The First 24 Hours: Arriving in Guatemala

Part II of The First 24 Hours

* To read Part I first click here


6am or something like that

The terminal is beginning to fill with passengers who have absolutely no respect for all the bums hugging backpacks in the corner. Try to keep sleeping as I remind myself that every dollar I save is one more day of exploring the world. One more day before I have to go back to work.


View of Volcan de Agua from Volcan Pacaya, Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

View of Volcan de Agua from Volcan Pacaya, Guatemala — Karina Noriega

My body is absolutely stiff. Even just a year ago I could handle these kind of nights with more grace and flexibility. I hate to play the ‘getting old’ but I am already feeling it. My body simply does not bounce back the way it used to. It behaves as if 20 years older than my true age thanks to a lifetime of pushing my physical limits as an athlete and adrenaline enthusiast. Another reminder of why I am not putting off chasing my dreams for another moment.


Begin loading plane to Guatemala. As usual on this route, it is a completely full plane with absolutely no overhead storage place, but the views are phenomenal. From my East facing little window I always look down to a future bucket list drive of a lifetime: The Overseas Highway (113 miles across the Florida Keys). The ocean is a thousand shades of blue around the islands bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

Budget Travel Tip:

When booking flights, look for major international hubs rather than smaller airports.


Approaching Guatemala City means doing a lot of loops during the decent. The city sits in the valley, surrounded by wild mountainous regions and active volcanoes. One of them, Volcan de Fuego (Fire Volcano) has been erupting for several days now.

The dark volcanic sands contrast beautifully with the lush forest. The depressing effects of winter; grey and cold, are instantly lifted. But don’t expect hot weather here either. Guatemala is known as the land of eternal spring. The capital city experiences year round refreshing temperatures and thriving fauna.


Our ride arrives at the airport to take April and I to my grandmother’s home. This beautiful property will function as our Central American base. A place we can always come back to between adventures, but more importantly, a safe place where I can continue to develop this blog and my writing. April will also be taking some film courses and improving her Spanish.  We will be here until after the holidays, which I look forward to spending with other family members I seldom get to see.

Karina @ Parque Central, Antigua, Guatemala

Karina @ Parque Central, Antigua, Guatemala

I am lucky beyond belief to come from such a wonderful place. Guatemala is truly special and I hope to share it with everyone. While I am here, I will assisting others in planning their own journeys to this country, including a possible tour group in the early 2015. (Please email me if this interests you:


Our first delicious Guatemalan lunch. The food is definitely one of my top reasons why I love this country 🙂


Begin unpacking and the pressure and chaos of basically moving to a new country. I am thankful to have so much help this time but I have much to learn. The next move will be much more difficult. Without connections and common languages, our anticipated jump to Asia in June will be a whole new ballgame.

~ An Extraordinary Post by Karina Noriega ~


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3 thoughts on “The First 24 Hours: Arriving in Guatemala

  1. Pingback: The First 24 Hours: Departing Canada | Karina's Extraordinary Life

  2. Pingback: An Extraordinary Journey to Guatemala & You Are Invited | Karina's Extraordinary Life

  3. Pingback: The First 24 Hours: Departing Canada -

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