So, for anyone who follows me on facebook or instagram, you’ll know by now that WE ARE IN #GUATEMALA. Hash tag, open heart, kiss, kiss, smiley face. You can probably tell I’m kinda excited to discover a new country, by the sheer number of exclamation marks (!!!!) and declarations of love for the beauty of La Antigua, the colonial town surrounded by dramatic volcanic peaks we now find ourselves in.
We’ve arrived in #LaAntigua !!! <3
Despite all the beauty and excitement, however, it’s been kinda hard.
Crossing two international borders, finding accommodation with parking for our heavy-laden vehicle carrying an expensive flying machine; a new currency, new climate and new food; forgetting my pin number which resulted in me snapping at an innocent security guard who thought I was taking photos of the ATM while I madly searched my phone for my very well hidden new pin; a fight with Tyrhone about my firey behaviour during which I considered throwing the whole thing in (including him) and moving to Bali.
Yes, friends, welcome to my world.
It’s certainly not boring being me.
And yet, throughout this storm of emotion, I’ve had this inner knowing that all is exactly as it should be. Challenges are the building blocks upon which I grow and transform, and it usually plays out in this order: fear, anger, melt-down, tears, pray, sleep, realise, laugh, grow, repeat.
It doesn’t make me immune to conflict or negativity or pain or fear, it just lets me know that it is okay to feel those things because they always lead me to the other side – love and faith. In fact, those things are the very creators of all the joy and beauty in my life.
My mistakes and meltdowns lead me to change; to admit where my thinking is off and maybe even apologize to someone. They are my markers that my perspective needs shifting, like how snapping at the security guard probably won’t help me find my pin number.
Buying an ice cold pineapple juice from a friendly vendor and sitting myself down on a bench to calmly search my phone for my encrypted pin number, however, probably will (and it did).
Saying sorry to Tyrhone instead of blaming the stress and the heat and the fatigue and the… the! probably helps more too (and it did). In fact, just as predicted, we were re-enacting our tiff from the others’ perspective and laughing about our ridiculousness by dinner that night.
Carnitas at ‘Los Tres Tiempos,’ a great restaurant serving modern Guatemalan cuisine.
Some people have make-up sex, we have make-up gourmet meals.
La Antigua IS strikingly beautiful. And we have found a gorgeous little place to rent for the month which I still can’t quite believe we landed. It is one of the most comfortable bases I have had in a while.
‘The Yellow House’
The small complex of five apartments.
It has a beautiful bedroom and bathroom upstairs which leads out to a fuchsia bougainvillea-draped terrace with views of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes.
While I have yet to lay my yoga mat out, just taking ten minutes last night to sit out there alone on my Indian footstool I dragged across the world (stuffed with clothes and blankets and whatever else I can find) to listen to the sounds of the running water from the fountain and the birds in the trees and simply breathe was pure luxury.
Placing all my trinkets and books on my very own desk (I claimed it, no contest), with no thought of doing any actual work at it was a true delight.
I have a desk, a desk, a desk!
Our home is located on the outskirts of town, as we were choking on the black exhaust smoke from the buses and other vehicles in the city center. La Antigua is a crumbling, colourful, beautiful town, but also rather noisy and busy in the lead up to Semana Santa (holy week).
We have been warned by some friendly locals not to walk along the road leading to our neighbourhood of Santa Ana at night, which we weren’t necessarily planning to do, but is still slightly disconcerting nonetheless.
So as beautiful as our yellow house is, and it is, it does not come without it’s challenges.
I’m am learning on this journey, however, that all good things come with challenges, and that it is the imperfections we encounter along our path that makes the beauty of it shine brighter, even if it takes us some time to realise it.
So bring on this beautiful, imperfect journey, I say. I’m open to everything it has to show me.
A beautiful, crumbling ruin on the road to our house. It takes my breathe away every time we pass.
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