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1 year abroad in Central America

Posted 07-01-2015 at 08:00 PM by bigsombrero

One year ago today I moved to Central America. How 'bout that? A year ago, I sold everything I owned up in the States and came down here, alone, with a big a$s suitcase full of clothes and 2 years of sobriety under my belt.

I remember staying in a hotel the first few days, I knew the area from previous travels and I had some general ideas of what I was looking for in a place...but I was still a bit of a wreck. I'd put a lot on the line and I was finally jumping into the real sober life that I wanted. I was checking out "for rent" flyers posted on bulletin boards at cafes, pounding the pavement and looking for signs. Finally, I posted a "housing wanted" ad on a local website and I got a call from a realtor who got me into a great place at a great price. My job is working online, so I next had to make sure I hooked up the Internet in my new place and hoped it met the specs I needed. I was able to do so, and the rest has been a wild and fun ride.

Some highlights:

- Flying by myself to see the Pyramids of Tikal and the city of Flores up in northern Guatemala. Just amazing. 1000 years ago people were doing some crazy stuff up in this place! Hats off to those ancient Mayans and the MesoAmerican civilizations.

- Making friends, both local and ex-pats. I know several local folks in town and have some very close ties now in the capital. I also am involved with the ex-pat community and enjoy meeting others who have traveled different roads to be here. I have great friends in both Guatemala and Costa Rica, local and ex-pat alike, and I am really happy to have support and feel a part of something.

- Traveling to Costa Rica to renew my Visa every 90 days has been fun! Spent x-mas there, among other trips. I have a cool routine and friends down on the Caribbean and it's so great to visit and spend time zipping around CR on a little Cessna. Very "National Geographic" and cool.

- Got a truck 6 months ago. I've driven to Lake Atitlan and rented a place there for a few weeks. Just amazing, amazing stuff. I have also been able to drive to the Pacific Ocean every few weekends and spend time down there to get my seafood fix. Love it!

- My mom came and visited for a week, it was so nice having her here and showing her around. It is so nice to be able to keep my family involved even as I moved to a different part of the Americas.

- Language! I came down here 'fluent' in Spanish...but now I'm playing a whole new ballgame. Still not 100% on everything, and switching from "Spanish Brain" to "English Brain" and back again is kind of tricky for this 40 year-old. But, I'm holding my own and it's fun to continue to learn.

- Challenges overcome. My car broke down alone in a strange town. I was able to get help and take care of the issue. I've been pulled over by police a couple times near the El Salvador border. Being sober, polite, and law-abiding I've avoided any trouble. I've been sick. And recovered. I've been scared. And regained confidence. I've been alone, and found friends and support.

There are so many other little experiences that have made this worthwhile. I plan on sticking around. I would not have had this life without my sobriety by my side. Very happy for all it's given me. Thankful, indeed.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Venecia's Avatar
    Congrats, BigSombrero!

    And that photo is spectacular.
    permalink
    Posted 07-05-2015 at 10:17 PM by Venecia Venecia is offline
 


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