YES. OUR FAMILY IS MOVING TO GUATEMALA.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! OMG. I’m so excited. I’ve been wanting to announce this for quite some time, but I wanted to be certain— SO certain that it was actually happening. It is.

We’re moving to Guatemala. Antigua Guatemala to be more specific. I’ve been telling friends that I’d be moving there before I even visited for the first time. I knew I would. I could feel it. Something pulling me. And visiting Guatemala, even in the pouring rainy season, completely unprepared— where it rained so much that you couldn’t even see the giant volcano in front of us didn’t deter me. It still felt right being there. The place I audibly gasped upon entering the town. It was the first place I visited where within a day knew, “I’m coming back. I’m making plans to come back.” And I did, within three months I found myself back there with Alex, together or not,  to show him where I wanted home to be.

Before even visiting I knew it. And he knew it too. I told him, “I’m planning a trip. I want to see if I’d like living there.” And Alex quickly replied, “I know you. You know you. You want to live there. And you don’t need to visit there to know that.” And he was right. I could feel it.

And here I am, exactly  one year after my first visit to Guatemala (one year and one week to be exact) and I’m telling you guys… it’s happening.

October 8th. Less than two months and we’ll be in our car and on our way.

Yes, in our car. We’ve gone back and forth a few times on, “Do we fly? or do we drive?” And at the end of it, we’ve come out every time, deciding that driving makes more sense. I’ve wanted to road trip through Mexico for forever now. Now I get both– the dream of moving to Guatemala and the dream of driving through Mexico, in one. I dont have a lot of things listed on my bucket list– but these are two. The biggest two. And they’re happening to me this year. To all of us. We’re all excited. (Well, maybe three things are happening, but we’ll see. More below.)

I told you guys a few months ago that this is one of the things I was hoping would happen this year. But I wasn’t ever completely sure if it would. I started planning for it when I didn’t know if Alex and I would be together. I knew I wanted it. I didn’t need it to happen now, or the minute after my first visit, but I knew I wanted to make this plan sometime in the next few years. And here we are… all of us moving together. Things are good between us, really good. And he wants to come too. I’ve been oh so patiently (but actually pretty patient, haha) waiting for him to give a notice to work. Holding my breath and my tongue each day to not say anything until after that moment. I didn’t want to speak too soon and have work find out without him officially telling him. Or worse, I didn’t want to speak too soon and have his nerves take over, not ready to do it, and have him back out. And so I waited for him to be ready and for him to finally give his notice. And here we are, with his work knowing that his time to part ways is nearing.

We’re ready. Everything is ready.

Well, not everything… but it’s getting ready. We’re getting ready. The to do lists are being made and each task is slowly getting checked off one by one.

Our home is ready. A few more sheet sets to buy, toiletries too (all eco-friendly for our home of course!). But we’re ready. Our house is already booked out for three months and ready for even more guests too. Pssst. You can book oh dear casa here if you’re interested 🙂

We’ve gone through the house, we’ve minimized our things. Even Marlowe has her one basket of toys and books, ready to go. A few suitcases will come with us. A handful of kitchen tools. And boxes of clothes to donate, once we get there.

I’m excited.

“What will do you in Guatemala?”

“Climb volcanos” is what I answer every time. “And maybe start a second cookbook. Maybe.” And I will do those things… And I’ll explore, and I’ll learn, but one of the things I’m looking forward most is donating my time. I want to do good. For years now I’ve been wanting to start a non profit. I’ve wanted to use my resources (this space! Thank you guysssss!) to do more good for more people. I had bought a domain name. I starting making the plans. One month later I was in a hospital and bedridden. Everything was on hold. And maybe right now I won’t be creating my own non-profit (Fine. I know I need to be gentle on myself… and patient with myself and with everything). But I can do something. I can help someone. And I’m excited to. I want to live off this blog and our Airbnb as much as possible and be able to use my time to do something more, something bigger, something useful. And I can’t wait. Gosh, I can’t wait. I’m grateful that I even have the opportunity to do something like this.

We are excited for all of it.

