I know this is so annoying and that I am not due for an adventure right now, but I spent a long weekend in Guatemala. Here’s why you should try not to hate me: I hate me. All travelers hate themselves. They must. The shit we go through is not natural and it’s not fun. While waiting 8 hours to hear I wouldn’t make my flight home from Guatemala I asked my self “Why? Seriously. Why?” Why do I wake up at 3:00 am to get to the airport on a Friday, get on a sweaty bus that’s full to twice a reasonable capacity, and do it all again a few days later with no souvenirs aside from a possible parasite from delicious street tacos? After getting bumped from two flights (hazards of a buddy pass, but still a HUGE GRACIAS to the person who gave me the passes.) I resigned to the fact that I wouldn’t make it to work the next morning. A few real tears may have been shed, tears that never would have surfaced if I had stayed home, stayed safe.
I would do it again in a heartbeat (I won’t for awhile, I don’t imagine the office was too happy about my delay), most likely because I hate myself, at least on some level. Also because I was starving for the adventure. For the concrete buildings with hand-painted signs declaring the purpose of the shop inside. For the people who sit and talk to their family in lieu of watch tv at night. For the spicy food. In a matter of hours I fell in love with Guatemala and the people there who are soft spoken and don’t have an aggressive bone in their bodies. I fell in love with this turtle who melted my heart as she sloppily made her way into the ocean. Without a backpack, without speaking any language, without looking back once, she walked right out into the unknown from the safety of the turtle conservation she was born into. That’s my girl. (Maybe boy, who knows with turtles?)
This was a short trip, riddled with stressful moments and trying to remember to go with the flow. I’m home though, and I mean really home. I’m not really a traveler anymore and I’m used to schedules and expectations and not used to sitting still on busses, planes and waiting areas. I went on a boat tour of an estuary, the place where fresh water meets salt water which was the perfect allegory to my current situation. My feet are both firmly planted on the ground and itching to jump. It’s home and the unknown swirling together. It’s a trying time because I have no identity. I’m neither exciting nor “normal”. I’m in salt water, with a desire to change and move and; fresh water with the tranquility of home and routine. The flaura and fauna of these estuaries and the mangrove that surrounds are unlike any other place. They are unique in that they can survive in any environment. They are resilient and adaptive. They are lush and thriving. They expect disturbance and anticipate the craziness of the changing tides which recalculate everything. It will be a great feat if I can say that I am thriving in the estuary and that despite the coming together of two different environments, I can find myself and maintain. That I can, at some point, stop asking “why” and go with the flow. Any flow, from anywhere. No matter what. Until then, I’ll live vicariously through the grand adventures of my tortuguita, who is out the in the jet streams of the ocean, living her life to the fullest. Carpe diem Little Danger.