Adios Guatemala, Hello Asia

The magnificent Lago De Atitlan --Atitlan, Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

The magnificent Lago De Atitlan –Atitlan, Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Thanks Guatemala, We Will Miss You But It’s Time For Us To Move On!

The most difficult part about leaving this beautiful country behind is that we are knowingly walking away from so many other extraordinary places we still have yet to discover. Guatemala has been our home for the past 6 months and while we did explore magnificent locations like that of Lake Atitlan, Antigua, Semuc Champey, Livingston and Rio Dulce, there just never seems to be enough time to see everything. I wanted so much to learn more about Guatemalan culture and through our experiences during Semana Santa, I definitely feel a deeper connection to and a greater understanding of the Guatemalan people. I can say with pride that after attending language classes I was able to further develop my Spanish speaking skills. I know without a doubt that I will end up back in Guatemala once again so I can discover even more of the country’s attractions while continuing to practice effectively rolling my R’s. Plus, there are so many different types of Guatemalan street food I still have yet to try! Continue reading

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