Why Guatemala? It’s beautiful. The people are beautiful. The culture is beautiful. It suits all my needs in terms of climate, agriculture, community, and size. When I searched for a house to buy in Florida, I wanted a place where I could walk somewhere… anywhere. And I sort of have that, but at the same time I dont. There are places of interest that are walkable from my home, but I wanted more. I wanted a community right outside. Cities are walkable and can be communal, but not the environment I want to live in. Antigua, is perfect. A walkable town and people right outside of your doorway. Farms surrounding the town. Avocados, bananas, and all my favorite tropical fruit growing abundantly— and affordably. I’ll be able to eat all the fruit I eat now without it being my biggest family expense. Its warm in the day and cool at night. A rich history and culture is apparent. I’m ready.

Will Marlowe be homeschooled? Yes and no. She will be until January. A new school year begins January in Guatemala. Marlowe Paloma will be learning Spanish. Another huge, huge reason for the move. Other than the active volcanos surrounding the town, the occasional flooding, and the giant sinkhole sitting in Guatemala City (look it up if you’ve never heard of it), she’s excited too 😉

I’m ready for more in this short, unpredictable life. I’m ready to explore with my family. I’m ready to hit the road for adventure and wake up everyday knowing that I’m living for me, but also helping others. I’m ready for all of it. I hope you guys will enjoy this next big phase in our life as much as we will.

If you have suggestions for our drive down, please send them my way. We’re still routing our trip– but we will either be border crossing in Laredo or Brownsville TX. I have a few ‘Pueblo Magicos’ saved that I want (“need”) to visit in Mexico. But other than that– we’re open. A few weeks on the road and then we’ll be calling Guatemala home. For how long? We’re not sure. At least until the end of Marlowe’s school year, and then we’ll see whats next 🙂

Thanks for being here with guys… whenever here may be 🙂 I have so many more thoughts and things I’m sure I’ll want to share, but for now, this is good! Eeeee. I’ll be writing more about our plans as they happen. And more about my thoughts on the move too (health and healing, stomach things in another country, etc etc). If you have more questions, by all means, feel free to ask 🙂 Thanks again! Cheers to life friends!

You can see all our guatemala posts here. 

Family photos by Brittany Dejesus. Town photo by Celia D. Luna

41 Comments

  1. 1st thought – YAY! this is so awesome for Marlowe!!! She’s going to have such a unique perspective on things – and learn Spanish!
    2nd – I cannot wait to see what you grow and eat there.
    Happy for you!

    • At first we won’t be growing anything 🙂 We’ll probably be small home living/small yard living– but I always tell alex (Who wants to buy land) that if we’re buying land anywhere, it owns be here– it’ll have to be there or somewhere else.

  2. Congratulations! That’s an exciting move. Good for you all, just taking that leap and doing it.

  3. Oh my GOSH that’s so exciting!!! Congratulations to you and your fam!! I’m so happy that it’s working out for you to all be there together 🙂 It sounds like the perfect fit for you! What does Alex plan to do for work? I’d love to hear what Marlowe is thinking & feeling too. We are moving to France in September – wheeee goodbye USA!

    • Thank you 🙂

      For now, nothing. Haha, that sound bad. But thats not how it sounds. We’re hoping to live off my blog + Airbnb and then spend our time volunteering. He’ll probably be doing framework, I plan to work with kid groups 🙂 Marlowe is SO excited.

      And france! Thats amazing! Where? My friend lives right outside of Dijon.

  4. I’ve been following you for YEARS and am pretty sure I’ve never left a comment 🙂 BUT, one of the most beautiful and magical places I’ve ever been is in Mexico, and you should definitely look it up! Las Estacas in Morelos: https://lasestacas.com/

    It is a natural spring-fed wonder – a crystal-clear river that a park has been built around. You can visit the spring, swim, dive and hang out there, then float down the river in raft/kayak/tube and just admire the gorgeous surrounding and turquoise waters. There’s a rope swing downriver, plus according to the new website, there’s a whole kids area – new since I’ve been there! Plus other new attractions like a spa!

    Dang…I need to go back!!

    Anyway, I’m so excited for you three and look forward to reading all about your adventures!

    Much love & peace,
    *abby

    • Awesome! We’ll check it out! I don’t think thats on the route at all– but that doesn’t mean I can’t note it for another trip 🙂 Thank you!

    • wait, I lied! That sort of it on the way! I’m going o add it to our route map 🙂 Thank you!

