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I made it to Guatemala!
I was relatively sleep deprived as I left Toronto around 3am with only an hour sleep to get my first flight to Miami and then to Guatemala city. Upon arriving at the airport in Guatemala city I decided that I was going to break out my shiny new GoPro 6 to film something and this was a huge mistake. I was tired, disoriented and moving luggage around as I re-organized my bags trying to get into warmer clothes. Somewhere along the line, my GoPro was stolen. I know, 10 minutes into a trip and I already lost one of my most valuable items. Learn from my mistakes, leave your valuables somewhere safe locked in your bag like the rest of mine were. I was hesitant to even share this because I don’t want people to think Central America is some crazy dangerous place where you are immediately going to be robbed. It’s not, I was just being dumb and could have easily avoided the entire situation.
Those 10 minutes in Guatemala city were enough for me, I headed straight for Antigua. Upon walking out from the luggage terminal you will see booths offering shuttle services to Antigua. It’s super easy to arrange, $80 Quetzal for a shared ride. They need 3 to go, but I only had to wait a few minutes to get a full car. I shared the taxi with two lovely people from the Netherlands who couldn’t believe my recent incident as much as I could. The drive to Antigua is about an hour (we had low traffic) and provides some nice views as you get away from the craziness of the city.
I am staying at Tropicana Hostel in Antigua which is nice and social. Upon arriving I went to the rooftop terrace for a drink and met people right away, watched the sunset over the surrounding volcanoes and then went out to supper. During supper everything was lovely until I was overcome with feelings of anxiety and what the fuck I was doing with the next year of my life. I felt so alone even though I was surrounded by people.
It is a feeling that I have experienced on the first day of a solo trip before so I knew everything was going to be fine but I had to come back to the hostel and have my moment. I was then convinced by the others to come out and I’m so glad I did because I ended up having a great time. There are moments when you are traveling solo where you will scared and alone and question yourself, but those moments are far outweighed again and again by the incredible people you will meet along the way.
Today I have been exploring Antigua. I had to go to the police station to file a report for my insurance company but luckily one of the staff from the hostel came with me which was wonderful since my spanish is sub-par/awful. Going to places like police and hospitals can be extremely daunting if you don’t speak the local language so I would suggest bringing someone along who can. I was so happy he came with me, the staff as Tropicana are absolutely amazing!
The rest of the day I walked around the local markets and beautiful streets, had a lovely communal dinner at the hostel and some drinks in the hot tub. Antigua is a party town but I’m taking it easy because we leave early tomorrow morning to hike a volcano where we will camp over night (and watch the volcano next to it erupt!!!!!!!!!!!!) It’s suppose to be pretty difficult but an incredible experience, I am SO excited!
So there you have it, for every low there are many highs when traveling. I could have let the stolen GoPro incident ruin my day but in the end it doesn’t really matter. As someone trying to document my travels it super sucks, but it’s replaceable and really fancy electronics aren’t what makes our trips special. It’s the kindness of strangers that then become your friends and those beautiful moments, places and experiences you get to share together. I already feel so much better today and have so much excitement for what lies ahead. I can’t stop smiling.