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2021 blog post retrospective

I did one last year I gather. On some platform where the posts lived. Now it is another year to see end. I won’t dwell on Covid because all the news does. This last year saw a few things notable and sad for me.

Leaving Hanoi

I had somehow thought in June of this year I would stay. That my new virtualization business I dreamt up would see the light of day. I paid for the business papers, wrote plans, found this niche not occupied. Not to be though and so I would leave in July. Hanoi had become home to me so leaving was tough. I arrived early February 2020 and left almost 1.5 years later. I’ve written on my love affair with Hanoi. The city just had this wonderful vibe and ethos which resonated and I had found this happiness quotient missing since 2009.

Like in many things valued it also can be taken away. And it was.

Back to the US

In July I would go back to the US. This strange and less than wonderful place with nothing left for me. I would stay in San Francisco some weeks, see a few people. I hesitate to use the term friends except for Jeff and my lunch and then coffee with Renee and Paul.

Then as though my own statute of limitations ran out I left San Francisco hopefully to never return.

Train trips I loved

I left California on the California Zephyr Amtrak train via a USA RailPass and would ride the rails east from Emeryville California to Chicago and spend a wonderful week in uptown Chicago in Little Vietnam. Figures, right? :-). Then I turned around and rode back from Chicago to Los Angeles California and caught a few flights. Rather than embed singular images, here is the photo gallery for my fun times riding the rails.

Let me just say that if you want to see America and the grandeur of plains, deserts, mountains ride the Zephyr train. Go from the start through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and then up through those lonely and spectacular deserts. Then drop through the Rockies and into the Great Plains where Denver shines. Finally on to Chicago but I actually went slower and spent days in Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, Omaha and finally Chicago.

Then west again with the Southern Chief train from Chicago to Albuquerque and a week there and side trips and finally to Los Angeles with flights to connect to the original flight going to Puerto Vallarta Mexico. Of course, that part comes next :-).

Welcome to Mexico!

Now I find myself writing this retrospective post in an airbnb in Merida Mexico. I’ve been here for three weeks after three months in beautiful and fun Puerto Vallarta living the life of a sun blessed retired expat. Eating, drinking, walking. Just doing and being. I loved the city and especially the beach promenade or Malecon as they call it. Long walking and sunsets and ocean. Waves sometimes calm and other times with some mischief. Beautiful place to go do nothing is Gringo Gulch.

On 10 December I left Puerto Vallarta for Merida for months and therein lies the final part of the retrospective. Finding a place that feels like home to me. Merida is a big city but with soul and spirit and wonderful, kind, and friendly people. The Yucatan is so different from all the rest. As one person reflected in a coffee shop to me,

we are not part of Mexico. We flew our own flag and were separate

Some said Merida was just a big busy city. I got news for you. Like in most things when I listen to others about a city like this person that told me Hiroshima was boring, they were wrong. Merida instead is this wonderful melting pot of cultures, architectures, history and people. I venture to guess that this city has just about all and more of what I need but the big things are the smallest things for me. Besides donut shops, wonderful dining, history, there is what I need. Little things like feeling at peace in the city, finding small parks, and then perhaps the final big piece of it all. That my life seems to have come full circle in Mexico. I left a place called home once in Vietnam during the early part of this retrospective and it is only fair I think to find a thing worth finding.

2021 waves goodbye

So I have reached the end and what I have I learned. I learned writing blog posts are about words and not platforms. I skipped the stone across many platforms and found them all wanting one way or another. Some offered privacy. Others community. Yet others social ties. What I ended up with is what I have felt perhaps all along. It is the writing itself. In the end I ended up in a place which seems so simple yet absorbing to me. The place here now where words matter and not some engine to create posts like Jekyll or Hugo. I attribute that worth to Blot but it could be Ghost or whatever. I could have stopped elsewhere but the truth is what I wanted was my posts to be mine in the end. I grew tired in 2021 of not owning the content but being told I owned the content. I also wanted my own place at some random address in a little corner where the words could dance the memories and my skies are not yours but you can see mine at times.

And it has all worked the way it did because I did not try. I just let it all be. Then the words and feelings could flow in diary and blog posts. The epitaph for 2021 is I let the words matter and not the place I wrote them. I lost some things and gained more.

After all I am in Merida considering a room coffee on this 31 December of this year. I have written another meaningless retrospective post but it has felt like a bridge was crossed but perhaps it still exists to that wonder place in my soul in Vietnam. Yet now Merida crests the wave and find my soul has more room to find places I can find perhaps a share of happiness.

Take care all.

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