I did not immediately like corn tacos. For a white British girl used to white supermarket wheatflour wraps, corn tacos are initially difficult to swallow. Literally. Or at least, that’s what I thought, until I spent three-and-a-half weeks of 2012 in the Chiapas and Yucatan regions of Mexico stuffing myself with street food – turns out, corn tacos are wonderful. I was eating tasty, tasty corn tacos with our lovely new contributor Donna the other day when she asked me whether the name Subequator meant she could only write about the southern hemisphere. But it wasn’t just the amazing Deep South food at Wellington’s Sweet Mother’s Kitchen that made me look on the Northern hemisphere more generously.
Subequator implies below the equator, in the southern half of the globe. And yep, that’s the initial significance I imbued it with when I picked the site’s name – I was living in New Zealand, I’m a sub(-editor) by trade, it felt appropriate. But as is so often the case with words, names or phrases that grow to be of importance in a person’s life, it’s become something more.
The equator is a border, it’s a line, it’s a limit. It’s a boundary. The sub is below; it indicates a place that is separate from, or outside of, another place. And so Subequator became about living beyond borders and outside boundaries.
I chose to live beyond the borders of the country that I was born in and grew up in; and it’s bright and beautiful people who have done the same (or, crucially, who would do the same) who I want to write for this website. I believe that making the choice to leave your home country, just for the hell of it, is usually a great indicator of a fantastic person – a person who’s interested and engaged with life. And those people often have a habit of seeing the place they’re living – no matter how long it’s been “home” for – with more observant eyes than those who grew up there.
That’s my base-level definition of being Subequator, of being beyond borders and outside boundaries. Unfortunately “living outside boundaries” makes it sound a lot like I’m really into extreme sports. I’m not. But I find the implication somewhat hilarious.
My closest shave with EXTREME BRO activities was last September when I did the Nevis bungy jump in a canyon outside Queenstown, in New Zealand’s South Island. This is not just any bungy jump, this is the third highest bungy jump in the world. It’s 134 metres. 134 METRES. FYI: That’s a really bloody long way to bungy jump.
It was terrifying, exhilarating, unbelievable and surely involved the most intense adrenaline-induced emotions I’ve ever experienced … but I wouldn’t call it fun. It was totally amazing and I am firmly happy that I did it. But I don’t need to do it again.
It’s not that I actually thought I was going to die, but I now think I know what it would feel like to think that I was about to (and I remember thinking that I emphatically didn’t want to – die, that is – which is always a bonus). I also cocked up the intended head-dive, despite having been cool as the proverbial cucumber right up until about ten seconds before jumping, and did a retrospectively hilarious silent open-mouthed scream the entire way down. I actually could not make noise. That is how frightening it was. BUT – I damn well exited the orbit of my own boundaries.
So, in short, living outside of boundaries and past borders does not for me equal extreme sports. It also doesn’t equal blanket rules, like must say yes to every opportunity ever (although I have nothing but love for Danny Wallace’s Yes Man). That kind of life is far too exhausting for most, and frankly hardline approaches to anything almost always set up a fall. I think that it is possible to live this philosophy, of having an interesting and interested life and of doing new things and of paying more attention and of being vibrant and of experiencing as much as possible, in small ways and always.
Starting with corn tacos.
If you think you’d like to write for Subequator.com, tell me! Leave a comment below and I’ll be in touch.