It’s been two years since I’ve moved out of my beautiful hometown of New Braunfels, Texas. I grew up eating Tex-Mex enchiladas, having big family celebrations, soaking up in the sun in the heat of the summer, and all the little pieces that encompass growing up in Texas.
The San Antonio area has such a rich culture that it’s very difficult for people who are from there to move out. I’m very proud to say I’m from there.
But since traveling for the very first time to Belize in 2013, I caught what you call wanderlust. Wanderlust is a noun meaning a strong desire to travel. After my one week mission trip in Belize, I immediately started planning my next adventure—my semester abroad in Rome, Italy.
During my first time living abroad, I learned soooooooo much about myself and the world we are living in. There is so much to see and explore.
Right now during my second time living abroad, I keep learning and growing as a person—and also as a married couple with my handsome husband who happens to be from Guatemala!
Guatemala is a whole different world than Italy, but they do share their similarities. For example, dressing and style is important. If you are only going to the grocery store to buy water, you better put yourself together. In that case, I’ve learned that it’s important to take care of yourself, wear make-up and brush your hair. It not only makes you look better, but it makes you feel better, too.
Since being in Guatemala, I’ve learned to be more in tune with the nature. It’s extremely easy to be in tune with the nature while here in Guatemala. There are plants, flowers and leaves everywhere! Also, every day that we drive out of our neighborhood, I see a volcano in the distance. We live in a mountain. Down the street from our house there is a senenic view of the city.
Guatemala is B-E-A-utiful! I’m happy to be here interacting with God’s creation every single day.
I’ve learned how to live a healthier life. Since moving here, I’ve lost 20 pounds, thickened my thin-straight hair, and kept my skin moderately clean. (Yeah… you can’t always keep me away from my sweets and chocolate! Haha)
Being healthy isn’t only about your body weight. It’s about all aspects of your body. From your head to your toes.
Here in Guatemala, going to a restaurant is too expensive and fast food is, well… fast food. I’ve learned to cook (one main reason because my husband was never accustomed to go out to eat too often, and duh… I need to learn to be a wife by cooking! Lol but Edwin and I cook together. I want to share some recipes in the near future!). Cooking is fun! And definitely healthier. By eating at home and cooking our own meals, I’ve been able to lose the pounds and keep the weight off.
Guatemala is known as a third world country, meaning that it is an underdeveloped country. According to mayanfamilies.org, more than 75% of the population live below the poverty line. One in two children under the age of 5 are malnourished. Only 22% of children who complete the sixth grade level move onto the high school level.
Edwin and I work for an organization as English teachers that educate and house children from villages all over Guatemala. Being in actual contact with these numbers from above have definitely humbled me. I’ve learned to live a simpler life.
We still use our big T.V., have a good house and live in a safe and nice area, but little things like recycling and saving water has opened my eyes into a whole different world.
One last thing that I’ve learned since moving to Guatemala is the fact that when you learn a new language, you learn a culture. You’re mind grows and you see life in a whole new perspective.
Guatemala is super unique. Their main language is Spanish, but they have 21 other Mayan languages and two other non-Mayan languages. This is one reason I’ve fallen in LOVE with the culture of Guatemala. That among many other things.
Moving abroad isn’t for everyone, but I think traveling to see a different world should be for everyone. Open your mind and see the world!
Guatemala is a beautiful country and I’m happy to call it my home.