I take a break from Central Asia and go to a beach in Puerto Rico.
VEGA ALTA, Puerto Rico- It’s a soft sand beach with deep blue waves flapping gently against it. The sun is shining, a slight breeze. There is a broken down beach bar on one side and a broken down beach bar on the other side. There is a clutch of derelict beach houses, a few luxury ones. 500 meters away is a national park with trails that wind through a small forest that hugs a rocky shoreline. I’m told that there are giant lizards over there but I never saw one. I watch some local kids have a sandball fight. One runs over my one and a half year old daughter. I’m drinking a six pack of Coronas that I bought from the shitty grocery store around the corner that seems to be the only place to get food. It seems to be the style here to blast music from your car as loud as you can — the louder you can make it the cooler you can think you are. The people here are a mix of locals, what seems to be long-term seasonal visitors from elsewhere, and those who came over from San Juan 20 minutes away.
I can’t argue with this place. Who could?
I suppose I have to admit that I’m on a beach vacation. I’m suppose I’ve been on these before, but I never called them that. When I used to focus on writing about the traveling lifestyle I used to call this work. Seriously. It seems ridiculous now. Work is going into the depths of some half-developed middle-of-nowhere and trying to figure out what’s going on. Sitting on a beach in Puerto Rico watching my kids play feels like coming in from a storm — just what a beach is supposed to feel like.