  5. Absolutely, incredibly, amazing!!!! I am so happy for you guys and so filled with envy! It’s my biggest dream to do something like this (I’m sure a lot of people harbour these dreams!). Very excited to follow your journey, sooooooo great! xx

  6. Meghan Campbell Reply

    Huge congratulations! You are all literally grinning from ear to ear. So so happy for you! Can’t wait to follow your adventures. Good. For. You. Xo

  7. So excited for you guys!!! I can’t wait to see it all through your eyes and blog again. Good luck with everything!!!! xx

  8. What about “Health Care” for all of you? I heard its not the greatest down there, are you worried?

    • I’ve actually talked to a few people who have said the opposite– that they’ve received amazing healthcare with a fraction of the cost to the US. We’ll be either buying Guatemalan or international insurance. But honestly, I’m not too considered. AT this point, after how the US medical system treated me (or didn’t haha), we only look at the medical system for an extreme emergency thing— broken legs, appendicitis, something like that. Outside of that we just try to stay healthy and keep our immune systems up!

  9. Congrats!! So excited for you and your family and can’t wait to follow along on your adventure! xo

  10. Hey Drea I have been following your blog since you were pregnant and I was also pregnant with my son Emiliano…. I live 15 min from Brownsville please let me know if you need anything……much love to you and your family on this amazing adventrure
    Adina

    • Hi love! Thanks so much! We originally were planning on driving through Brownsville– but now I think were going to stop pin kingsville and then go through mc Allen or Laredo. Do you know anything about these areas? Thank you!!!

  11. Congrats!! My partner and I are planning our move to Antigua this October we will be driving down with all of our things (and 4 pets!) from Oregon! So excited! I also plan to do humanitarian work. So excited for this new chapter and looking forward to your posts and adventures as we both make Guatemala our new home!

  12. Drea, I’m so happy for you!! I know you’ve been wanting to move for a long time and I’m so excited you’re finally doing it. I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time there. Can’t wait to follow you on this journey! x

  13. Congrats! That is so amazing.

    I’d love to hear about how you found a place to live. And do you know other people who have done this? I want to but don’t have a job(like a blog) that I can take with me or a home I can use as income. Any ideas?

    So excited for you!!!

    • Hi love!

      Theres a few places to look for a home– 1. is to show up and go to a realtor office. 2. is to look on realtor websites 3. there’s a specific realtor Facebook group for Antigua. I know a few expats down in Guatemala, know that drove though. For moving there yourself, this might sound silly, but I got sucked into watching house hunters international this weekend– and I liked looking at the places they were checking out, but mostly I was interested in here why and HOW they were doing it. Most saved up enough money to live off of (realistically, I’ve done this too, if we’re tight with our budget– I’m really good at saving) but a few were planning to live off money they were making in the states (properties/investments) and a good amount where moving and hoping to open a business in the countries they were going too 🙂 Theres options. Where theres a will, theres a way, right?

      • Just so happy for you and jealous.

        I need to figure out how to make this work for me too so very excited to hear all about it over the next few months.

        Are you bringing your animals with you? How will you handle residency/ living legally in Guatemala?

  14. How cool! I cant wait to see your travels through Mexico …. and anxiously waiting to see your new home <3

  15. Hello from far away Switzerland. I’m one of those who have been following for years, quietly in the background. This really is exciting news and I wish you and your beautiful family all the best. Part of my family lives in Brownsville TX and as far as I have heard, they would not recommend crossing in Brownsville. And just overall, please make sure to take safe routes, not driving in the night etc, the usual… just to make sure your road trip in Mexico stays a safe and happy experience 🙂 Suerte!

    • Hi love! we’re curious to why you’ve heard not to cross Brownsville? Do you have info you can share? 🙂 We’re probably not crossing there anyway– but still curious!! Thank you!!!

      • Oopsie, super late and as far as I have seen you’ve decided to cross in Laredo anyway, right? Still felt rude not to answer – it is just mainly a security issue. My relatives literally lives minutes away from the border and they do not cross it anymore, due to criminality/assualting/not cool drug war related stuff. So it just got me worried for a second there. I am sure your trip will be great and safe and delicious – looking forward to it! Kind regards from Switzerland 🙂

  16. Pingback: Household | From South Florida to Guatemala: Home is a Safe Place Regardless of Location - Household

  17. Wow, so happy for you…so you and Alex are back together??? Curious to know how you are having OhDear casa managed while you are away.

    Also wondering where it was in Mexico that you guys swam in a cave (that was you who did that right?)

  18. Drea you live the dreams of many of us. Maybe Samantha and Marlow can be friends for postmail to practice Spanish 🙂 y tú conmigo! éxito!

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