I think the blog title pretty much described where I’m at pretty well. Not vague at all, hey? Straight and to the point 🙂 So yeah– Marlowe Paloma and I have returned! We’re back in our sweet and beloved apartment and back in the United States for the first time in 11 months. Wow, time sure does fly right? It, in no way, feels like we were away for so long. And I can say with certainty, I have a big mix of emotions being back.

Should I start with the good or the bad? I really don’t know. Let’s start by saying this week has been a trip. We actually had tickets to come back next weekend, but then on a whim changed our flight last minute to head in early. I wanted to spend as little time as possible in the States, but with the new changes made to travel in the US, we decided to head out early before new rules were officially passed. On one hand, MP is missing school and circus which is a huge bummer, but on the other hand,  I’m sort of glad we came back early anyway– there is so much for us to do here!

I look pretty cool calm and collected in the photo above. And our condo looks like it never changed. and it hadn’t changed….  until now. The whirlwind tornado of packing things up started a few hours after this photo was taken. Boxes everywhere, piles of donate, pack, and sell starting to collect in every corner. I’m trying to stay calm, but I’m not going to lie, there’s an underlying sense of overwhelmedness looming overhead. The reality is that there isn’t much of a certain deadline I need to hit. But the faster it all gets done, the faster I get to go home to Mexico. And then I get to take the pieces from this sweet home to make my Mexico home even homier.

Stepping back into this condo felt normal. Like no time has passed. The smell even felt familiar. And wonderful. I was half worried there might be a smell of curry in the air (it’ll never sell like that, haha) but thankfully there isn’t 🙂  Coming back in here after 11 months and 4 different homes abroad made me realize how much I truly love this condo. It feels so clean, so bright, so cozy, and wonderful. I always loved this place but being away made me appreciate the coziness even more. If I could combine the kitchen of my current Mexico apartment with the rest of this condo, then man oh man, it would be awesome. And of course, I’d want this imaginary perfect home to be in Mexico, not here.

I think this trip has made Marlowe Paloma miss Florida that much more too. She’s missed her cousins and friends from the very beginning but has had such an amazing life and so many amazing experiences since we took off— and she mostly knows it. More friends and social activities than ever before. More playtime, more art time, more of all the good things in general. From the moment we signed the lease to our new place in Mexico I’ve tried to make the comfort of her room a priority. And she’s loved it from day one– but I’m thinking this trip back is going to make her want to create even more changes. And I don’t blame her. Like me, she’s feeling how lovely this space is. We haven’t had this much comfort in a long time (well, 11 months, haha). The jungle made us tougher 😉

After being in two different countries for the last 11 months and finally making my way back here, well, I’m so very grateful to have spent this time away. I had my ideas of what the US would look and feel like, and while I didn’t have high hopes for it– it’s honestly been worse than I thought. I have now fully experienced and can see why depression and anger are so high in the United States right now. I always understood it, but now I can say I’ve experienced it. It’s not easy being here. Everything about how “the new normal” works is created to make you feel defective. Like, you’re sick even if you’re not sick, like you should be avoided, like you’re toxic, like your own body cant handle taking care of itself. I knew many people were mask-wearing here. But I didn’t think people were straight-up still scared of each other. I’ve never actually seen real people participating in “social distancing” and genuinely avoiding and scared of others. What a trip.

Even while I was wearing a mask, I had a woman turn to walk down another aisle to not be in the same aisle as me. Why? If masks work then why are we running from each other? And really– if the media has made someone so scared of the virus, then why are they shopping in a shoe store at all? I had people refuse to get in elevators because others are in there. You don’t see smiles anymore. You see people sanitizing every five minutes, even when they haven’t touched anything at all. So little makes sense here to me. This is not the life of people in the countries I’ve been living in the past 11 months. I feel out of touch. I guess I am out of touch.

I wonder how do we show others that there is another way? How do we enlighten people to the reality that people in other countries are still living and bonding and loving and smiling and in proximity to one another…. and truly enjoying it? I don’t know. Maybe that’s not my job. Maybe people don’t want to know. I don’t know. So many unknowns. What I do know is that out of the three countries I’ve spent my time in (5 months in one and 6 in another) this is the only place that has made me feel unloved, scary or damaged at all.

I don’t take it personally. I know it’s not personal. More than anything I worry about babies that will turn into children who have only see smile-less faces. I worry about the microbiomes of children who are over sanitized and without vitamin d and human and nature contact. I worry about everyone who is made to feel like their bodies are damaged and incapable of surviving and thriving as intended. I worry about how we will function individually and collectively with so much fear of one another. (But maybe that was the idea all along). When I think about what’s happening here– and now that I’m here to actually experience it firsthand, I worry. I try not to let it weigh on me. I have enough in front of me as is. My own health and detoxing. My own future and my family’s future. The many tasks on the to-do list in front of me. And more. I just want to keep sharing the good things.

