Colombia seems to be a touchy-feely kind of place.
I have a theory that warmer climes breed more extroverts.
Several women literally reached out to give me a hand. They were quick to offer their seat on the Metro and gave my shoulder a companionable squeeze as we struggled to communicate with no common language between us. Is it a coincidence that they seem around my age?
Using a walking stick is an alert to my special needs such as climbing stairs. And I have had enough falls to make me more careful. So, If that’s what it takes to keep on trekkin’, so be it. I am becoming more comfortable traveling with my shiny green, walking stick or my sexy laminated wooden cane. Just one more way to accessorize–a statement of style!
With so much walking, I was thrilled to see a massage therapy studio directly across the street from our hotel’s front door. I took it a a sign to me– just the thing to reward my aching muscles and stiffness.
I used a translation app to find out time, price, etc. And I knew the language of touch would supersede our clumsy spoken words.
I so enjoy experiencing the differences as I sample the art of massage on these trips. It’s’ great good research for me, heightening my awareness in my profession, as well as the personal benefits of healing. Win-Win
There are some differences, of course.
I was handed a purple, skimpy, disposable paper bikini with ties as the therapist gestured me towards a bathroom, to change. She must not have liked the result because she shook her head and retied it when she saw me.
She pointed to a taller-than-mine massage table and indicated that I lie face down– which was the side she massaged the entire time except for the last 5 minute, face massage. She slathered copious amounts of oil on my needy skin. Oh my! Heaven. I think that I drooled.
Physically, the nerve cells called, Touch Receptors, are being stimulated to pleasure which initiates a chemical reaction that creates a healing environment– I call it a “healing feeling”.
Skin on skin, fingers on muscles, compression, vibration–all of these marvelous ways to touch, did she use.
As I allowed my tissue issues to release, I felt the bond of acknowledgement between us. She knew my right shoulder was hurt; her skill was obvious, encouraging me to do my part– be here now. Respond to what is immediate and appropriate. This was my chance to let go of the tension and unbalanced efforts of traveling, walking, climbing, etc. coupled with the stree of not knowing the culture and staying on your toes. Fun but wearing.
There’s one more example of touch– and it includes the sense of movement as well–and that is dance. The music is flirty and lively and though I don’t understand the lyrics, it does not seem that they are crying in their beer. It feels happy– it makes me want to stamp my feet.
There are varying salsa styles. I like the slower, more sensuous beat– it feels more natural to me. But watching people who have the moves is like watching dancing with the Stars, it’s mesmerizing. And men dance as much as women do.
I have a theory for that too. Men dance more if they can touch their partner.
We are off to see “the Walled City”, resembling other old Spanish forts situated on the waterside with the city nestled safely within. Here I will touch stones that were hewn in the late 1500-1600’s.
My feet will tread where soldiers, pirates and paisanos of old etched their story and see what that feels like.
More in the offing,
My massage therapist