I’ve been neglecting my blog in favor of real life lately. Sorry. I did manage to hang out in Guatemala for ten days and wrote up my Guatemala Bucket List if you care.
My Guatemala Bucket List
1. Strengthen one friendship.
This is how you make friends: ask people to do things with you and say yes when people ask you to do things with them. Rinse and repeat with the same person to make a close friend.
My friend Z asked if I wanted to hang out with her in Guatemala. I said yes. We hung out and made a bunch of memories and now we’re better friends. List item crossed off.
Country I’ve never visited + the company of someone I already know and like = winning life.
2. Participate in a water activity or two that scares you.
We went to Semuc Champey, a “cave, swimming river float combo tour” that Z claimed as her favorite spot on the planet.
I know how to swim. I’ve taken adult swimming lessons more times than I can count. I can do all the strokes and the treading. I mean, technically, I know how. I’ve done laps in a pool and tackled all my mini goals until I crossed off “Learn to Swim” on my life bucket list.
Water is still scary. Whenever we tango though, the fear abates just a little more. It was just over a year ago that snorkelling went from “a terror to put myself through” to fun. Conquering fear is one of the best feelings in the world. Swimming in dark, unexpectedly deep caves with only candles, tubing down the river, and swimming in natural pools was excellent. This is one of my greatest accomplishments to date. Just so we’re clear, I met a 10-year-old on the tour who did all these things, so you might not think it’s difficult.
3. Take Spanish lessons.
For the bigger life goal “learn a foreign language.” One on one with a natural speaker is the best way to learn. I want to do this for a couple of months somewhere so I can cross it off once and for all.
4. Pretend you live in Antigua.
We spent the majority of our time in Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whatever that means. I’ve heard grand things about this place from more than one person, but I don’t really get the appeal. Too many cars and too many stray dogs in too small an area with wobbly roads that require tennis shoes for walking.
5. Play so many games.
Trivia at the hostel bar in Lanquin, giant jenga in a bar in Antigua, pool in San Pedro, cards everywhere. Even though I didn’t have to make friends because I was with a friend, I still managed to snag a few new friends.
6. See why people say Guatemala City is meh.
All of the capitals in Central America are apparently pretty meh. The soul is in the surrounding areas. I still had a pleasant day in Guatemala City, walking around and hanging out with Z and our Airbnb hosts, making up drinks. It’s the people. The people.
7. See an animal. Preferably wild.
I saw lots of stray dogs as previously mentioned. And fewer cats. Oh, there were wild fish in Semuc Champey that gave you a free pedicure if you let your feet dangle in the water. They eat your dead skin. I think that may be it.
8. Fail at your “not buying more earrings” resolution.
Oh well. I’ve been really good in the last few countries, but I’m a sucker for earrings that look like things.
I bought these little guitar earrings in San Pedro, a town that sits on a gorgeous lake in the crater of a volcano.
9. Eat at several different Taco Bells and decide that Guatemala is pretty great.
Imagine being on a bus for seven hours and hopping off at a cute little mall in a cute little town called Coban for a quick meal. Imagine scanning the directory and seeing Taco Bell! Yup, that feeling you’re trying to articulate is happiness.
There was also one in Antigua and several in Guatemala City. Make me your spokesperson, Taco Bell. I heart you. Vegetarian fast food, spicy, delicious and satisfying. I don’t understand why you haven’t conquered the world yet.