In the final month leading up to our big family trip to Mexico, it dawned on us that some people get “travel shots” before they head off to foreign lands. We raised the issue with a few friends and they said the same thing, “As long as you don’t eat street food you’ll be fine.” At this point we would all look at each other because so far our research consisted of googling best street food in Mexico City and best street food in Oaxaca. This feedback set a process in motion.
Next thing you know, it’s the morning of our trip and we have to stop at the Kaiser Injection Clinic to get Maya’s typhoid shot because she was too busy with school and then camp and, well, here’s the last chance. The Oakland Kaiser Injection Clinic for kids, some of you may know, is on the 11th floor of an old building. We arrived en masse, family + suitcases + backpacks, rode the elevator up 11 floors and then sat down at the end of the hall to wait.
We had been running around nonstop for a couple weeks, with Amy trying to get an impossible amount of work done, with me dealing with an injured cat (apparently a cat fight, hurt paw, infection, he’s all right!), with trip logistics, with housesitter logistics, crossing off items from our to do lists, and now the last item was crossed out except for “Maya shot” and here we where on the 11th floor, outside the Injection Clinic, about to hop the Kaiser shuttle to the MacArthur BART to SFO and off to Mexico City. Our belongings now rode on wheels at the end of a long handle. We were free of work and cars and day-to-day life.
In this first moment of travel, adventure, escape, transition, I glanced out the window of the 11th floor.
Down below I saw a home town filled with trees and nice houses and inviting hills. I thought, why the heck are we leaving this place?! I thought, this is it. I thought, I’m alive and this is going to be awesome. Maya emerged with a band-aid on her shoulder.