Sunday, May 15, 2011

Guatemala day 2

I spent the day today by myself just exploring this city that I have already started to fall in love with even after just being here two days. Well like less then two days more like 36 hours.  It’s so colorful and I love the fact that it still blends old world with new, but you can still tell that everyone is proud of the heritage even if they have moved away from some facets of it. As I started out alone walking in no set direction, I put in my ear buds and for a second felt kind of guilty because I was afraid that this was that typical crappy American “flaunting the wealth” junk that you read about when in poor countries.  I didn’t want people to look down on me or think that I was disrespectful in any way.  But I am so lost without music and my soundtrack to life makes me so much more … Well it makes life so much better for me, so I kept them on and soon realized that ear buds were commonly seen with both the young and older crowd I passed.

The more I started to walk around Antigua I was brought back to a time in my life where I was ready to ditch my life and take a year off to tour the world. This was long before I had made the decision to be a vet tech and enrolling in Bel Rea (the vet tech school) pretty much decided my fate in not going o this trip. At that time in my life I was kind of just floating. I worked hard but didn’t have a real clear direction about who I was and what I wanted to even be someday.  I figured what better way to figure it out then to give up my comfy life and travel. I mean in books and movies all the really life changing events happen when the main character up and abandons their existence and travels. I figured that the same things would happen to me. So anyways I started to work two full time jobs and saved ever spare cent I made, safely tucking it away in cash into the safe in my closet ( yeah I know not a great place but I was young) and after I had about 6000 I started to figure out where I wanted to go. It took a few months to find the company that allows you to just book an open end ticket to anywhere in the world and I happily forked over my deposit. I found places for the cats and turtles to go while I was gone that I knew would acceptably care for them, and I was all set pretty much. I just figured that I needed to have a few more months of hard work to save enough to live on while traveling, but for the most part the rest would just kind of work itself out.   I don’t know exactly what changed my mind. But I remember exactly where I was when it happened. I had always seen these super cheesy commercials about vet tech school on the television, but I have no clue what prompted me to call one day. But I remember requesting info and as soon as this info came in my mail box and I read it, I knew that I was no longer going to go around the world. And that was it; suddenly like that I had some sort of direction.

Why am I bringing this all up right now when should be writing about this super awesome country I am hanging out in on a once in a life time trip? Well because I can’t help but long to be that woman who spent those 12-18 months traveling anywhere and everywhere. I know that I would be so much freer and friendly as I walked around today, and wouldn’t feel so depended on having those ear buds to allow me to not talk to anyone.  I allow myself to stay enclosed in my shell and I know that if I had taken that trip all those years ago I would have chipped that shell down to a very small nubbin which I could no longer hide behind.   Today was one of those days where I truly missed what I could have been, I missed the person I know I would have become, and I wanted to find some way to find her and make her a part of me again.  I know that life is all about challenging yourself, and I know that I do end up doing this all the time, but today I wish that I would have done it a little more. I mean what would I have lost? I am in a different country for Christ sakes and the worst they could say is “stupid American woman,” which heck I would have agreed with if they had ended up saying this. But instead I threw on the I pod and I walked all around this really awesome city in my own world. Really only speaking to people as I ordered lunch, bought water from a small store, or paid admission to get in a ruin or museum. I returned home happy because like I said earlier I found how much I truly love it here but so disappointed that I wasn’t able to just be more for once.

Here are a bunch of random pictures form my day out alone.

1 comment:

  1. Martha, give yourself some slack!
    My gosh, you were in a foreign country where you don't speak the language for goodness sakes, putting up a barrier is completely natural.

    I lived in Guatemala and in Antigua, and spoke spanish reasonably well, but whenever I traveled within Guatemala by myself I basically withdrew back into my shell. I spent a week by myself in a very rural, remote part of guatemala (ostensibly doing interviews for a professor back in the states) but what did I do for 80 percent of the time? Buried myself in a series of American novels that were in the guest house where I was staying, leaving only when someone from the community stopped by to check on me.

    I feel pretty guilty about that too, but also just feel like it was a natural response.