No one knows what the future will hold. I certainly do not. And so, I try to make it a point to focus on the very things that are in front of me. And right now my life does feel very whirl-windy and somewhat unstructured, but I’m looking forward to all the uncertainties ahead. Over the course of the next week, I’ll be handling a lot of paperwork, sorting through and packing my things, saying hi and bye to some people I love. Ms. Marlowe Paloma will be flying back to Mexico with my mom after some legal paperwork is done– she had the option to stay with me and Alex, but she’s anxious to miss more school than she’s already missed. And I know she’s very much looking forward to spoiled alone time with my mom. And Alex and I? I know many of you have been curious… well, I can now say that I’m packing him up too 😉 We’re filling up the truck driving across the US. and heading back into Mexico.

So many changes have already taken place, so many changes are currently taking place, and so many are ahead. I’m nervous about some of it, but really, change is good and can be exciting if you allow it to be. When I took off almost a year ago, I had no idea what would be ahead. And really, I still don’t know. But, I’m here for it.


Ps. If no one has told you today… you’re not damaged, scary, or unlovable. You are strong, wonderful, and capable and deserving of so much. Your body fights every day to keep you safe and in good health– whether you help it or believe it or not. You are valuable.


  1. I don’t mind the masks but I do worry about the over-sanitization of everything.

    Drea, I have followed you for several years now and I don’t comment often but I am so in awe at how free you are and how freely you live your life! While I think it’s amazing that you have the type of strong relationship that can withstand 11 months of separation, I am beyond thrilled that Alex is finally joining you guys in Mexico!!! So happy for you all and excited to keep following along on your adventures!

  2. I really enjoy reading your thoughts and perspectives. I live in Southern CA and as we all know, we have been on lockdown for a long time.
    But… so much of it is perspective and outlook. I have a two year old son and while it’s true I haven’t been able to take him to places we used to frequent, this has forced us to be creative and we spend SO much time outside now. Every day we go explore parks, beaches, bays, etc. I’ve always been very health conscience and 2020 has really made me step up my game… I feel healthier than ever! I make it a huge priority to get sunshine, movement, and human interaction every day. So while things certainly have been different, I’ve simply pivoted as well and have made my mind up to be grateful for this time together with my husband and son. We don’t have family close by so that has been tough, but luckily we have friends that feel like family so the kids get plenty of mask free interaction with their friends and grown ups who love them.
    I hope to visit Mexico again soon- it’s one of my favorite countries and I’m so happy to hear that life there is good. I really enjoy watching your journey! Safe travels!

  3. Thank you Drea! You are an inspiration and I appreciate your words. ❤️ Safe travels on your road trip and back home to Mexico.

  4. Hello,

    I’m just going to dive right in. Mt father passed away from COVID in El Salvador which is in Central America. He was precautious and still somehow , I am here telling his story . My thoughts are this has never been political, it’s more personal. My father was my best friend.

    Recently I traveled to El Salvador to get his ashes and pack up his belongings. He had just finished building a home for us to live more simply in his home country. It’s sad he is not here to do little things like try the first mango from the tree he planted or see his fruit crop grow.

    I get what you are saying by everyone being afraid or acting different. Everyone in a third world country surprisingly had a mask on. All businesses requires a temperature check upon entry. Also they sanitized your hands. Had social distance rule enforced no one was offended or rude about it. It was nice to see that no one was being weird because of a political agenda. It was just full respect for one another. Nice to see people being nice to one another, that made me feel happier. I was generally happy there because the tone was different.

    Coming back to America was very different, lot’s of anger on all spectrums. I agree with you there. I felt like I was a problem to anyone I encountered and that was hard.

    People treated me rudely without even knowing that I was truly suffering on the inside. Making COVID jokes or be insensitive, but they didn’t know me or my life…

    I already lost someone I love and that is the worst part of this all. Being home and being isolated does not compare to the mental and physical toll my body has gone through losing a loved one. Its a pain I will never be able to describe.

    The plus side…
    I’m healing and growing from it. The growth and honesty is the best part that has come out of it all. I would have never wrote this before. I was too shy and anxious and afraid of what other people would think of me. But I’m doing it and I feel brave now.

    I do appreciate your blog and on a positive note it’s been a big part of my healing process after I randomly stumbled upon your page. I started my own IG food page that is dedicated to my father where I decided to turn traditional Latin foods into fully vegan versions.

    Also you inspired me to live minimally. I donated so much and it feels great.
    So, for that thank you. It’s very therapeutic!

    Also my husband and I used your cleanse ideas after we got some bacteria from living in-between both Central America and America.

    We also have been consuming more fruit and have changed from Junk food vegans to eating healthier vegans. This has helped with all the issues I’ve been having. I’m starting to feel better after one of the hardest times I’ve lived through. You inspired me in many ways without even knowing it.

