An Extraordinary Journey to Guatemala & You Are Invited

Volcano Panorama viewed from atop Volcan Pacaya -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

This is your official invitation to join me on an extraordinary journey through landmark destinations in Guatemala. 

Temples of Tikal Tower above the jungle canopy -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Temples of Tikal Tower above the jungle canopy — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Join us on this Extraordinary Journey around Guatemala! For more information, please contact:

Karina @

April  @

Path to Agua -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Path to Agua — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

I want to take fear, uncertainty and hard work out of going to a foreign land (specially if it’s your first trip). I have the research, connections and the know-how. Unlike big, established tours, traveling with me means traveling with a friend who is eager to explore, share, and help you travel safely. Our small group will result in more freedom, flexibility and a personalized experience.

Before you come

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Mercado Tradicional – Guatemala

This week’s film spotlights our experience at a local market.
Come explore Guatemala City’s traditional mercado, “La Villa” and travel like a local.

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7 days to Around The World

I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants for so long that I don’t know how to start wrapping my head around the planning and preparation for phase II. There is only seven days left before we embark on our long journey around the world.

Mapping it out -- Karina Noriega

Mapping it out — Karina Noriega

I took a look at a travel & packing checklist that I devised from previous long-term backpacking trips. I had broken down the responsibilities for ‘things to do’ months, weeks and days prior to departure. It made me laugh and then I got a little sick realizing that I have basically 3 items on the list that I have actually checked off and one of them is really up in the air.(*3)

MONTHS              WEEKS                   DAYS
Visas               Flights/Ferry/Train     Finalize gear acquisition
Immunizations       Accommodations          Register trip
Get Prescriptions   Car rentals             Cancel any monthly bills/services
Book time off       Rough itinerary/route   Pick up medication
Start Research      Insurance               Pack

My growing patch collection -- Karina Noriega

My growing patch collection — Karina Noriega

Checked off items: 

  • Passport (My pride and joy)
  • Quit job (No sense in taking time off, this here trip will take longer than most pregnancies and maternity leaves combined)
  • Initial airfare (A one-way ticket to Guatemala & then a one-way ticket to Hong Kong 6 months later)



*3 – Being that airfare is the absolute steepest expense for the start up of any trip, the fact that I still have yet to receive a confirmation about my reservations and payment is not a comforting thing. (Vouchers can complicate and delay processing, but as a micro-budget traveler, you thrive on opportunity, not comfort.) Continue reading

Antigua, Guatemala – New Year’s 2014

Another extraordinary film by April Beresford for

With Canadian winter weather in full swing, Karina and I are thrilled to be heading to the tropics for our 6 month adventure in Central and South America. We are sad to be leaving our friends and family but have high hopes that many of you will feel inspired to travel yourselves and perhaps we can meet up together in some far distant land? Sounds like a great plan doesn’t it?
This week’s film will give you a quick glimpse into just one of the fantastic experiences we have had in Guatemala, exploring Antigua. Perhaps this video will help lure you to join us in the tropics? Take a few minutes out of your day to enjoy our adventures in this brilliant city with its’ beautiful traditions and breathtaking explosive pyrotechnics.


Travel Tip:

All the featured festivities are completely free and go on throughout the day.

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Sanitation Engineer

It’s official. It’s undeniable.

Just ask our numerous and relentlessly supportive friends. April and I are 100% nomad. That is just about as kindly as it gets when it comes to referring to someone as unemployed, homeless, phone-less and now, solely reliant on others for transportation. Kind of like changing the title of ‘garbage man’ to ‘Sanitation Engineer!’

Yes, Tank has gone to a new and loving home. He will be sorely missed, but there are exorbitant plans and dreams to chase into extraordinary and distant lands. The break from this materialist society we exist in will only hurt for so long. If my previous travel experience has taught me anything, soon I will be dying to lighten load even more. Road trips and backpacking around the world are very different. Phase II demands that every ounce of necessary ‘stuff’ be supported only with the strength of my own body.

Just the thought of it is exhausting and painful but picturing myself on the shores of some tropical island, amongst colourful festivities of foreign cultures, or on top of some lava-spewing giants is enough to overcome that. I am willing to make these sacrifices because this is what I want more than anything in the world; by any means.

What an extraordinary life!

Like mother like daughter -- Somewhere in Myanmar --Karina Noriega

Like mother like daughter — Somewhere in Myanmar –Karina Noriega

~ An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega ~

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Speedy Gonzales

It’s important to not take yourself too seriously. We have learned that lesson to the point of illness this week.

April and I are beginning our journey back to health after two weeks of working on the set of a feature film. We have learned so much in such a short and overwhelming period of time. It was not the experience that we drove across the country for, to say the least, but the lessons learned will certainly make for an interesting article in the near future.

