Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag! Hello!
I’ve been MIA lately because I was away on vacation! My first “real” vacation in close to 5 years. Actually, it might be my first “real” vacation ever. Unless you count summer vacation when you’re a kid. I miss those days. Being completely carefree and playing outside from dawn to dusk. Being a “grown-up” just isn’t as fun some days. You know what I mean?
The Formation of a Plan
Back in February one of my best friends who lives thousands of miles away in my second favorite state, Montana (Maine is obviously my favorite, duh), posted on Facebook that she just purchased a plane ticket to Belize. I’m not one to believe in fate, but I do believe in serendipity, or perhaps I just like it because it’s my favorite word.
At the time I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my vacation time for the next couple of years. Yes, I said a couple of years because I’m super Type A and need to make 5 year plans. It was serendipitous. As soon as I saw her post, I called her up and asked her two questions: 1) When are you going? and 2) When should I buy my ticket?
So that’s how I decided to travel to Belize for vacation in 2014. Over numerous phone and Skype calls in the months leading up to our departure, our travel plans evolved to include a couple of days in Guatemala as well. And boy, am I glad we made that decision!
Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing about my trip to Belize and Guatemala. So be on the lookout for vacation recaps, travel tips, and a boat load of photos! I was bitten by the travel bug back in my early college days. Unfortunately, like most Americans I thought travel was expensive and non-conducive to my intended life decisions, i.e. medical school. I wasn’t able to study abroad in school because it would have messed up class schedule as a biochemistry major. In retrospect I absolutely could have studied abroad and it is something I regret not experiencing in college. However, I did attend a two-week English course in Italy over winter break one year. Yes, English in Italy is kind of ironic I know.
After graduating college early and realizing that medical school and becoming a doctor was not the path I wanted to take, I decided public health was the better career path for me. Luckily, global public health is an ever-growing diverse field that I plan on seeking a career in future years. In May 2011 I set foot in Central America for the first time on a medical mission and ever since then the desire to work countless hours in dirty and humid conditions making someone’s life better by giving them access to primary care, clean water, food, etc. is something I want to do. I might not make much money doing it, but at least at the end of the day, the experience is worth it.
The Evolution of Travel
My recent years were heavily focused on finishing my masters degree and triathlon. As much as I love the sport of triathlon, my desire to travel and see the world is much stronger. Spending last summer training and finishing an Ironman is something I will never forget and taught me more about myself than I could have imagined. I thought that I would compete in my second Ironman in 2015, but I think Ironman training will be put on the back burner for the next decade. Don’t get me wrong, I will still compete in triathlons, but at this point in my life, I want to invest money and time into seeing and experiencing new parts of the world.
The day after I set foot back on American soil, I was already planning my next trip. Actually, that’s a lie. I started planning my next trip about a month before I left for Belize. I’ve been bitten hard by the travel bug and I’ve been concentrating on learning the fine art of travel hacking. Travel can be expensive if you make it, but it can absolutely be cheap as well. With my student loan debt and the pledge I made to myself (and everyone who reads this blog), my focus is to pay off my loans first and foremost, but also to travel as well.
So, I hope you will bookmark this page or better yet follow it and get new posts in your email box! Because I’m about to recap the good, the bad, and the beauty of Belize and Guatemala in the weeks to follow.