Author’s note: This is the first post in my series on my trip to Honduras. To view all posts in this series, click here.
Traveling to Central America from Minnesota is not bad. Total flying time is generally less than six hours with a connection in Houston. Furthermore, the time zone is either the same or only an hour different making jet lag a non-issue. The only bad thing about my flight was the departure time: 5:15 am. That meant I had to wake up at 3 am to catch my flight on Saturday, January 5th to Honduras. After a restless night of tossing and turning, and constantly checking the clock I was off to the airport, pillow in hand and ready to launch off on my latest adventure.
I had many mixed feelings about going to Honduras. After a bout of illnesses in our family, I was reluctant to leave. I also had a bit of anxiety about going there. I had read the reports on the US Government’s travel site on Honduras, and knew Honduras held the record for the highest level of murders in Central America. I also knew that Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti and in line with Bolivia and Guyana. In fact, nearly two-thirds of Hondurans live in poverty and a whopping 45% in extreme poverty, something that was going to be difficult to witness. Yet, I also left with a feeling of the usual excitement of adventure that I feel before exploring a new place. I was determined to make this trip a meaningful one.
Thankfully I slept the entire way to Houston and had a short layover before boarding the tourist-packed plane to Roatan. I was shocked to see my fellow passengers on the flight as they were not what I expected. Instead of local Hondurans and backpackers, the flight was breaming with polo shirts, jewelry and people looking like they were headed to Cancun, Mexico not poor Honduras. What I failed to realize was that Roatan has become the latest and greatest alternative to a Caribbean island vacation meaning loads and loads of beach-seeking, partying American tourists looking for a less expensive alternative. I felt a pang of disappointment but was not going to let that dampen my trip.
The two and a half hour flight to Roatan was uneventful. As we approached the island, I could see the gorgeous aquamarine water sparkling below and the verdant green tropical landscape which was a far cry from the white-covered landscape of Minnesota.
As we exited the plane, the steamy tropical air infiltrated my body and brought a smile to my sweaty face. Ah, the tropics! The humid, fragrant air was a delight and I was ready to begin my journey into the unknown.