Almost Fearless

Puerto Escondido Al Gusto

I was feeling deep-bone tired. I had a ton of deadlines, but I just decided: that’s it, if I don’t take a break I’m no good to anyone. I had been working on a project since August, putting in insane hours, and it’s SO CLOSE… maybe a month away from being done. But five months of sprinting is too much. So we rented a car, piled in and drove 6 hours to the coast. Puerto Escondido.


I walked across the white sand towards the ocean and I swear I could feel the stress melting off me. puerto escondido-10

I guess I will always be an ocean-person, but if that photo doesn’t make you happy, then I don’t get you.

The major plan was just to read, relax and regroup. Four days. I got my copy of Arrecife magazine, which if you live or visit Oaxaca, it’s well worth a read. I’m planning my weekends around some of their recommendations.

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We alternated between the beach, the pool and comfy chairs and I read two books: Hyperbole and a Half (finally) and Diana Kennedy’s definitive cookbook Oaxaca Al Gusto. Now I want to do a Cuban-style cochinita BBQ and have a weekly Día de Campo. I want to grow moste plants on my terrace and perfect every variation of mole, learn some Zapoteco words, explore Oaxaca far and wide beyond the valley. It would take me a year to cook and travel through her book. Or more. But I’m up for the challenge.

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The beaches in Puerto Escondido were largely deserted, even though you’d think this would be the high season with the 80 degree temperature and the bathtub warm water. But it was the perfect place to just stop and think. I was re-writing my bio the other day and thinking about the words to describe me and it is the same as always: restless, obsessive, and seeking. I can be so obsessive, I dive into work so hard sometimes the people around me get whiplash, but I’m also restless and trying to find something. Always. Even when I’ve found it. I keep looking. So I sat on that beach and thought about Big Plans. Big Adventures. The Next Big Thing.

Anything is possible.

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On the other hand, I’m just enjoying this moment. Stella is turning three this month, and I absolutely adore this age. I think of her affectionately as a little muppet. She’s wild-haired, often just shy of filthy, no matter what attempts I make to clean her up as she contorts herself to escape. If I’m wearing a dress, she’s climbing under the folds of my skirt, otherwise, she’s climbing on my lap, putting herself in my gaze, touching my hair, sprinting away, then coming back again. It’s kinetic entropy, a constant state of movement. Five shots taken quickly:


Then off she went, to play in the sand, eat some watermelon, chase her brother. All at once.

And then it was decided. More play. Less work. Shifting gears again. I needed that space to just break the spell. I burned hot for a few months, now it’s time to refill the well. More travel, cooking, kids, play, and Vitamin D. More of this.

Christine Gilbert

I’ve been dragging my husband around the world since 2008 always with the promise that, “Yes, Drew there will definitely be hammocks there.”


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