In the meantime, please enjoy another ‘ridiculous film’ by April Beresford. (Not to be confused by our more professional, informative, educational or at least inspiring travel film. Found here –> Films

“I’m glad I did it. I’m glad it’s over.” ~ April Beresford

Another ridiculous film by April Beresford for Continue reading

Yellowstone National Park – A Film

Yellowstone National Park, USA - Karina Noriega

There are few places in the world that consistently score very high on everyone’s ‘must see’ list. This kind of hype can create slippery slopes of disappointment when the site doesn’t live up to the craze. Thankfully, this is in no way applicable to the splendor of Yellowstone National Park. This extraordinary place is beyond the words and photographs you may have seen before. It has easily shot to the top of my list of truthfully shocking and impressive natural wonders.

Proclaimed the very first national park in the world, this enormous geographical phenomenon in the Northwestern area of the United States protects remarkable natural and geothermal features as well as abundant wildlife. It is a fully living ecosystem in full colour resplendence that bubbles and explodes.

It is an experience for all your senses.

Beyond the alien landscape shooting smoke stack and high pressured geysers into the sky, Yellowstone needs to be heard. The powers of the earth working here bubble gently. Others explode like a jetliner. The rumbling resonates in your chest and at your feet. The scents of the forests and the sulfuric emissions continually remind you of the versatility of this planet. Despite the temptations of thick curdling mud pots, crystal clear ponds, and rainbow colored streams, please do resist the urge to test the waters. At more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it could the last thing you ever feel.

~ An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega ~

Without further ado, our extraordinary film! 🙂

*Travel Tips

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Road Kill

April made me a hilarious road kill compilation to cheer me up. I get way too sad when I see wildlife discarded as highway junk on the side of the road.

The clip is so funny I had to share with everyone 🙂

Want to see some real live wildlife encounters? Check this one out:

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Summary of Our Journey Across The USA – (World Nomads Scholarship Entry)

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, USA - Karina Noriega

The contest deadline has come and gone. Our submission is now being reviewed by the travel journalism experts at World Nomads. We are going up against hundreds (if not thousands) aspiring filmmakers from around the whole globe.

The pressure has now shifted to the judges and mentors who can select only a single submission for one of the best prizes out there: A chance to attend, film and share Mexico’s cultural mega-festival, Dia de los Muertos. More than a chance to travel, this is the learning opportunity of a lifetime. April and I are beyond eager to receive mentoring and feedback by seasoned travel journalists. Plus, I have not so secretly always wanted to experience this event.

So let’s make the decision a little easier for the World Nomads panel. Please show us your support by clicking like, leaving your comments and sharing the video (preferably through the blog -> <- Use This Link)

Don’t forget to read up on why we believe we should win and what it means to us. (On the YouTube comments sections)

~ An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega ~

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Manifesting Magic – A Film

Manifesting Magic Stage, Ontario, Canada - Karina Noriega

It has been a crazy week for us. First, if you read the latest blog, we received an invitation to come to New York City to help film a movie! Coolio 😀 So we have a very tight deadline and one of the largest countries in the world to drive across. *Stress* Of course we do not simply want to drive all the time. We are trying to do and see as much as we can because this is a “Road Trip” not a 25,000km “Car Ride”.

Our lives as we now know them, are dependent on opportunity and the willingness to chase our dreams at all costs. So despite the rush, we have buried ourselves into our computers for the last week to create the MOST extraordinary film (about our road trip so far) to enter into the World Nomads Film Scholarship competition. Our week has consisted of 16 hours a day in a diner (and a LOT of coffee) in the little known town of Caldwell, Idaho (home to many of the kindest people on earth).

We don’t want to sabotage our chances by posting the film on the blog. Normally these things require ‘an exclusive look’. The submissions were done through YouTube so if you want the sneak peak, please go to our YouTube Channel: Please make sure you LIKE it and leave all your COMMENTS of support and encouragement below the video to show World Nomads that we got what it takes!

In the meantime, here’s a bonus film for this week:

Manifesting Magic 2013 was an inaugural music, art and healing festival held near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I was invited to give a workshop based on my first blog ( It was a massive personal challenge for me and truthfully an overwhelming success. In appreciation for the opportunity, April helped create a promotional video for future Manifesting Magic projects.

~An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega~

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Rockin Philly- Keeping Fit On A Road Trip

Another extraordinary film by April Beresford created for

Throughout our journey we have come across several fellow travelers who have reported that they often gain weight while on road trip. Their report:
“I am sitting in the same position for hours on end.”
“Often I end up snacking on convenience store food all day.”
“I end up being ‘too tired to move’ once I finally reach my destination, so all I want to do is relax.”

News Flash! Stopping to stretch your legs while gassing up the car just isn’t enough to keep you healthy and lean! The best way to stay fit is to work-out WHILE sight-seeing! In this video, Karina and I show you how to do this through our experience ‘being ridiculous and somewhat immature’ in downtown Philadelphia. There is a good chance we COULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED while making this video, we both STILL feel that the overall message is sound. =)

Watch as Karina and I conquer the iconic Rocky Steps outside the Philadelphia Museum Art. These 72 stone steps were made famous for their appearance in the triple-Oscar-winning film Rocky.
Remember, exercise CAN and SHOULD be fun! You just need to have a creative imagination.

~ April Beresford ~

For more information, check out “Rockin Philly.”

Music by: Jessie J

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Tweet me @KarinaXLife