“You take it on faith, you take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part. “
— Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
I made my plane reservations in December. I booked the little house across the street from the beach in November. It sits in the heart of a little fishing village in the deep southern Yucatan. The emerald Caribbean kisses the coast just a couple hundred feet from the front door.
Oh, the village is nothing fancy. There’s no cell signal, or so I’m told. One of the local gringos manages to keep a wifi signal somewhat operational, but, truthfully, I don’t care. There are a couple of hangouts where I can get a beer. Maybe one honest-to-God restaurant. The nearest ATM machine is an hour away.
The online reviews of the house were honest. “There isn’t any hot water,” one visitor noted. “But I didn’t care. Everything else was exactly what I was looking for.
A kindred spirit. An escapee. Somebody not afraid to bribe the Quintana Roo cops on the drive down from Cancun for a week of sunshine, sea breezes, the unmatched tug of a saltwater fish and … a little peace.
Damn. I can’t wait.
It feels like it’s taking forever for the departure date to arrive. I’ve spent the last few months thinking of little else, honestly. I’ve tied bonefish flies and some pretty hideous permit flies (I’m going to have break down and buy some crab patterns. I don’t have time for the practice I’d need to get it just right). Clousers and Deceivers for jacks and snappers. Streamers for tarpon, if I’m lucky. Maybe some barracudas if I’m really lucky.
I’ve arranged the gear bag in my head a few times, but I haven’t actually gone and packed. That would be a sign of desperation, I think. Best to wait until I’m a week out.
But it’s sure on my brain, and it has been since I plopped down the deposit on the house. And maybe that’s part of the vacation itself, right? Planning. Dreaming. Scheming.
I’m lucky. I get to travel quite a bit. But, for some reason, this one’s important. I made the plans knowing that, by the end of February, winter would be dragging me into a pit of misery (dilly, dilly), but this winter, at least here in the West, has been pretty ho-hum. I can see my lawn, which is a bit unusual. Hell, the sun’s even cracked through a few times. Fishing here is certainly not out of the question.
Maybe it’s just on the brain, you know? Like a real urge to show off the passport, to try my hand at my shoddy Español and to let the tropical sun burn that top layer of winter off my skin.
Who knows? But I do know this. The waiting is the hardest part.
Chris Hunt is the national digital director for Trout Media. He lives and works in Idaho Falls.