April 20, 2013
Last year in July I was all set to travel to Guatemala with an old friend that I had just gotten reacquainted with again. However he ended up canceling on me after the trip was already booked. He put the bug in me that I didn’t have to live a mundane life, but I still sure didn’t want to go on my own. In the end, I went alone, determined to find a new life, however what I found was something else. I studied my Spanish over and over and it helped to some extent, but I was often lost when people spoke too fast. I was plagued by severe pain all over my body (due to spinal and back problems which I found out later) and a bum right knee. So that limited my enjoyment of the culture tremendously. But even worse than the physical problems was the intense loneliness that engulfed me each day. Each night—except for two—I would dread dinner because I knew I would be eating alone while all the other tables were filled with happy, smiling, and laughing people. I felt so conspicuous and tried to act as if this was something natural for me. But underneath it all, I was so very sad. When I moved onto my next hotel in Panajachel, I was thrilled at how beautiful the resort was, the room, the weather, and everything. But it soon became apparent that I was still in severe physical pain but even more importantly psychic pain. Which brings me to my point: no matter where I go in the world, I am still bringing myself. Traveling or living abroad will not make me any happier than I would be if I lived at home. I know for sure that happiness is within and absolutely know that I need to share my travels with another person. It took going overseas to help me realize that where I live will not make me content. I kept thinking about what I would do with myself every day while that poor Guatemalan real estate agent showed me numerous apartments. Traveling per se doesn’t equal bliss but having a purpose and passion in my life will bring me a measure of contentment, no matter where I live!