s “perfect moments”, but it’s to the point where I feel the world is a big checklist of places to see because others did too.
I am guilty of adding to my travel-must list because of these images I see, but in my mind, Oaxaca is outside this. It’s not known to the masses (it should be, but I’m kind of glad it still isn’t), and because of this, I feel my time in Oaxaca is my own private treasure. But I also know that I get to feel this way because of people I’ve met there who want to share their wonderful home with me.
I’m lucky to have someone like Omar in my life who will drive out of the way so I can see amazing art on the wall, or take me to Yagul just as the rains were coming in, so I’d feel like I had it by myself, or encourage me to try and eat and drink everything, and not worry about getting sick. Well ok, maybe the last one isn’t all that good, but I’m glad I did, because everything was delicious.
If you’re reading this because you’re about to take a trip to Oaxaca and want an amazing experience while you’re there, get in contact with Oaxacking at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow @oaxacking on Instagram just to get a flavor of how awesome Oaxaca is. He’s one of the best Oaxaca inspirers there is!