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Part 1: MY TIME IN GUATEMALA

Before I set off on my next trip, I thought I share a bit about my backstory.

This is a 5 part post about my backstory; what I’ve been up to the last half year since I finished the first long ride. What I’ve got planned for the next year; what I need to accomplish my goals; AND, fulfilling some of my deep dreams.

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With my amazing host and friend Señora Candelaria. I eat here 3 times per day. This is also where I wrote and edited my book on wifi.

 

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Señor Candelario -not related- pausing for a moment while bringing in firewood for the cook stove. San Andres Itzapa, April 2019.

 

Part 1. MY TIME IN GUATEMALA

For various reasons – personal, logistical and security wise, I never ended up making the book I wanted to write about the various bike machines being used around Guatemala. It was disappointing after having spent so much time and effort promoting this project. But I moved on and I focused on another of my post trip goals: teaching English.

After arriving in my destination in September it took me 2 months to get a nice gig teaching private classes through a local school. In January I received options for more offers at 2 schools, but these offers were rescinded when they heard I was going to leave in a few months.

Teaching English has been really really gratifying. The work itself I love, especially one on one classes. To see the student “get” something after struggling before, is simply fantastic.

Another reason I’m loving it is because for a few years now, the writing has been on the wall in regards of work I can continue doing – health wise. My arms are shot from tree planting 25 years ago and I just can’t do the physical work with them like I used to be able to. If I do too much arm activity the pain becomes massive. I can’t sleep well and I can’t write for more than 2 minutes. It was becoming a VERY frustrating existence.

2 years ago I finally made the commitment to finding other non physical labour work for the first time in my life, I knew I was on the right path, even though it was a little scary. These days as I teach, I know it’s the road I’m going to continue on. I studied hard while riding through Mexico, and I’ve now got my TEFL Certificate. I’m definitely going to continue with this type of work as I get older. There are a lot of teachers throughout my extended family, I guess I’m going to continue with that trend….

Finishing a trip book and redesigning my website to integrate a store have been big milestone accomplishments as well. I did this work on an old but awesome tablet via WiFi – sometimes excruciatingly slow WiFi. I would sometimes tether my data plan via my phone, but even that was wonky and the data usage didn’t add up to what I was actually doing. Tablets offer limited functionality for some essential tasks as there is no mouse, at least on mine. As well, some websites don’t load up the same, even on desktop mode, and many design programs aren’t accesible. So, occasionally, but with dread, I used desktops at Internet cafes. Where the power would sometimes go out, kids would be screaming while playing their video games, adults would be yelling just ’cause, 3 different sound systems would be blasting, or the computers just sucked….The fact that I persevered through all of that to finish my projects just reminds me once again of the type of person I am. I’m proud of that…

I’m going to talk in more detail about book writing as well as the travel by horse gig in another part of this story.

As far as Guatemala. Well I could have settled down here and I may well would have if I didn’t own Roxy. The weather about 1700 metres is the best and the people are pretty chill. But because I do own Roxy, I made the decision this winter to head back on another journey, this time exclusively through horse loving Mexico. More on that next time…

Continued in Part 2: OUR NEXT TRIP

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This gentleman’s fridge is the coldest in town. BRAHVA: half the price and not twice as bad. Something my father would probably also say.

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Horsing around in Zaragoza, April 2019.