Culture Outpost: Embracing the Rhythms of the World

One of the most enjoyable aspects of travel for me is getting swept up in the ebb and flow  — the rhythms — of a place that’s different from home.

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I loved the feeling of that cultural beat recently on a recent trip to Mexico City. And it made me consider other places with a strong rhythm.  Everyplace has its own beat, of course, but some places seem to have a stronger pulse. Italy. Norway. Paris. The Oregon Coast. Northwest Territories, Canada.

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In Mexico City, the day began with birdsong. Then came the cooking smells — and the scent of delicious Mexican spices — that wafted up to my second-story flat. I could hear sturdy heels walking with intention on rough stones outside. Then, the softest pink light turned the orange and grey stucco walls red and deep brown. A cool breeze would lift the palm fronds.

A resident cat below would meow for its breakfast, followed by yipping of dogs and the sounds of street vendors and shop owners sweeping and setting up.

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I realized by the next day that the scent of spices meant coffee would be waiting in the foyer and so I’d pad downstairs for a cup before taking a shower.

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On my way out for the day’s activities, I’d have to step around wet, soapy tiles scrubbed clean every morning — place smelling delightfully like my mother’s Pine Sol cleaning binges on Saturday mornings.

In the evening, the sky turned darker pink and the sounds sharper. Dinner parties. Laughter. The smells of roasting meat and flower blossoms lifting in the warm summer air. Music and dancing, toasting of cool drinks, the harmonic crush of forks  & knives. Finally, high heels on stones, wobbling their way home.

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Then silence, mostly, until the birds and the spices signaled that coffee was near, the steady old globe turned fully around on its wobbly axis, the world made new once again.

What and where are your favorite world rhythms?

Hope for the world


***Stay tuned: Citli Tours knocked my socks off while I was in Mexico & I’m looking forward to sharing their story soon!

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3 Comments on “Culture Outpost: Embracing the Rhythms of the World

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