Discovering Interests in Guatemala: Growing Confidence

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Nathan Lane spent two weeks in Guatemala with a group traveling to learn about themselves, the world and to develop traveling skills. This is his story:

I guess it’s kind of cliché to say that the best thing about going to Guatemala was what I learned.

But I’m not really big on travel for its own sake. We went to the lake – I can honestly say that it was the most beautiful lake I have ever seen. I went in the lake, like, twice total? Once to wash myself, once because I was going cliff jumping with everyone else. And I jumped off a, what, 30 foot cliff? And I didn’t really care. It’s not my thing.

It was a great lake. But I am not super big on lakes. Similarly, the mountains are some nice mountains. But mountains are not my thing.

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What Interested Me

What did interest me was the sheer quantity of murals on the walls. Almost none of the buildings in San Marcos had solid-colored walls. There were paintings on everything. That’s how I think the world should be. I really love graffiti, because white space is meant to be filled and artistic expression trumps tidiness any day.

What I Learned

But the best thing for like, my future adult self about that trip?

  • I learned that people are people, no matter where they are.
  • I learned that I can totally handle myself in most confusing situations.
  • I learned that people on average are pretty kind.
  • And that people you are trying to pay for something will usually help you get that thing sorted. They don’t make money if people can’t figure out how to use their system.

Also, my Spanish went from ‘no hablo’ to ‘sí, yo hablo un poco Español, pero no mucho’ in the two weeks. That was super cool.

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