It’s now Tuesday morning and in exactly one week, we’ll be at they airport, on our way out of the country. So yes, we are still on our way out and moving to Guatemala! (yay!) But our plans have changed… and are sort of all over the place (eeep). Honestly, life is overall up in the air right now. I can’t say I have a firm grasp on anything coming up in the near or far future, but we are packing and preparing and moving to Guatemala!
Where should we start? Should I tell you guys about our packing process or about why everything has changed? Maybe lets start with why everything has changed. So as you guys know, we went back and forth on the move (the actual process– we knew for sure wanted to live there though). While flying wasn’t necessarily a bad idea, we reallyyyyy liked the idea of driving. Sure, many had concerns about our safety, but we felt, overall, very safe in our decision. I don’t think there was really a moment where I worried about our safety for the drive. I knew that it wouldn’t necessarily be all *roses* and there could be some potential confrontations, but there was never a real red flag in why we shouldn’t make the drive.
We’re not scared of Central America, as it seems many Americans tend to be. Sure, they have their problems there– but I mean, look at the state of the U.S. now– it’s pretty freaking bad! I don’t think anybody would or could deny that. We have a whole slew of our own safety and political issues here in the States. I’ve never felt more in danger while in Central America, compared to while here in the States– and you guys know I’m not just sitting in large security covered resorts when I travel– I’m out in towns and villages and hell, even in people’s homes.
Anyway, I don’t want or think I need to sit here justifying a road trip to anybody 😉 I mean, other than the first efforts in convincing my mother that we were driving and no amount of fight back wold stop us, nobody seemed to *mind blown* by the idea.
So then, what happened? Why are you flying now? Well, the short answer is: Life happens and you have to adapt to change.
It’s just that too many things happened all at once and life got scary (and honestly it still sort of is). Within a few weeks time there were multiple hurricanes and earthquakes, literally tracing the route plan we had made for our drive. All along our drive route, from the United States, into Mexico (and a bit in Guatemala to) there was natural disaster after natural disaster. Our own neighborhoods here are still not cleaned up from the hurricane we went through— so I can’t even imagine what everyone else is going through with all the recent and devastating disasters happening.
Honestly, if we didn’t have Marlowe with us, there is a still a very good chance we would drive (and make donations and help along the way), but with Marlowe, it just didn’t seem like the best idea anymore. Which was hard. I mean, yeah it’s hard spending weeks planning for something and then having it change, but it’s even harder knowing that there might have been some others ways to help that just seem too far out of reach.
With each new natural disaster I got more tense. Before the hurricane hit us, I didn’t know how bad our situation would be or how much damage we’d have to mend. And then each earthquake in Mexico City and Puebla and I was devastated. I would wake up to the news and each day my heart would drop. Completely and totally drop. And after each disaster I asked, when is enough, enough? When will this stop? And the reality is, I didn’t know– no one knew.
And we all agreed if even one more thing happened along our route, that it would have to taken as a sign to change our future life plans. And within three days a smaller earthquake hit Oaxaca, destroying roads and highways and I knew I couldn’t put Marlowe in risk of danger for a drive. I stopped thinking and over-thinking our own plans and booked us flights.
So now, we’re still packing and making the move. We’re just trying to figure out the rest.
There are certainly perks and downsides of both driving and flying.
For driving: We were going to have a real road trip adventure. We would have the opportunity to visit so many beautiful towns and cities we’ve wanted to explore. This means when we arrived to Guatemala, we were going to have a car to go on even more adventures– whenever we wanted. We would also be more mobile on the day-to-day. And could easily get to Marlowe’s school, or up a mountain, or whatever, much quicker and easier. It also meant that packing would be easier. We wouldn’t have to worry about luggage and weight limits. And we could bring our own personal items and fill up our truck up with boxes and luggage of children donations.
(But this isn’t the case anymore.)
For flying: we are very limited in what we can bring. And we will have much less space for our own personal items and donations as well. We will not have a car to make road trips to other locations and countries. We won’t have a car for day-to-day needs like getting Marlowe to the store or transporting larger goods across town. But on the upside: We will get there quickly, easily, and more cost efficiently.
All in all, it isn’t the end of the world that we’re not driving.
(ps. I’m writing a whole separate post on the packing situation too.)
Outside of packing (which is a bit more difficult now), a lot of things in the moving/transport process has become easier with flying. We don’t have to import our car and pay for import fees. We don’t have to cross multiple borders– worrying about paying more taxes for what we’re bringing in or having to be searched with each entry. Or a million other things we MIGHT have to deal with going through international boarders, by car, and with a crap load of items to bring.
But one situation we’ve run into is: What will we do when we arrive? Well, we’re figuring it out. We’re going to arrive in a foreign country with 3 adults, one child, 7-8 luggage. With no car to transport ourselves. And so far, no home to arrive to.
I’m not sure if I mentioned it (though I think I did), one of my best friends/family is coming with us. She took the time off work and booked the flights down to Florida to make the drive with us and then booked a flight from Guatemala back home. With her flight booked we thought: lets not waste her ticket and move forward flying (buying her a flight from Florida to Guatemala). And we can then adventure in Guatemala and she can fly home from there. Having her tickets set in stone slightly complicates things, but it works (and its worth it to have her with us).
So our next situation is this:
Where do we go once we arrive? Flying in three weeks early, rather than driving has left us without a home to land to yet, haha. We’re exactly one week out from arriving there and have a lot of things to obviously figure out. but we’re doing it.
We’re packing up whatever we can. We’re cleaning up our home and backyard in preparation for our Airbnb and our upcoming booked guests. We’re figuring out the what and hows of arriving to Guatemala weeks earlier than initially planned. It’s sort of lot, but I’m keeping faith that everything will work out how it should.
My friend Hailey texted me yesterday and asked:
“Have you guys thought about postponing?”
“I saw a good quote today:”
“jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” -Ray Bradbury
And I followed up the quote with:
“So no. This is the beginning of the end. Jump now.”
I mean, we’re not deciding to jump because we want to live haphazardly. We’re doing what we think is best fitting in our current situation. Knowing full and well it might be a bit of a cliff jumping (and sometimes uncomfortable) experience, but choosing to make the best of it 😉