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My original plan was to visit the colorful village of Santa Catarina, Polopó for my final day at Lake Atitlán, but I wound up spending the majority of it in the entry port of Panajachel. I didn’t take many photographs in Panajachel, because I wanted to step out from behind the camera and enjoy the surrounding scenery. There are many days you can easily find yourself getting lost behind a camera lens, forgetting to be present with your surroundings. I did my very best to be as present as I could be. Calle Santander was filled with a copious amount of markets and vendors, on this hot and sticky day. One in particular caught my eye, a fried chicken cart with papas fritas. "Do I tempt fate with the street food on my last day before a very long day of travel, or do I play if safe", was the question I found myself asking. It looked too good to pass up on, so I ordered it. Afterwards I regretted the decision of ordering mayonaisse as a side compliment, so I made sure to stay away from it. I’m happy to report that my next day wasn't filled with a visit to multiple toilet bowels.
As I continued my walk through the maze of street vendors, I found myself on a grassy hill overlooking the lake. The national flag of Guatemala flew overhead, as a smokey haze blew through the air. An overcast mixture of wildfire smoke, volcanic ash, and air pollution from Guatemala City. One of the many thought provoking questions I found myself asking during this journey was, "do we travel to escape, or do we travel to find?" It’s an interesting question, and one I had asked for some time. Looking back on my past travels, I’d say they were an escape from the “realities” of a life I was no longer enjoying living. The thing is, I’d always return back to the thing I was running away from, so why exactly was I traveling, when I wasn’t enjoying being? This trip I found myself being for the first time, maybe ever while traveling.
On my way back to the lancha to return to the sleepy village of Jaibalito, I stopped by a fruit stand to pick up some freshly sliced watermelon. A young local man named David walked over asking me if I wanted any weed or mushrooms, (unfortunately I get judged for my looks), and I nicely responded with a no thanks. He then asked me to walk across the street with him because he wanted to tell me something, but I quickly diverted his attention telling him I was trying to buy some fruit and asked him if he wanted any. He smiled with a yes, so I bought him a cup of sliced mangoes along with my watermelon. We slowly made our way back to the docks enjoying a conversation about life. He’d eventually get distracted by another man asking him about his weed stash, so we parted ways and I continued on my own. I spent my last evening on the deck of the yoga studio, which was above my living quarters, as the moon shone brightly down upon the lake. I've grown so much since the last time I stepped foot on a plane, but I'm also so happy to be home writing this from the back of my truck in Montana.
The following day as I waited for my shuttle ride back to the airport, I met a tall, wide eyed beauty from Switzerland. Yep, to be in my 20's again!!! We shared a brief conversation, and just like that, I was on my way home.
For another thought inspiring piece, check out my first entry into this four part series by clicking the link: HERE
To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.
To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE
Blogging About My Life, Blogs About Life Experiences, Inspirational Blogs, Personal Blogs About Life, Thought Provoking Questions | Landscape Travel Photography