I may have told this before but…when I was a little kid I dreamed of having a Gundam Wing robot, explore space, save the fifth dimension and be an intergalactic hero. After telling that to my mom and receiving a more “realistic” idea, as a total mature 6 year old man, I thought of becoming an astronaut so I could travel around space, go to the moon, explore other planets and float in the middle of stars watching other galaxies and the infinite, which was actually on track until I knew about black holes. Fuuuck that shit. So had to kind of comfort myself by becoming a turbomachinery engineer and with the many places and faces that I have seen. And stars too.
I must apologize as I promised before I would share some adventures of my previous endeavors around the globe and I have not complied. The truth is that I was dealing with a lot of changes regarding my present and my future, I had little time to sit down and write stuff; to be more specific? There were too many changes and had little motivation and inspiration to do so. But well, better late than never no? So here I am. It’s the fucking end of March of 2018, like how did this happen? The only thing that adults were right about, is that time goes by faster and faster and faster. I’m still processing data from 2006, it is unbelievable don’t you think?
As every birthday, this is the day I use for my personal evaluation, the time I sit down and think and feel everything that went through this year. Last year, all I cared about was to finish a master programme and to go traveling, to explore the world, expand my mind and be able to understand a little bit more about our planet, our roots, our music, our food, our people, our origins. Shit, what a fucking ride this has been. From northern and southern European lands to Africa, South America, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Hong Kong. A historical and romantic trip to Rome with the significant other, was included too. A year where I was totally indecisive about what to do after the master programme, – how can I help the world? should I go to the salvation army in the UN? should I stay in Vietnam as an English teacher for little kids? should I go to the wild in New Zealand and live like a hobbit? Or maybe should I go and save pandas? or fly back to Mexico and find a stable job and settle down and “go back to reality”? (Fuck I hate it so much when people say that phrase)- I honestly had no idea, but as it has happened in most of my life? I knew that somehow I would get a signal of what to do and that I will be convinced about it and fight for it. It did happen like that.
I recall being in Rome, the last day of that week, sited right in front of the “Castello di Sant’Angelo” with H, the human being who has managed somehow to have my heart and soul head over heels for all this period of time, and we were discussing why the hell did we actually agree to meet? was it lust? or were we actually in love? But like, truly, that kind of love that makes you cross the fucking Atlantic ocean to see someone only for some days. It was complicated as you can imagine, there was no matching scenario. Suddenly, when things seemed only confusing and stressful for both of us, I got an e-mail about an application for a PhD in German lands. A high-level project under the supervision of big engineering characters. A fucking signal from the warriors of the universe. It looked impossible at the time but hell I like impossible things, so I applied, I won’t entertain you with the boring details, I struggled a lot but in the end, I got it. And for some crazy reason, H decided to stay along and give me her support, her time, her love, she chose to stay. This is I think one of the main points I want to talk about in this blog. People that you meet on the way and by the most unexpected way, they choose to stay and you choose to stay too. Fucking magic.
I’m turning 29 years old and I cannot imagine how would my life be without the trust, support, and generosity of the people I have met across my life, this year obviously included. From having an unexpected lovely conversation with old/young people on the planes, on a cafe or on the line for visa and customs, to people from Denmark, England and from Cambodia who lend me money when I lost my card in Thailand just because they were trying to help me (cheers F! cheers P! cheers D!); or meeting a taxi driver in Thailand who would take me around all the best places in Chiang Rai just because he thought I had a funny hat, meeting my sister from other mom in New Zealand and crazy friends in Vietnam; or maybe an aboriginal australian lad who was happy and wanted to celebrate that he was out of jail (that’s a good story, more details on the Australian blog) and he only wanted someone to talk to. I wouldn’t actually finish naming them all, so the point being, this year, life decided to give me a little bit of light and put fucking amazing people on my way, people that made all my journeys a zillion times better. Yes, people is the key.
When I was a teenager I dreamed of having a fancy stable job, a BMW in my garage and a beautiful companion. Today, I’m nothing but a mere simple man who laughs everyday like a child, who intends to live the present and who is grateful for the people who surround me, who stand by me no matter how grumpy or stressed or ridiculous I feel (Really, thanks for that!!!) and who visit me even when I’m 13,000 km away (hasta la victoria hermano JC y cuñada!), who listens to my bullshit, who hug me and who invite me a beer so I could get my shit together (<3 H). I’m fucking grateful for all the love, all the smiles, all the extreme adventures, all the good and bad times, all the 32 countries I’ve been to until now, all the tears, all the good pilots, all the sex and all the happiness.
Last year, I was truly afraid because my curve of happiness was growing so fast that I feared it would break sooner than later because everything came “so easy”, (they say the bigger it is, the harder it falls), but today I’ve realized that nothing came easy AT ALL. I have missed and will still miss the weddings of really close friends because I’m doing my shit (I will make it up to you my friends, I fucking promise!), I had to overcome loneliness, ignorance, apprehension, stress, pressure, disappointment and many other overwhelming emotions. But I’m still here, I somehow managed to do it. I’m not playing the victim, just stating facts. So yeah, I’m leaving Mexico again, leaving my family, the sun and the best food in the world to start new and difficult adventures, and ironically this is exactly what gives me comfort, nothing falls down provided you work as hard as you can for it, provided you do exactly what your guts are telling you to do, provided you hear to your heart, you step out of your comfort zone and go fucking for it. (H would say this is a typical Manuel drama moment).
I must also thank “Momondo”, as it is because of them I was able to complete the year of “The DNA Journey”. I will never have enough words and expressions to thank them for granting me this mind-blowing experience. The outcome of this journey, besides visiting amazing places of the world and increasing my traveling addiction, I think is that I’m completely convinced that yes we ALL are fucking connected, that despite some douchebags who want to build walls between countries, there is more good than bad in our planet, there are magical food and music but all is thanks to people, incredible human beings to whom we can connect with, that everyone should receive the opportunity of traveling, at least once, to a totally different place and expand the mind, that we did not come to this life to earn only money, there’s sooo much more and better..!! but also that our planet is in danger and that we need to work together, we can do it! reducing our daily plastic usage is a huge step (for real, don’t be an asshole and do it), and that today, my purpose in life today is to use science and do my best to help our planet. Again, we can and should fucking do it!!
You can call me a dreamer, a naive and stupid immature boy who lives in “another reality”, but hell, these 29 years have been the best ride I could ask for.
I don’t know if one day I’m gonna be able to touch a star. But well, traveling around the globe, watching amazing sunsets and landscapes, eating exotic and delicious food, meeting amazing people on the way, falling in love and getting a very well paid job to do cool science and help the planet? Shit, I bet touching stars should be something similar.
29 años carajo.
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Stepehen Hawking R.I.P.