Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
-- Ferris Bueller
If you have been following my travel blog you'll know that I haven't written in a while. I am not sure why, but I think it is writer's block. I have been stuck in the sand dunes in Huacachina, Peru which was already a long time ago, a lot of kilometers ago. Meanwhile, now I am sitting on my bed in a single room in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala about to start a six month minimum volunteer gig with Habitat for Humanity. I do promise to eventually finish writing about Peru. I think I owe it to myself and my dedicated readers (yes, all four of you) to complete the South American journey. I just think the final posts from Peru will have to be interspersed with new posts about Guatemala.
As you may figure life has changed quite dramatically - my South American sojourn ended a bit abruptly, I will not see Mika, my life/travel partner, until we meet again November 6th at the Fort Lauderdale airport of all places, and I am about to accept something which I have been very good at avoiding --- responsibility. How did I end up here?
Well, a few weeks ago we were in Lima, Peru and in one of those funks that will occur at times when traveling - especially for rolling stones like us who travel for so long and do not know when or what will be at the end. At that time we did not even know which country we would be in this December. Mika gets this more than I do, it is basically a creeping doubt of "what am (are) I (we) doing with my (our) lives?" It is in one of these moments that I decided to check idealist.org to see what is out there. Something caught my eye. It is a volunteer opportunity in Guatemala that requires traveling around the country, writing and photography for Habitat for Humanity, a huge American NGO that builds homes all over the world. If I enjoy the work and the work enjoys me it could lead to something else. Furthermore, my travel expenses will be paid while I am out and about for the job which for me is like winning the lottery because usually I travel, write and take photos all at my own expense.
A quick email revealed that they are currently interviewing. I whipped up a resume and cover letter (for volunteer work, I know, right!), scored an interview via Skype and a few days later our lives changed completely. I had to do a lot of shuffling with our travel schedule. We have plans to go to the USA on Nov 6th from Bogota, Colombia. I changed my flight to leave from Guatemala. My wife, however, is not so lucky. First of all, tickets are expensive Lima - Guatemala one way is a whopping $850. I used frequent flier miles. Secondly, about ten months ago Mika, ignoring the wise advice of her husband, left a suitcase full of stuff in Bogota which she has to go pick up and which is hopefully still there.
So after two weeks more of traveling up the north coast of Peru we came back to Lima where I caught my flight to Guatemala while Mika headed off to a vegetarian yoga commune in Peru to kill some weeks before she must head north again to Bogota. As mentioned, we will meet in the USA to spend three weeks there visiting family then head back down to Guatemala to find an apartment and settle in for a while.
With life usually crawling at a snail's pace away from the rat race reality of the real world these changes seem like they have come at breakneck speed. As I turn a new chapter in my rambling life blogging will give me the chance to slow down and appreciate where I have been and to possibly see where I am headed. Thanks for reading!
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A) Lima, Peru
B) Quetzaltenango, Guatemala