    We are actually moving to Florida to be closer to my husbands family and to start a family. Seeing your blogs about being a mom is also inspiring. I’m afraid of everything but I don’t want my child to live in fear either. I hope my kid is as brave and cool as yours.

    Again thank you, your blog helped me feel more at ease that I would be okay.

    Anyways I hope you read this and know I understand what you are feeling and maybe you understand my story too.

    I hope to all out there be safe. It’s hard out there but I think we all just need to be kind we never know what everyone else is going through. And yes, get out more nature is free and safe and very much needed.

    Andrea your blog is wonderful and I can’t wait to see your journey continue.

    Much respect and love,

  5. I appreciate your perspective and your willingness to speak your truth, always. The state where I live has mandated that masks be worn in all indoor spaces and places where keeping six feet apart is not an option- most of our businesses are still closed, and the ones that have reopened are struggling to stay that way. Walking through my city makes me so sad… I used to love seeing smiling faces on the street and popping into places I’d never noticed before, but now the streets are empty and what faces I do see avoid eye contact and cross the street, and there are strings of shops with Closed signs everywhere. I work with the public, so I wear a mask 8+ hours a day, and have to mandate that others also wear theirs and keep their distance, regardless of my true feelings about the efficacy of either of these things. So when I’m not working, I avoid being in other indoor spaces as much as I can and I only wear a mask outside if I’m passing someone on the sidewalk… this basically means I spend most of my time either masked at work or unmasked but “stuck” inside my home to avoid more confrontation with people who are paralyzed by fear. I miss the “free” outdoors, I miss seeing all of people’s faces, I miss sharing food that I didn’t have to cook myself, I miss live music. I think the fear spreading is way worse than the virus spreading, and I wish more people would wake up and realize that they’re okay, we are okay, but the way the US and other governments have handled things is NOT okay. All of these mandates have also pushed a divide amongst people and the level of disrespect towards one another has grown exponentially over the past year. I think there’s a way to be respectful of each other and still hold strong to our personal beliefs, but I don’t think most people know what that looks like anymore. Anyways, I could go on for pages, just wanted to say my bit. I appreciate you!

  6. Christine

    I had to catch up on several of your posts today. I’m so glad to hear you are well and living in Mexico! That’s very cool. And with everything you shared in this post and the others, I totally get you. 😉 I totally hear your heart on the matter.

    I’ve been really curious as to how people in other countries are about masks. Interesting to hear that life continues like it was – before COVID: People gathering and showing their faces. Yeah I don’t like the whole mask thing but I do my part when I have/need too. And I totally agree about the body, it’s such a fighting machine and will do whatever to keep us safe.

    Thanks for sharing Drea. 🙏🏼

  7. It’s interesting that that is your perspective on this. I see mask-wearing as a signal of love and caring for others. I know that those who wear masks have compassion and empathy for other people. And believe me, I can smile with my eyes and I still connect with people at work every day, and it can be a really beautiful thing. I’m not scared of other people. I definitely do not want this virus, nor do I want anyone I know to get it. Things aren’t great here, and it’s important to recognize that that is real, too. I’m way more scared of far-right conservative whackos than I am scared of the virus, though! If only there was a vaccine for that.

    Really excited you are back and writing again and I love these changes in your life!!!!! <3

    • I’m with you, Amber! I love other people, so I wear a mask! I know it’s a tough time, but it’s one of those things we hope to get through quickly and together! If all I have to do is stay apart for a time to get us all through safely, I’m more than happy to do my part.

    • I disagree… I don’t think mask mandates are a way of “showing love,” but rather, governmental control and demand on personal freedoms. But, SURE, wear a mask if it doesn’t harm you, and don’t be a jerk if a private building or business asks you to wear one. Just wear it out of respect. But demanding that others do no matter the situation, time, or place is just wrong, in the sense that mandating someone to pray a certain way is wrong. I don’t know… Just my unpopular thoughts!

  8. Great read! I’m lucky to live in a smaller town, where even though some places require masks, a lot of places leave it up to you. And my daughter attends a small school where they get mask-free time too. So they can see each other’s faces and expressions. I think it’s a great thing. I hope this year brings back some kind of normalcy because we need it. Anyway, I hope you at least get to enjoy seeing your friends and family while back in the states. Good luck and safe travels back home!

  9. I love this and you guys! I feel the same, being here in lockdown in the UK for the 3rd time now, just feels so strange and it seriously worries me for the future, everyone being so disconnected, worried, isolated.. (also added worry bringing a baby into this world in not so long.. ha!) I’m so happy for you guys to have finally made that big move you’ve been wanting for so long. It’s going to be pure magic, I know it! Lots and lots of love xxxx T (and Nemo & Michael & Baby!)