To my friend Lucy, who showed me her world in Antigua and how to love the art of photography. I will forever be grateful for your kindness and friendship. May our paths meet again!
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”- Flavia Weedn
I always find it hard to say goodbye to a place. I found it especially true with Guatemala. Over the last week I’d been as immersed as possible with the culture. I lived with a host family, took intensive spanish courses, climbed a volcano at the crack of dawn, took my first chicken bus and learned to slow everything down and take things as they come. All in all, you couldn’t ask for a better journey than that.
As Sunday morning came and went, I felt a sadness about leaving so soon. I could hardly believe how much I’d done and seen in only a week. Perhaps more than many people ever experience at all. I honestly believe that immersing oneself as much as possible in the culture you are visiting, is the greatest reward ever when it comes to traveling. It was no vacation, that is for sure. Every day I rose exhausted beyond belief and wondering how I’d gather the energy to make it through another long albeit exhilarating day. But one thing I’ve come to learn and understand about myself over the years is that this is how I like to travel. I would do it no other way. A vacation? No thanks. Sitting on the beach? I’d be bored in two minutes. Running around a country and trying to see and learn as much as possible in only a week with never taking a moment to sit still? That is what I do. That is what I crave. And most importantly, that is what I love.
Sensational, cloudless view of Agua Volcano on Sunday morning, the day of my departure.
I know that many people find my way of traveling absolutely crazy. They don’t understand me one bit.
But as I always love to say and quote my parents for reminding me “The world is your oyster”. With those encouraging, motivating words….there was no time to sit aimlessly in my room checking emails. I had to take advantage of every moment and opportunity I got to explore, learn and see my surroundings. For how else would I get a sense of compassion for Guatemala? It certainly wouldn’t be gained from laying on my bed reading a book.