My life in Guatemala is kind of a dream. I live in Antigua, which is a beautiful colonial town. I have a very handsome novio. I have a moto which costs me a few dollars a week to fill. My room is beautiful and my apartment is super sweet (and super cheap). I have a great coworking space that I don’t go to as often as I should. I’m slowly collecting friends and favourite cafes. I volunteered for a bit, I fundraised for a bit and this week I’m packing my bags.
I’m not over Antigua, far from it – but adventure calls.
I’ll be spending a few weeks in Guatemala city, after then I’ll be making my way to the States for Coachella and then heading to a blogging conference in Barcelona. I haven’t made any other plans for Europe, except Copenhagen & Barcelona. I know there will be more to it, but right now I’m focusing on getting my residency application sorted so I can be be more comfortable in Guatemala: no tax, a bank account, a license.. and eventually buying a car and probably even some land by the lake.
Nine days ago I had a moto crash and it was pretty freaky. While turning a corner, very slowly, my moto accelerated against my will and there was nothing I could do to calm it down. I tried to slam both brakes, but it was futile and I knew within a split second I was going to crash, so I chose a bit of sidewalk with no motos parked there and I slammed right into it. It hurt. I crash landed on my elbow and if you’ve ever hit your elbow on anything, you can just imagine how a elbow-crash landing feels. I scraped up my foot, which proceeded to get infected (sexy) and was kind of out of action for the past week.
I was surprised by how many Guatemalans came to my rescue. They literally picked me off the ground, lifted my moto off the ground, gave me my keys, my phone, my backpack, called an ambulance for me, brought me water and made sure I knew it was going to be okay. As funny as it sounds, in that moment of absolute shock and pain, I knew I’d made the right decision in choosing Antigua.
What is Antigua, Guatemala really like?
After traveling to some 40 countries, countless cities and towns… I almost cried the first day I was in Antigua. It’s beyond beautiful. It’s the place I’ve been searching for but never found before. Boarded by three volcanoes, painted in bright colours and paved in cobble stone, Antigua is beautiful. I actually can’t think of any other town or city I’ve been to that compares. There’s the natural beauty, there’s the man-made beauty. Sure, the first day I was here I was intimidated by the number of guns I saw, but thankfully I’ve not seen or experienced any crime during my time in Guate, only kindness.
Antigua is very touristy and rightly so, it’s beautiful and people should come to visit. I’ve been surprised by the number of Guatemalans who come to Antigua for holidays or weekend trips away – my boyfriend cites it as his favourite place in the world, and prior to coming here I was a little suspicious of this, but now I totally get it. I struggle a little with the poverty here, while it’s not that apparent in Antigua (it’s present but not overbearing), I’m aware 50% of the country suffers from malnutrition. For me, this is outrageous, sad, and, an intimidating number. Long term I’d love to help out. For now I’m wanting to focus on my Spanish so I can better inject myself into the community.
Ah, Antigua Guatemala must be the best place in the world to learn Spanish. Here I have two fantastic Spanish teachers who charge for eight classes what I’d pay for one class in New Zealand. This is for a one-on-one session too, which proves to be incredible value for me. My main teacher offers Skype lessons and a free trial, so if you’re at all curious please let me know and I’ll put you in touch. I’m struggling with my Spanish, not making as much progress as I’d like, but I know I’ll get there. I’m super shy. Any tips for getting over the ‘being uncomfortable’ in Spanish stage?
Any suggestions for where I should go in Europe? Let me know down below!