This Too, Shall Pass: Leaving Playa del Carmen

Our time on Mexico’s Caribbean coast is coming to an end as they say all good things must. And it’s certainly been a good thing, one of the best I’ve ever experienced. I’m sad to leave, but excited about what’s next; torn between wanting to continue this very good thing as well as experience all the exciting adventures that lie ahead. It’s a blessed dilemma.

It’s a blessed life, and I’m so grateful for the love and the energy these last few months have bestowed upon me. Settling in one place for a while has allowed certain things to rise to the surface and I’ve grown a lot. I feel very different to when I arrived, more energised, more accepting, happier and more loving.

I love it here and I love the life we’ve settled into. It’s been a creative time, a time of progress personally and professionally. Tyrhone and my relationship has evolved again as we find deeper happiness within ourselves, following our own individual journeys within the one we are on together. My love for him is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.

This too, shall pass, as it always does. Challenges arise, conflicts bubble up, fear and insecurity sets in. That too, shall pass as I learn the lessons I need to learn to prepare me for my onward journey. I feel like I’m a student of life at the moment (though I know I always have been). Every time I think I know something, I’m quickly reminded how much more I’m yet to learn.

It’s impossible to put into words all of the little experiences and moments of joy that have led me to fall in love with this place (but I’ll try!). Evening walks through the town square where some sort of fiesta or concert was taking place; finally entering the courtyard of the town’s municipal building to snap a photo or three of the magnificent azure mural that caught my eye and lifted my spirits every time I passed it.

Being the only gringa in a local supermarket, elbow to shoulder with stout Mexican mothers as we tested the avocados for ripeness (my elbow to their shoulders!); hearing a “hola” from behind me and turning to see the young caretaker of our building proudly grinning as he bounced his one-year-old-son on his hip.

Walking past the stucco white Church as mass was drawing to a close, the congregation spilling out onto the dimly lit street where food vendors waited in silent anticipation. Going into the church for a peak during the day and realising I much prefer it full of people and hymns at night.

The look of shock on our lovely landlord’s face when I plucked up the courage to greet him in Spanish, and the smile from my favourite laundry lady as she remembered my name.

New friends who have loaned me books, taken me to their favourite restaurants, and told me I must return. From the US, or Mexico, Switzerland or Canada, living here either full or part-time, I’ve loved the eclectic bunch of people I’ve encountered who have opened their hearts to me and let me be a part of their lives here.


I’m reminding myself to stay in the moment and to accept that change is upon us.  Since things have gone so well so far, they will surely continue to. I’m grateful that I’m sad to leave, and am already excited about coming back some day. Thankfully, we both feel the same way.

There was a van parked in front of our building for most of the time we’ve been here. A tall, tanned guy lived in the vehicle which had the phrase ‘My Home is in My Head’ emblazoned across it. It recently disappeared along with its mysterious resident, though I’m sure wherever they went, they are still at home.

As an Australian and a South-African who met in London, moved to Perth then decided to travel the world; we may have just discovered what ‘home’ really feels like. I just hope we can take it with us.

Thanks for reading, and thank you to everyone who has liked the Sarah Somewhere Facebook page, where I’ll be posting more photos and updates from our travels. 

Read my latest post on The Rickshaw Run Diaries: The (Un) Route! 7 weeks to go!


This Too, Shall Pass: Leaving Playa del Carmen — 19 Comments

  1. I can’t believe it’s already the end of your time there. Yet another lesson to treasure the time we have since it seems to slip away unnoticed until the end sometimes. I’m so glad you enjoyed Mexico so much!
    Carmel recently posted..Parsley & Walnut PestoMy Profile

  2. Such a beautiful post. All of those lovely description of why you love the place, I think those are the blessings of travel. To be somewhere, to love it, and to take it with you. Suddenly, your heart is home to dozens of people you would have never otherwise known. It’s a part of loving the world.
    Kim recently posted..A Little Story About a Little SlothMy Profile

  3. I think you’ve discovered that home is wherever you can fully give of yourself and your hearts. That is what I have found in just a short while traveling!

    Also, I absolutely feel you on how difficult it is to move on when deep down you are so content, so at peace, so at home. It feels like you are leaving a piece of yourself behind, which in a way, I suppose you are. But for that little bit that is left behind, you’ll take these experiences and moments with you out into the world as a changed Sarah!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Kaiyukan: The World’s Best Aquarium?My Profile

  4. You worded this so beautifully. I hope I can achieve even a fraction of the happiness and peace you’ve found, and I hope you’re able to grow that feeling as you continue your travels.
    Lindsey recently posted..Two MonthsMy Profile

  5. Sarah, this was such an achingly beautiful and heart-felt post, I loved reading every word and could feel the emotion in your words. I know exactly how you must be feeling, as we have already decided to extend our stay in Goa after finding such happiness here. But I know that in time we will have to leave as well, and just like you, we will take a piece of it with us, and leave a piece of ourselves in return. Plus we have a rickshaw to drive young lady, so it’s a good job you didn’t decide to stay longer :)
    Hannah recently posted..One month update from the roadMy Profile

  6. Oh Sarah, that was so beautiful,so touching. It left me a bit teary, especially that part when you said your love for Tyrhone “is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.” (I guess it made me realized that I have that kind of greatest gift, too:) I enjoyed following your wonderful stay in Playa del Carmen and i can’t wait to follow you on your next destination. I’m sure it will be just as wonderful.
    Marisol@TravelingSolemates recently posted..The Soul of AthensMy Profile

    • Marisol, I think you certainly do have that gift, and I’d bet Keith does too!!! You are so sweet and I’m so grateful for your supportive and encouraging comments!

  7. When I think back on my first big journey, leaving for the Peace Corps, I remember SO sharply and clearly that tension between wanting, aching, being READY to go, and the heartbreak of having to leave. It is a feeling I’ve had many times since and which is one of the most intense parts of making a big change.

    Your reflection on all of this is quite beautiful — so glad to have discovered you.

    • Hi Allegra, ditto! Even though we made the biggest move earlier in the year, leaving our temporary home in Mexico was more difficult than we thought it would be! But thankfully, we have the freedom to return, and for that I am so so grateful!!!

  8. What a beautifully written piece- capturing your sentiments eloquently.
    It can be hard to leave and it’s interesting how comfortable we can become and notice how fear comes in and plays a role.

    Happy you both are growing so much and have each other on this beautiful adventure.

    I didn’t know Tyrone is from South Africa ( I adore his country). Have you visited SA?
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