Enter reverse-culture shock, as alive and well as ever. We are familiar, of course, having previously endured it. But it prevails. Even knowing what it will be like. Even having previous experience with this strange idea. Even feeling prepared. It’s here. The feeling of being in a foreign land even though we are “at home”. Thats right, we are back in the land of flushing toilet paper.
Life at Lake Atitlan involves a lot of great food. Life in San Marcos la Laguna involves a lot of vegetables. This is not a problem for us as we eat vegetarian at least half of the time. However, after months of street tacos, vegetables and chicken being our main diet we were ready for more. The village of San Juan la Laguna, easily one of our favorites, proved more than capable of delivering.
Today I sit in Los Barriles, Baja, Mexico. Exactly where I sat 1 year ago today. It is no new news that our compass appears not just broken but totally deranged, leading us back here and not south to Central America where we were sure you would find us about now. There have been a lot of memorable moments and lessons learned from these last 426 days on the road~ not the least of which is that life is uncertain.
We knew that when we headed out for a life on the road that we wanted to spend time volunteering in the places we explored. We had done a variety of volunteer work back in Oregon from Habitat to Humanity to Fences for Fidos to cooking for the families at the Ronald McDonald House. Volunteering abroad is not much different, and our time with the Guatemala Housing Alliance one of our favorite memories of Lake Atitlan.
It has been nearly 14 months since we crossed the border south into Mexico. Nearly 14 months of fascinating history, delicious food, gorgeous countryside, and friendly people. Nearly 14 months and thousands of miles covering all of Baja and the vast majority of the mainland. During our time there, we have been disheartened again and again with the negative media regarding this most beloved destination. The myths of Mexico as highlighted in the media are profound.
What a great life we lead! We slept in a bit this morning after the fun of the 2nd annual La Ventana hot dog crawl and a few too many cocktails. The sun was peeking its way over the horizon on the Sea of Cortez and it was just chilly enough to really enjoy our cup of brew as we meandered the beach watching Aspen chase her coconut. The wander home culminated in the wonderful surprise of seeing Kato & George from 2born2travel had nominated us for the Versatile Blogger Award!
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.
Never fear, San Marcos, we will be back!