In Search of America

Guatemala Dia Uno


I have never traveled internationally by myself until today. This whole week the thought of traveling alone felt like a huge cloud hovering over me, never knowing if I was about to be navigating an overwhelming and chaotic storm. The cloud passed over though. And here I find myself in Antigua, Guatemala. 

I had a flight out of SFO at 5am, meaning I would be waking up at 3 to get there in time. Whenever I have the pressure of waking up early, I always get a horrible night of sleep, waking up every hour or so. This night was no exception. My dad, mom, and pup kindly woke up at the crack of dawn to wave me off on this adventure. 

I slept during my flight to Houston only waking once to see the skyline painting itself with bright pinks and oranges. I landed in Houston, with a little time to leisurely walk to my next gate and grab a matcha from Starbucks. I immediately regretted paying five dollars for an overly sweetened green almond milk. Already, I miss my morning ritual of a homemade matcha from one of my many ceramic mugs. 

On my flight to Guatemala, I was greeted at my seat by a friendly lady from Austin who was heading to Antigua for a missions trip. She insisted that I must find a way to sell my ceramic work. Hopefully that will happen sooner than later. She and I chatted for an hour or so and then I dove into an episode of chefs table that I had previously downloaded onto my iPad. I was dreaming of all the food I would be eating in this new country. 

We landed in Guatemala City, a two and a half hours later and were greeted by colorful buildings even more vibrant with the background of the grey rainy sky. 

A lot of my nervousness for this solo trip to Guatemala was flying over and having to guide myself through customs only knowing the few spanish phrases I have picked up from my coworkers. Very little. Or I should say, “Hablo un poco.” The customs lady greeted me, stamped my passport, and waved me on to my adventures. Easiest customs I have ever gone through. 

I walked out of the airport to find a seat to sit and wait for Coco, my travel partner. A little over an hour later she pops her head out of the customs area with a huge grin on her face.

Coco and I found a shuttle bus and headed to our hostel in Antigua. As we drove out of Guatemala City we headed straight into the thick of rush hour traffic. Both of us had food on our minds and silently tried to quiet our grumbling stomachs. 

An hour and half later we drove into the colorful city of Antigua and were dropped off at the door of our hostel. We checked into the rooms and headed straight for food. Neither of us had much brain power to think about what we wanted, so we went to the authentic Guatemalan restaurant next door. We had a plate of pollo, papas, and fresh corn tortillas. Both of us inhaled the plate in minutes and sat sipping up the rest of the white sweet drink we had been handed at the beginning of our meal. 

After dinner we walked around in circles looking for an ATM. We have the city a little more figured out now though. Maybe tomorrow we won’t get as lost. 

Now we are sitting in the hostel enjoying a bar of Eating Evolved chocolate before crawling into our bunks for a good night’s sleep. 

More pictures and stories tomorrow. Until then, buenos noches.

Sarah TumaComment