We made our temporary home in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, for New Years. It was a striking contrast to our Atlanta digs - white, bare, airy. It was enough space though, a bed, opposing side tables, a small TV on a table, and a chair not to be used for sitting, but for drying wet bathing suits. A bathroom with a door provided the essential privacy needed for a vacation in gastronomic hinterlands, and it also was home to a mini-fridge capable of cooling the entire room were it necessary. But my favorite thing about the room was that just beyond a floor-to-ceiling panel of windows: a balcony that faced west. Naturally, evenings were spent there sipping leftover wine from the night before or cold beers. It's true that the simplest environs are the most satisfying.
Over the course of the week the room became cluttered with things collected from our adventures around town: sea glass, wooden toys, a can filled with beans and covered with Christmas Contact paper used as a shaker to ring in the New Year, and sand, lots of sand. Every day, a maid came and mopped the floors clean, made our bed, and altogether made me appreciate the life more lived. Instead of making our bed we were speeding around on a moped watching waves crash and the sun set over emerald water.
In Isla, People left their doors open for my prying eyes. Beyond each threshold were small spaces decorated with dolls and twinkling lights, pink cinder block walls, statues of the Virgin Mary, and worn furniture. There seemed little difference between the interiors of these homes and ones I seen in my own. All of these things, these trinkets, are memories.