Wednesday, April 13, 2022
About a month ago I was chatting with a friend and she asked me about my recent trip to Italy. I exclaimed "it was beautiful, the food was good, the weather was surprisingly nice for winter in Europe," etc. etc."Her reply, you're always on the go." My reply, still excited, "Yeah, girl! As a matter of fact I'm headed to Antigua, Guatemala in about two weeks for my birthday." She, now obviously annoyed with my galavanting, yells "GUATEMALA? Why do you want to go there?" My reply, now confused by her response and tone "why not?" Her response, well she didn't respond. Therefore, I elaborated, "I've never been, it looks beautiful and historic. So, why not?" I have yet to get a response to my "why not" question. She was not the only person who asked me why I'm going to Guatemala. And that question totally baffled me every time. I want to go EVERYWHERE. I can't imagine not traveling to unknown parts of the world. One co-worker said, "isn't Guatemala dangerous?" Well isn't everywhere dangerous. Yesterday, nearly two dozen people were injured during a shooting in the New York subway. I've been there many, many times and I've never been asked why I'm going to New York. I live and work in the DC area. And according to Crime Grade, DC's crime rating is a C and a crime occurs every 3 minutes (on average) in the Washington metro area. So, why not? Literally, if it's not a war-torn country and I haven't been, then nine times out of ten I want to go. Well, let's talk about Guatemala. Yes, I understand that Guatemala has a bad reputation and admittedly, I knew very little about the country prior to a year ago. However, a buddy of mine visited Antigua, his pictures were amazing, and it seemed like he had a great time. So, I started doing a little research and found out that Antigua is quite popular among backpackers, it's a colonial town about an hour from Guatemala City, has beautiful mountain views, only an hour and half from active volcanoes, has a vibrant night life, tons of quant restaurants, booming markets selling traditional textiles and a top producer of chocolate and coffee. Sounds like my type of town! And, when my birthday was approaching, I decided to look into flights and much to my surprise the flights were pretty inexpensive ... probably because it's not on people's radar yet. So I booked a flight, found the most adorable air bnb and had one of the best trips I've ever had. In fact, it was way too short and I'm already planning to go back for a longer visit. The people were friendly, the food was delicious, the town is beautiful, the history is unique, and I had a blast! So, the next time, you're thinking of a short getaway to somewhere off the beaten path, and not super touristy yet (but it's coming), consider Antigua, Guatemala! Why not!