At the end of 2012, Amelia asked me where we were going to be the third week of May. Of course at the time I had no idea, but we figured it out quickly when she told me that that was her vacation week and that she and her husband, Nathan, wanted to spend it with us. I was ecstatic. Amelia is one of my very best friends and to share this part of our life with her was hugely important to me. Is hugely important to me. In fact, in some ways, I didn’t realize how much of an impact having visitors would have on me until they were already gone. As we travel, we feel more and more connected with the enormous world around us and in the same breath can also feel increasingly isolated and disconnected from our other top priorities in the places we used to call home. We are wholly satisfied and happy with what we’re doing with our life right now. We love the adventure, the experiences, the education, and the structure (or lack thereof). But no matter where a person lives or what a person is doing, there are bound to be tough days, frustrations, times when it seems maybe a different path would be easier. Indeed, there have been days in last 5 months in which I’ve wondered if I would be better off closer to my incredible family and friends, and at times, the thing that kept the thoughts of buying a one-way ticket at bay was the upcoming visit of our friends, Nate and Amelia. We couldn’t not be in Guatemala if they were going to fly there to see us.
Their visit though was more than just the gift of their fantastic company. Their visit refreshed my belief that in today’s digital world we are never really that far from home, that the most important relationships readily bridge the gaps of time and distance, that we aren’t missing life in the states, but rather living concurrently with it, enjoying hearing about the happenings there as much as our friends and families enjoy hearing about ours here.
We had an incredible week with our friends, often waking up early to sit quietly and read or work while enjoying coffee, cereal, and volcanic views. We took lanchas to Panajachel to explore the Atitlán Nature Reserve and to San Pedro to watch the Champions League Final at Alegre Pub. We drove to Chichicastenango to shop at their market and walked into San Marcos for birthday pizza and beer. In between the activities, we laid on the dock and soaked up the rays while swimming, chatting, and listening to music. It was so easy and so comfortable and everything that someone could want from a week with visitors. As I look back at our photos from the week (I swear we did more than take pictures of ourselves), I feel a renewed energy rooted in that brief taste of home and a replenished sense of excitement about the journey, countries, challenges, and lessons in the seasons ahead. Thank you for that, Nathan and Amelia. You guys are dolphins. I mean great friends. Same thing.