A Child’s Perspective on Semana Santa: Collaborative Project in Antigua, Guatemala

Some of the kids were visibly nervous at the beginning. Antigua, Guatemala -- Karina Noriega
Karina, April and Alex document the childrens' stories during a collaborative project in Antigua, Guatemala. Photo by Kerstin Sabene

Karina, April and Alex document the childrens’ stories during a collaborative project in Antigua, Guatemala. Photo by Kerstin Sabene

The idea behind embarking on this journey around the world had always been that the world is full opportunity. To find it though, we must be completely open to it. I don’t mean searching through a job site. I mean doing what you are passionate about. For April and I, it is travelling, writing, filming, learning and experiencing local culture. Since our arrival in Antigua, Guatemala we have found so much support for our work featuring local places, people and events. We’ve already had our articles shared on huge social media platforms, been on television and networked with amazing people who respect and admire our choice to put our faith in the universe. Most recently, April and I were invited to partake in a collaborative project creating a traditional alfombra with local school children from Escuela Luis Mena. The project, a yearly tradition sponsored by George’s Travel Club, is intended to educate and encourage participation of children. It also gave us an opportunity to learn a new perspective on the activity, normally a labour of devotion, gratitude and penitence. (More on the cultural understanding of alfombras here.) We teamed up with talented videographer Alex Jones for a new channel called Antigua Cultural. The mini-documentary will feature a complete birth to death time-lapse video of this temporary work of art by the children, through the moment where the single anda Santa Ines procession carries Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary over the alfombra offering. We also had the opportunity to interview the children and their teacher, Alejandro, about the meaning of their project and get first-hand insight into how their young minds attribute significance to this beautiful tradition.

Sponsor George Sansoucy with Teacher Alejandro and his students. Antigua, Guatemala -- April Beresford

Sponsor George Sansoucy with Teacher Alejandro and his students. Antigua, Guatemala — April Beresford

Continue reading

Tropical New Years – Chulamar, Escuintla, Guatemala

A new film for www.karinasextraordinarylife.com

As we set the stage for a perfect New Year’s celebration (crystal blue waters, black volcanic sand beach scattered with coconut trees), we are reminded that no explorer’s adventure is complete without a worthy a perilous battle against a worthy adversary. Witness a stubborn ‘Gringa’ face her opponent head on and the passionate rage that ensues when she loses the fight. Wait for the final moment when our two heroines ride towards the sunset, in style, hoping that next year will be filled with even more adventure than the last.

A film by April Beresford


Find out how this impromptu New Year’s celebration came to be and check out some more pics –> Lighting up 2015


Show your support by sharing, liking, commenting and subscribing 🙂

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.

Show your support by sharing, liking, commenting and subscribing 🙂

Wild Encounters – Encounters in California, USA

Fern Canyon, Redwood State Park, California, USA - Karina Noriega

There’s this game that we play. It started on our very first road trip when we drove across Canada. 10,000km is a long way you see. *(We are at 20,000km across and back in the U.S!) So the way it goes is that every time you see an animal crossing sign you have to put up one of the corresponding charades signs that we made up. It’s our superstitious way of protecting ourselves (& the wildlife)- our explanation is that as long as we always do it then we eliminate the chance of a collision. It’s really just a silly game, like all the other stupid things we do when engaging on these long distance adventures and so far, it has worked like a charm.
Not for a second has it taken away from our wildlife viewing experience though. Without ever leaving the safety of our Tank, we have seen:

Elk Target, Redwood State Park, California, USA - Karina Noriega

Elk Target, Redwood State Park, California, USA – Karina Noriega

Continue reading

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 -> https://karinasextraordinarylife.com/2014/09/22/world-nomads-film-scholarship-entry <- 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 ~

Continue reading

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: https://www.youtube.com/user/KNExtraordinaryLife 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 (www.thirteensquared13.blogspot.com). 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~

Show your support by sharing, liking, commenting and subscribing 🙂

An Extraordinary Announcement

Avenue of the Giants, Redwoods National Park, California, USA - Karina Noriega

Whenever I meet a travel dreamer who doesn’t think they can afford to go on their own journey, I tend to go on overly enthusiastic rants about the kinds of opportunities and unique experiences that travel can present. Sometimes it is simply about being in the right place at the right time. Mostly, I regard these opportunities as a reward for the complete openness with which I journey.

Continue reading

Georgia on my Mind – A Film

Another extraordinary film by April Beresford.

This time, we find ourselves in the Southern state of Georgia exploring two very different kinds of destinations: Driftwood Beach on the coastal park of Jekyll Island and the deep south swamp of Okefenokee. We highly recommend that you check out the detailed article about experience in the swamp, to view spectacular photos and gather important insight regarding this amazing environment which is not included in the film.
Article Link: https://karinasextraordinarylife.com/2014/06/24/okefenokee-national-wildlife-refuge/

Music by: Ray Charles

~ An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega ~

Show your support by sharing, liking, commenting and subscribing 🙂