I spent half my time in Cuba plotting my next move if I returned home without a summer internship, a job, or any other big responsibility set to ground me. Fortunately for me, there was little to no internet connection in Cuba so I couldn’t set anything real up so the list of cheap countries filled my mind instead. On my short list were Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala in that order. I began checking flights whenever I would get online and send out mass emails to organizations and non-for-profits in all the areas. Mexico was top of the list because deep down, I wanted to continue traveling with the crew in Cuba and it seemed like both of them had an interest for it. For that to happen, it meant that San Carlos had to have nothing going for him as well (which didn’t happen) but he landed a sweet gig out in DC for the summer. Another factor in making this happen was to resist spending more than a week with my contacts out in Mexico. That last factor for me was being able to convince myself that Mexico was safe enough to spend more than a week there. Fortunately, all these didn’t happen in time so Mexico was sidelined. Next on the list was Nicaragua which didn’t last more than a couple looks because it was just impossible to get in contact with the people San Carlos knew from last time he was there and also, I was solo (as always now) so I began shifting toward a more familiar location that I could rip apart (explore better). This Place was Guatemala! After going through Cuba and using my abilities to the fullest, I realized that I didn’t do as much as I could have done out there in 3 weeks so I decided to revisit it again my capital rule/statement. This is the once most used phrase in my travel conversations – “Why go to the same place twice when there are many other places to be explored?” I must have used this more than 5 times to prevent me from returning to the fine beaches of Varadero so when I made Guate my decision, everyone in Cuba repeated my own words! To salvage what was left of my image as a person to go back on their word and my pride, I vowed that to visit another country and at least 3 other towns in Guatemala. This was my mission and within the 14 days I was home, I put in a lot of work emailing, plotting and setting up my 4 week itinerary.
Initially, I wanted to do two weeks in Guatemala studying and hiking up some other peaks I couldn’t do last time and two weeks studying and surfing in El Salvador. I went back and forth looking for really cheap schools with good rating in San Salvador but didn’t stumble across much and those that I stumbled across didn’t email me back. I stirred in the face of failure every second as I raced against the clock to save m y pride. Finally, after a week, I bought a guide book for Central America looked dove right in hitting up some recommended contacts from the book and few of my own. I figured I could catch the 4 hour bus from Guate to San San Salvador then return and fly back home. I looked at all my options thoroughly but after a day, I switched gears after finding a cheap flight to Mexico City, hit up my family out there, and switch my trip to a 3 week trip to Guatemala studying and a 1 week trip to Mexico on personal business. With the flights booked for a week later, I had to figure out how to get back home. My options were to pay a ridiculous sum to switch my departure city to Mexico or hit up family on the west coast that would be ready to host me for a bit while I figure out my next move. Thankfully, the second option worked out and thus, I was all set with a big plan but still needed to fill in the details; that was the next step.