I spent the last week and a half of February in Colombia: I attended a dear friend’s wedding, and then I relaxed at a tiny resort where the biggest decision of my day was choosing a hammock in which to have my afternoon nap. It was glorious. And quiet. In more ways than one.
See, Colombia isn’t a country that speaks a lot of English. And I am not a traveler who speaks a lot of Spanish. You do the math.
What I learned: People in Colombia wanted me to eat, to be safe, to have a good time.
I survived with big smiles, excited clapping, pointing at menus, Google translator (when I had wifi), listening carefully for familiar words, and speaking loudly and slowly. (Oh yes, I did.)
My last morning in Colombia had me feeling stressed; I had complicated transfers beginning at 4 am from a somewhat-remote resort via taxi to the nearby town where I would connect with two different buses before reaching the airport that would take me to a major city for a connecting flight back to Canada.
Add to the stress the fact that I didn’t have quite enough cash to pay my various drivers along the way and would need to find a machine somewhere early on. An English-speaking staff member at the resort had lovingly arranged my entire trip for me, but I knew it was unlikely she would be around at 4 am to translate any further.
I thought ahead: I packed and was ready the night before, set a couple of alarms, and translated phrases I thought I might need into my phone and took screen shots that I could show them along the way.
Here’s what happened: I accidentally ordered a bottle and not a glass of wine at dinner the night before I left, and not wanting to waste it, I drank a lot of it and basically passed out. I woke up in plenty of time for my alarm, in my clothes, with the lights still on. I checked out of the resort with ease, met my driver, showed him my translation that said “Can we go to a cash machine so I can pay you?” and off we went.
I felt completely safe and taken care of. When the first banco machin-o didn’t work for my card, we looked for another, and each time, he stood outside the door and waited for me. We were a team.
Soon, I wasn’t worried about making my connections and even grabbed the tiniest of cat naps once I was safely on the bus.
It’s like I always say: we are in relationship with everyone we interact with.
For those brief moments, with my gruff, Spanish-speaking driver, we shared an intimacy that I am still talking about a week later.
I think that universally there is desire to connect, the same way our bodies want to maintain health. If we shoot Botox into our face, our muscles actually work around it and want to get back to what’s normal. This is why, if you use poison to still your beautiful facial expression lines, you need to repeat the treatment over and over again.
Similarly, we humans crave connection. When we don’t have it, due to language barriers or other zany circumstances, we find our way back to it.
Relationship wants to happen.
Stop fighting it. So many times, we get in conflict with each other and don’t realize that things just want to run smoothly. Rather than get in the way of it all the time, I invite you to consider what you can do and say that will create more intimacy with the people in your life. How can you join with the people around you to become team mates?
Try it and let me know what you discover. You don’t even have to go all the way to Colombia (although you could—they are lovely people and they will be very amused by your excited clapping when you finally decide what you’d like to order for dinner!).
Get Real, like Sexy Real
Tara Caffelle is a Relationship and Communication coach. She is passionate about creating connected, almost-uncomfortable-to-watch relationships that are based in Sexy Communication and Big Lives worth rolling around in.
Tara is based in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver and offers custom-designed coaching programs. To claim your free 90+ minutes and see what might be possible for your own super coupledom (or persondom), find a time here.
Have a question for Tara? Have an idea for a Hump Day conversation? How about just some thoughts about this thing called life? Let us know here. We’ll answer back. We promise.