This week in Guadalajara was just straight up fun.
I think the ultimate highlight was going to Bachata class for the first time on Tuesday and then again on Thursday….and the AGAIN on Sunday. I love to dance and it is something I almost never did in LA because going to clubs that were crowded with people and potentially getting creeped on was not a way I wanted to spend my time or money. But in Guadalajara, an hour dance class is 50 pesos, equivalent to about $2.75 USD in February 2019. I couldn’t say no to that when a classmate of mine asked me and a couple other students to join him in the class. The dance school offers salsa, cumbia, and bachata. My schoolmate, Stuart, took bachata classes before and that was the class he went to on his own so that’s the one we all went to. My introduction to Spanish music back in the day was listening to Romeo Santos and Prince Royce – among others – on Pandora in the Catering office while I did office hours as an undergrad. If you don’t know who these artists are, they fall under the bachata category. I listen to reggeaton almost exclusively now….Maluma and Ozuna just got all those fire beats….but I was definitely brought back to those bachata days when they started up the music in the class.
On Tuesday they split the class up into beginners and more advanced students. Since it was my first ever dance class, I went to the beginners. We started off with the basic 4 count side to side step then slowly added a turn for the ladies. Then a turn for the guys. About every 30 seconds or so we switched partners. On Thursday, which was Valentine’s Day, we were all together in one large group and the moves were a little more complicated. The instructor threw in a sensual bachata body roll since it was Valentine’s Day and whoa! It was very interesting being that up close and personal to a stranger. Over and over again! Like I said, every 30 seconds or so we switched partners so it was being chest to chest and then body rolling into about 25 strangers. That’s one way to get over any inhibitions about personal space! Haha
I was so tired after two hours of dancing on Thursday, but it was honestly the best way to spend Valentine’s Day. It was my first Valentine’s Day as a single lady in the past six years, which is pretty crazy to think about. It’s not that I’ve ever really paid all that much attention to Valentine’s Day in general – it’s a studip Hallmark holiday, but it’s also a fun excuse to be a little extra cute with your partner. Well, spending the day at Spanish school then finishing it off with dancing and a group dinner was quite a treat. My emotions were a rollercoaster this week because it was that time of the month, but of all days that I theoretically should have been the most emotional, aka my first single V day, I was the most happy. This whole week I went out a couple time with my school friends. Every time it was a blast and every time it was a different michelada to try!
I was feeling very homesick at the beginning of this week. The thing about traveling long term is that you are out of your comfort zone all the time. I have created some consistency with Spanish class every day and there are a few cafes/restaurants that I keep returning to, but as a whole every day is super different and the constant countdown of leaving is always in the back of my head. A lot of shit happened this week and I was super hormonal on top of all of it so it was rough in the moment. I coped by calling N Money and then A-hole (they know who they are ;D). I have good news (that I will announce at a later point in time when I’m ready) and I needed to talk about it to. To talk it out and vocalize the turmoil of emotions that was happening inside of me. In a single email my entire life was changed and that was fucking overwhelming. That happen on Wednesday/Thursday. And it was just another nice reminder of how awesome my friends are. It really helped me come to terms with the fact that my future now has a plan and it’s wilder than I could have imagined!
The weekend was about chilling because I was exhausted from the week. On Saturday a group of us from the language school went to Guachimontones, an archeological site about an hour and a half outside of Guadalajara. It was super hot this weekend but it was cool seeing these ancient mounds and ball fields. We got lunch at a restaurant near the lake after and to make the afternoon even more interesting, our car broke down on the way back to the city! Thankfully Uber saved the day.
Sunday (today) was another bachata class and I have the best time every time. I always see at least 1 familiar face which is nice. The instructor asks the class what kind of advanced bachata move people want to do for the class, there’s a couple different styles, and everyone always want to do sensual bachata! Today, instead of a body roll, it was flow-y arm movements, a windmill spin for the ladies, and a synchronized hip roll and bump. There’s something so satisfying about finally getting the move down and then totally nailing it with your partner. About 5 minutes before the hour the teacher puts on a song and you can either start packing up to leave or you can dance with someone for the song. My last partner and I kept dancing and we killed it! It was moments like that where I wish I could say something more congratulatory that just “Gracias!” with a huge smile and high five, but oh well! I’ll get there at some point. I’m 100% keeping this up in Mexico City and Puerto Rico….and the place I end up after I’m done traveling…so hopefully by then I can converse with my awesome dance partners.