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!

Now, On To Hong Kong

Now, we are moving on to the next leg of our journey. After months of mental preparations, tomorrow morning we leave for Hong Kong. Our bags are packed and all our lists are saturated with check marks. Still, I don’t think one can ever really feel prepared for a huge journey like this. Karina has family here in Guatemala and having loved-ones nearby for support in the event of a crisis gave us a security blanket which will now be removed. Not to mention the new communication barriers we will face in Asia! Tomorrow morning we face a 2 day journey to the other side of the world to a culture and language unfamiliar to us both.

Are We Nervous?

Absolutely! Standing at the edge of a cliff anticipating our next leap manifests this gut-wrenching feeling, similar to the one we would both get before exams in University. Life really is a series of tests, after all. The new one we are about to embark on is more intimidating with greater risk and increased pressure to succeed. I have every confidence however, that we will pass this test!

Antigua, Guatemala - -Karina Noriega

Antigua, Guatemala – -Karina Noriega

How Long Will We Be Traveling For?

For the past year we have been nomads. Each day we dive head first into the unknown, we not only challenge ourselves to survive this journey but instead, our goal is to thrive. We are preparing the best we can and each time the world throws us a curve ball we learn a valuable life lesson. Sometimes the lessons hurt a LOT, like the time I almost ended up in the hospital Oklahoma on our road trip across the states.  No matter what challenges we will face in the future, we will overcome them together. With all of the tremendous experiences Karina and I have had so far on this journey, we are driven to continue exploring the globe, chasing all interesting and inspiring opportunities. We have no end to our journey in sight.

Life Lessons Are Extremely Heavy

Generally speaking, I am not an organized person so living out of a backpack will be extremely challenging for me. Now I need to know where everything is at all times. I have been driving Karina nuts lately, asking her where things are as she always knows exactly where everything is at all times. Going forward I will be carrying absolutely everything I own on my back; a lifestyle she embraced years ago on her 11 month journey across Southeast Asia. An entire year has gone by since I sold everything I own and while I still struggle keeping track of what little I possess, my values about what I want to own, have definitely changed. I am no longer a collector of ‘things.’ I no longer look at little trinkets in a store window and contemplate how much I would love to buy that useless, pretty thing. It is all unnecessary weight I would need to carry and for that very reason, stuff no longer holds the same appeal.

For most of my life my bedroom contained a walk-in closet that was filled to the brim with clothes, shoes and whatever other sentimental items I have collected over the years. While Karina and I packed for this journey I proudly held in my hand the tiny bag that represented every stitch of clothing I am bringing with me. My, how my life has changed!

What's In The Orange Bag? The only clothes April will have access to on our journey across the world! -Guatemala City, Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

What’s In The Orange Bag? The only clothes April will have access to on our journey across the world! -Guatemala City, Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Where Exactly Are We Headed?

I am excited for our upcoming adventure. First we will be exploring Hong Kong and Macau, for 5 days. In June we’ll spend 2 weeks in Taiwan before returning to Hong Kong to process our visas to mainland China. If all goes according to plan, we will be spending at least month in China going overland, all the way to Mongolia. What an incredible journey these two explorers have planned, right?

Ride the wave through life! Karina and April

Ride the wave through life! Karina and April

Follow Us On Our Journey

While we have built a basic itinerary we still have a great deal of planning to do. With our upcoming plans to stay with couch-surfing hosts for the first 3 weeks of our journey in Asia we are hoping to explore these places through the eyes of locals. We can’t wait to learn about the fascinating customs and traditions of the Chinese and Taiwanese people. I wonder where we will end up after that?

Check out the Cost Breakdown for Travel Through Guatemala

~ A Wise Tale By April ~

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