Here we are back in Guatemala. I am so happy to be here. The smell of the air, the humidity and the beautiful Spanish language in my ears. Two years have gone by, so much has changed. We have grown, Life Out of the Box has grown. We have called several countries, cities and states “home” since we lived here in Guatemala in 2013–but here, there is truly sense of comfort & home.
Our adventure started off in typical LOOTB fashion in the Guatemala City airport where Jonathon, Lindsey and I spent the night (Lindsey is our awesome team member/graphic designer who has been working with us all year at OSU– she’s designed our logo, new packaging and all of our most recent tanks & tees!). Jonathon and I often do this when we travel at odd hours of the morning or night. The first time we did this was in the Managua airport and since then we’ve slept in the airports of London, Casablanca and now Guatemala City.
We picked a corner in the airport near a coffee shop, threw our bags down and each took turns sleeping on the floor throughout the night. We weren’t the only ones who did this as there were several other travelers around us, but at 3:15am the security guard woke us up and asked if we had a flight out that morning. None of us could respond to him in English let alone Spanish in our dreamy phase, so he just left us alone. A couple hours later, we were happy zombies when the sun finally came up.
We walked out of the airport and met a very nice taxi driver who gave us a great deal on a ride to Antigua at 5:30am. The ride to Antigua was perfect–with the windows rolled down, the cool humid breeze woke us all up in a gently. We drove out of Guatemala City into the rural areas and talked with our new friend in Spanish the whole way. Speaking Spanish came back to us much easier than we expected, so we took full advantage of practicing with him before we were on our own.
Before we knew it, we were driving through the cobblestone streets of Antigua. The colorful colonial town was golden as the locals in it were just setting up their shops for the day. Our taxi driver took us to the market and asked several locals where we could catch the chicken bus directly to Panajachel that morning. There was just one bus at 7am that would take us directly to Panajachel–we knew from our previous experience that we wanted the local bus that didn’t make us transfer 4 different times on the side of the highway. He dropped us off at the bus stop, we paid the 36Q ($4.75) and hopped on the local bus to take us on our 4 hour journey to Lake Atitlan.
The doors of the chicken bus closed and the reggaeton music began blaring–we were back in our element. We drove through dirt road towns, luscious green mountains, waterfalls, handcrafted markets on the side of the road and Mayan people walking around in traditional clothing. The whole trip went by in a blink of an eye but my mind was filled with inspiration from my new surroundings. These scenes I had seen before, but it was I who had changed. I knew that this trip would be one that would change our lives forever.