“Did you try to call, again?”
“Did you ask at the reception?”
“Go and ask them.”
“Can you be ready in 15 minutes?”
“You have to be ready in 15 minutes. organize your stuff. We’re going to go salsa dancing. And you come with us.”
Worst Case Scenario
I’m dizzy. My head is spinning. I see Odiel’s mouth moving, but I can’t really hear her voice. I hear all my hostel friends trying to help me localize my phone. But it’s kind of numb, as if I was under water. That prevents the information from being processed up into my brain. I hear it, but I can’t do anything with it.
Nico sits next to me. His laptop rests on my lap. I am trying to log into the page that is supposed to be able to localize my phone. The page wouldn’t load on my laptop, so of course, we use Nico’s. He’s sitting next to me, translating page by page, step by step. Nico is from Finnland.
Did you ever go through the “I-am-not-a-robot-and-that’s-why-I-can-select-all-pictures-that-contain-a-car-even-though-the-pictures-are-so-small-I-can-hardly-identify-them, in FINNISH?!
Of course, my phone couldn’t be located. I just stare at the screen. Not able to move. I’m destroyed. My data. My pictures. Data. Reset passwords. Pictures don’t matter. Cloud. Did I backup lately?
My head’s spinning. One unconscious moment, one second of feeling too secure – and wallet and phone were gone. I new it could happen, and still I didn’t prepare well. Actually, not at all. Now, I will learn it the hard way.
“Don’t you feel alone?”, is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get. It would be a lie pretending I’ve never ever felt lonely while traveling alone. But looking back, in those moments when I really really needed friends around, I had them.
Like today. The bunch of travelmates who are now helping me getting my head together again, make sure I eat some dinner (they put one portion of pasta after another on my plate, while I am just staring in each of their faces, as if that would help understnading the words), and having exactly figured out my needs (“you need a DRINK, and you need to DANCE”), I know these people for about four days max.
So, no, I don’t feel alone. I AM not. Not in this shitty moment, and that’s what counts. Of course, that doesn’t bring my phone back and doesn’t help me to feel less stupid, but it makes me feel less lost.
In the next hours, everybody unpacks a “one day my this-and-this got stolen..” story, just to make me feel a bit better. And it helps. I reset the last passwords, load money on my skype account (thank god I carry a laptop), try to not think about all the pictures that are gone and after, we walk out into the salsa nightlife of Guatemala’s Antigua.
Later that evening, after dancing a lot and drinking enough to feel a bit whatever-ish about the whole thing, I am pretty sure I am still in the right place. Those moments came often while traveling, but normally, they don’t appear right after a phone is stolen and when you know you have exactly three hours left to sleep before you have to catch an early flight.
But Odiel, my travel mate, feels it as well, and that’s what makes this moment even more special. Happieness doubles, when you can share it!
Antigua what to do
Although it is definitely a very touristy place, I just instantly liked the old, cobble stony city. There’s so much to discover and to do – and to eat!! Antigua surprised me with so many good and cosy coffee places and new design hostels, that could easily compete with cities like Berlin.
- Walk up to Cerro de la cruz
- Shop at the local market
- Do a Salsa class with Gloria
- Show what you learned and go salsa dancing in La Sala
- Eat good and healthy at Samsara
Where to sleep
This Lake! It’s just such a cool place, you can hang around and discover one little laguna after another for days. Each place has its own unique vibe, so it feel like the little boats transport you from one world into another – and this in just half an hour max!
Pana is touristy but has amazing souveniers and in my opinion the best prices. Plus, it comes with one of the best lake views – perfect for sun set watching.
San Marcos is the little hippie bubble at the lake. Everything around you is kind of spiritual. Find your inner peace, do yoga, get a massage – and eat all that amazing food!
San Pedro. Street art, volcano hikes, and parties. What else do you need? 🙂
Where to sleep
Circles Hostel San Marcos
Flores – visit the Maya Ruins
The island of Flores impressed me by first its size (seldomly seen a place that small) and its colourful set-up. Nevertheless, the most people visit Flores to see the Maya Ruins – like me. I wasn’t sure whether it would be worth the long journey (9 hours drive from Guatemala City), and it’s definitely dependent on what you are interested in – but I was really heavily impressed by what I got to see and what I learned about this ancient world.
I spent two weeks in Guatemala, and it couldn’t have been – literally – more intense. I experienced this country with all my senses, met wonderful people, experienced nature in a whole new level and enjoyed some of the best hostels I’ve ever been to. Even though my journey ended with a real bad incident category pain-in-the-ass, I wouldn’t hesitate a second to come back.