Posts in Destinations
Spanish Colonial Charm in Antigua: The Journey Part 9

Talk to some of the locals in the market. The locals here will give you all kinds of information and many are eager to learn about you and where you come from as well. I find many of the people tending to booths are more likely to talk if you make a purchase (even just a very small one). Start a conversation on whatever you just purchased, or about the market, or life in Antigua! Just get the courage to talk! The same goes for photos. Don't just walk up and snap pictures of them in the market working. It is considered rude. How would you feel if someone did it to you? Uncomfortable? Annoyed? Well, they are human beings too so respect their privacy as you would your own. I usually make a purchase and then ask politely if they mind if I take a photo. Most are accommodating but don't be offended if they decline.

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San Marcos: The Zen of Lake Atitlan and The Journey Part 8

Get up for the extraordinary sunrises or go out for an amazing sunset. In fact, San Marcos (and Lake Atitlan) has some of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever witnessed. During the cool mornings there is a smokey haze that surrounds the lake which is highlighted by the red tones in the sky during the sunset. The volcanoes around the lake bring a beautiful background to the entire scene. Early in the morning, the lake is very still and quiet so you get the reflections of the colorful sky and the beautiful volcanoes on the water. It is just so beautiful it is hard to put into words. Often in the mornings, there will be nobody else around so you get the added peace of having this beautiful scene to yourself.

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San Pedro La Laguna: Lake Atitlan and The Journey Part 7

My heart pounding, I took several steps and then stopped to listen for any sounds that could tell me what was ahead. I heard nothing but the waves from the lake pounding against the rocks on the shore. I continued to walk down the path until I came to a small tunnel that was even darker. I could see there was a small sign with my hotel name on it but I was still leery of what was ahead.  It was very hot and I was sweating. Suddenly something jumped out in front of me.

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Hidden Paradise at Semuc Champey: The Journey Part 6

The road was extremely muddy. It was a one lane road with no shoulder and large drop-offs on one side. It is basically the nightmare bus scenario where the bus rolls down the side of the mountain; a bus traveling down a one-lane, muddy road, with vehicles going in both directions, while the clouds are low enough they hit the road impairing visibility along with the current rainfall. Yes, there are photos below of that road (make sure to check them out). I did not take a photo of my underwear, however, since I and everyone else on the bus were shitting our pants.

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Awesomeness = Tikal: The Journey Part 5

As we walked down the path that winds through the jungle, Louis explains to us the history of the Mayans at Tikal. As he talks, Louis explains that "Tikal is the 2nd largest Mayan city ever built. The 1st is El Mirador on the border of my country (Guatemala) and Mexico. Tikal was discovered several hundred years ago and El Mirador. The reason Tikal is so popular is that it has been excavated for a long time. El Mirador's excavation wasn't started until about twenty years ago."

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Welcome to Isla de Flores a Most Wonderful Little Town: The Journey Part 4

You can immediately see the difference in the landscape. I was so happy to finally be in Guatemala. You see, Guatemala was the country that made me want to travel through Central America. It was the gem of the region, or at least I was hoping!

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Belize City, Belize...the "danger zone": The Journey Part 3

Later, a tall white guy, who was dressed like a farmer, got onto the bus during one of the stops in Belize. This man, whom I did not get to meet, sat next to Nicholas. The man said "When you get to Belize City get to your room. Make sure you get what you need right away and get back. Stay in your hotel after dark." Nicholas, Alena, and I looked at each other. The man then said, "Belize City is not safe at night."

And there it was...the dark cloud over the city. The tone had been set.

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Oxtankah Ruins: The Journey Part 2

My visit to Oxtankah started off with a walk through Calderitas when I saw a sign that said Oxtankah with a Mayan pyramid symbol next to it and a number 7. I walked back to my hostel immediately afterward to find out what it was all about. So, I consulted the local expert, Google. I found out that Oxtankah ruins were located 7.3 kilometers from Calderitas (for all my American friends this is about 4.6 miles). 

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Welcome to Mexico: The Journey Part 1

I knew that stepping on to that plane was the point of no return. Nothing would ever be the same again. "What was it going to be like?" "Was I going to be in danger?" "Would I ever return?" "Would I see my family ever again?" These were just some of the thoughts that were running through my head.

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The Plan: Central & South America

Do you plan out every minute of your vacations?  Does it feel stressed and chaotic instead of relaxing?  Are you exhausted by the time your trip is done? Traveling slow without a laid out plan is the best way to take in a culture really get to know a place.  Spend time enjoying what the area and people have to offer without the stress of having to see everything.  You can always go back.

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