Tequilla and Crickets
Snapshot of last week’s 60-hour trip to Mexico City: 24 hours spent sitting in airports, planes, or taxis; 11 hours spent sleeping; 45 minutes spent exercising*, 3 shots of tequila drunk; two tacos (intentionally) full of crickets eaten. By any traditional measures of health, this 2.5-day stretch was an epic fail. And apparently it showed – the border control agent at customs in Los Angeles looked down at my passport, looked up at me, and remarked ”wow, you look so much older now than you do in this passport photo!” I couldn’t even muster a response. Couldn’t she have just stuck to the script and said something like, “so what took you to Mexico City?”
But countering the mental and physical toll of this short trip, emotionally, it lifted me up. The majority of the 24 hours that weren’t spent in transit or asleep were spent with a small group of strangers who very quickly became friends. We had come from various corners of the globe to speak at a conference, united by loosely connected work interests and the common ground of being strangers in a strange land. Along with the conference hosts, we shared stories over meals, learning that one person collects antique typewriters; another is a trained sommelier; another an avid iPhone photographer; another a proud dad of a newly minted 18-year-old. We found common ground.
I love travel for lots of reasons – the sweeping vistas and foreign smells and different languages and bright colors and strong flavors and corner cafes and funny modes of transport and inevitable rawness. But most of all, I love its immense power to connect us with other people and re-connect us with ourselves. This micro trip didn’t improve my physical fitness, but it definitely brightened my spirits – proof that being well is about more than just sweat and broccoli. It’s about tequila and crickets too.
*If you’re looking for a good 45-minute travel workout, here’s the one I squeezed in:
- 5 minute warm-up on treadmill
- 21 minutes of intervals on treadmill: 1 minute jog, 1 min run/sprint, 1 min run/sprint with elevation change – repeat 7 times
- 4 minute cool-down on treadmill
- 10 minutes weights (working one lower + one upper muscle group at same time)
- 4 minutes stretching
- Minute-long headstand