Finding a New Routine in Bucerias

By Intern, Ellie Heinrich


Routine. I cautiously jog down the cobblestone hill and turn right onto Av. Lázaro Cárdenas in Bucerias. A new song comes on as I pass the guardhouse at the Royal Decameron Hotel; it’s one I haven’t heard in a while. I think about the memories that go along with it—where I was when I first heard it, who I was with, how I felt about it, and how I feel about it now. I make it to the end of the street where the pavement stops and the dirt road begins, and turn around. I think about continuing on, exploring new ground. However, I only have one goal in mind this morning, and it waits for me in the opposite direction, about a mile down the road.

I imagine a cinnamon roll on display at Panino’s, ready to be bought and consumed by me. I think about what I would be doing if I was ‘home’—a relative term, really. Is it the apartment I rent with my friends in Medford, or the house I have visited three times in Oklahoma? Maybe it’s the pint-sized home on stilts, on an island in the Gulf of Mexico. All I know is that if I were elsewhere, I would be doing the exact same thing I’m doing now in Bucerias, Nayarit: lightly exercising in order to reward myself with a gooey, sticky cinnamon roll.

I’ve found my routine, just as I would anywhere else. My mother always tells me I bloom where I am planted. I’ve been asked a handful of times, “Why did you come here?” “What made you want to do this?” “What are you doing here?” I came here to bloom, I wanted to bloom, I am blooming where I have been planted, just as I have time and time again.

I think about the work I will accomplish today, remembering how my sister attempted to ‘save the world’ by not using straws when she was 11. Today, I won’t save the world, but through the work of Human Connections, I might just be able to help make a difference in responsible tourism. As an avid tourist myself, I have come to realize the harmful practices going on here in Mexico, and globally. This opportunity I was given to learn about how a social enterprise sustains itself while helping to sustain a local community has opened my eyes to a future in which I would be fulfilled, not simply pushing paper.

As I continue to jog down Lázaro Cárdenas, I see all the people around me beginning their own routines for the day: sweeping the sidewalk outside businesses, taking out the trash, unlocking doors and opening gates. Children dress in their colored uniforms for school, while young men and women zip by on their motorbikes. The song changes again, I am almost at Panino’s, and I have found my rhythm here in Bucerias.

Soon enough, with my cinnamon roll in hand, I walk slowly back to my hotel in the blinding heat, thinking about the similarities I have found between myself here and elsewhere. I am hot and sweating, just as I would be anywhere else, naturally. I am constantly turning my head from left to right, so as not to miss any details of my surroundings, as I would elsewhere. I am thinking about what my friends are doing, both new and old, and wondering if I’ve forgotten any birthdays. I smile at the local artisans and business owners I pass, and hold myself back from saying “howdy.” They know I am not from here, and I won’t be staying here for long, but they can see I am in my routine, just as they are all in theirs.

I think of my family, and smile. In Bucerias, I have seen the complete bliss in the eyes of those surrounded by family both young and old, drinking margaritas and eating freshly baked pizza into the early hours of the morning. Money and material objects take the backseat to an evening of laughter and wide, toothy grins. I hope to bring this feeling back with me, to share with my own family. The fast paced life I live anywhere else seems silly and unnecessary. I finish my cinnamon roll by the time I arrive back to my room, deep in thought about the changes I can make in my life to bring myself back down to earth.