The last year and a half of living in Guatemala has been an unexpected bonus in my life. Somehow a three-month visit/art project turned into a series of delayed departures and fantastic opportunities to remain in a place that I’ve come to affectionately refer to as home. There is so much to appreciate while here, so much to miss when I’m gone, and alas so much more of the world to see.
This will be my last blog entry (at least for this go round) about Guatemala as a travel destination. In November, Emma and I will be embarking on a long-awaited adventure to South America, a trip we’ve managed to forego at the end of our two previous stints as expats here. Knowing we can always return, as we’ve done twice now, our desire to see more of the world has finally outweighed our desire to stay here longer. It’s no reflection on Guatemala (or our great friends here) but more on the equally inescapable intrepid traveling spirit.
For this grand finale, I thought that, rather than rehashing all the great things yet again, I would compile for my dear readers an easy-access collection of all the articles I’ve had published about this place, a source of great inspiration, over the last eighteen months. So, I hope this finds you on a lazy afternoon or in a state of procrastination in which you are able to explore just exactly why we keep returning to Guatemala and why we find it so difficult to leave.
Teach English in Guatemala (published by Transitions Abroad): An overview of my experience as an EFL teacher in Guatemala, specifically Guatemala City, as well as links and thoughts on the nuts and bolts of getting a job here
Entering Tikal, Jungle Heart of the Mayan Empire (published by BucketTripper): A quick look at Guatemala’s premier archeological site, a beautiful Mayan city over 1000 years old
Dual Voluntourism: Help More for Less (published by Transitions Abroad): A guide to working at hostels as a means to helping with the cost of living while volunteering with NGOs
On the River at Finca Tatin in Guatemala (published by Bucket Tripper): An appreciative remembrance of an awesome trip into the bio-diverse jungles surrounding Rio Dulce
An Expat Rite of Passage in Guatemala (published by Matador Network): A labor of love that delves into what is enticing about living here, a country noted for being a difficult mix of danger and beauty
Feeling Antigua, Guatemala's Local Vibe at Earth Lodge (published by BucketTripper): A well-deserved love fest with Earth Lodge, where Emma and I have spent two fantastic years living and working and playing
New Life in Old Guatemala (published by Travel Thru History): A look at the history and historical progression, the making of, one of the Central America’s top tourist destinations, my home, Antigua Guatemala
Swimming in Sacred Water: Semuc Champey of Guatemala (published by BucketTripper): A brief how-to on experiencing one of the most beautiful and tucked away places in Guatemala and, many would say, the world
Ode to Antigua: Central America's Tourist Capital (published by BootsnAll): A confession of love for Antigua and an expat coming to the defense of this fair city, often referred to as the Disneyland of Guatemala because of the abundance of tourists that frequent it
The Shopping ‘til You Drop Tour of Antigua (published by BucketTripper): A blow-by-blow walk through Antigua in which followers get inside info on all my favorite shopping spots and how to make that spree a little more culturally defensible
Your Guide to Traveling Long on the Cheap (published by the Expeditioner): Another look at the hostel culture and tips on how to stay here indefinitely by doing work-trades with hostels, guesthouses, and eco-lodges throughout Guatemala
Most Popular Destination Blog Entry: La Antigua Detestable--A look at the really irksome things about living in a wonderful place
Well, welcome to the end of the list. Hopefully, an article or two enticed you to read on, but looking back at the collection, I notice that it doesn’t take reading all of these to know what a special place this is to me. Let's sum up: Highly recommended.
In 2013, I took a year to work part-time and pursue a travel writing career on the side. Part of my mission was to explore the depths of one Central America's great tourist attractions and take from it what I could. These are thoughts on Antigua Guatemala.