In 2015 my word for the year ahead was transformation and wow, did we ever do it up right. We sold our house and the majority of our material goods, we moved into our camper and headed south to points unknown in search of a different lifestyle.
2016 found me choosing surprise as my word for the year and, once again, the universe provided. In fact, no one is more surprised than I to find myself not somewhere in southern Central America, but back in Mexico!
For 2017 I may have found the perfect word to truly describe not just the year ahead, but a more general thought on our life in general:
When we started researching Lake Atitlan we knew we were spending one month in a cottage at Pasajcap, however with our friends Pete & Natasha still residing in our cottage rental for a bit, I reached out to the San Marcos Facebook page in search of lodging for the beginning of our time at the lake. We needed a dog friendly apartment with secure parking, a potential deal breaker in tiny San Marcos.
The memories of our time in San Marcos, on Lake Atitlan, are still fresh in our minds although we reluctantly left her shores nearly one month ago. Scanning photos of our time there brought a renewed look with fresh eyes on just how stunning it was to walk the narrow, winding pathways of town. Guatemala is stunning..here are a few visual souvenirs for you all to enjoy.
As with any routine is is easy to become jaded and stop actually “seeing” what is around you.
I was never one to appreciate coffee, just as I was in my mid 20’s before I developed a taste for beer. I totally blame this on my parents. Growing up in small town Minnesota with Folgers instant coffee and restaurants, ok lets be honest and call them truck stops, chosen merely for offering a bottomless cup of bad coffee did not inspire the desire to imbibe. In addition, my parents also drank this bad coffee loaded with milk and sugar as one does, of course, when drinking crap.
Pasajcap really needs little introduction from me. Every overlander around is familiar with the stunning views and friendly service given by Pierre and his wonderful staff. Despite the title, we didn’t actually camp at Pasajcap. Pierres three beautiful shepherds are lovely dogs, but not always as fond of having doggie visitors. Thus, we were “forced” to rent one of his ten gorgeous accommodation options; in our case, cottage # 3 from the gate.
We are in paradise. Granted, we’ve been to quite a few “bits of paradise” in our years of travel, but Lake Atitlan is pure magic. We came for a couple of weeks, and just extended our stay so it will equal nearly the entire length of our 90 day visa. Other friends came for four days, and just hit their four week mark. Like I said, this place is magic. Having said that, the road into the lake is shit. And I mean total shit, the sort of road that gives you nightmares for a couple of days after arrival. Here is what you need to know if you, too, are planning on visiting Guatemala.
Overlanders depend on their gear. After all, most of us are homeless in the traditional sense. The road is our home, and the gear we travel with can make or break the trip. As very active campers even in our old life, we were quite certain what cooking gear was going to make the list for the PanAm. Although we quibbled over and considered a few items, one item never in doubt was our Lodge Dutch Oven.
I know I shouldn’t compare. I know I should live in the moment, focus on what is in front of me, not develop a “been there, done that” mentality. And yet, the more I travel, the more these inevitable comparisons raise their ugly head.
What drives us, we nomadic types? What causes us to leave stable jobs, lovely homes, friends and family, to throw ourselves out into the world? To force discomfort upon ourselves by the mere act of having no home base, no tribe to reach to for comfort? To live a life outside our comfort zone, both mentally and literally?
I have never liked history. My dad was a history teacher. My brother is a history teacher. I got through the classes, but never embraced the subject. That all changed the moment I started traveling. Unencumbered by a parents authoritarian lectures and dry professors, I found myself relishing stepping back in time to see a world thousands of years in the past.