How to Find Peace in Antigua, West Indies by Vanessa Pinto

The tropical, thick air engulfed my senses as I stepped off the airplane in St. John’s, Antigua, outgoing, well-mannered baggage staff greeted me.

The airport evoked a small and cozy feeling with greater amounts of scattered tourists and personnel strolling along outside than inside, despite the distinct, oven-like climate.

As I began my trek to the private residence I would call my home for the next two weeks, a Virgin Atlantic Air bus streamlined just overhead, engulfing the sunlight as it soared by.

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The Truth About Semuc Champey by Leanne Fry

We’ve just arrived in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

It’s taken us an entire day to get here and I’m surviving on a yoghurt drink I inhaled this morning at a petrol pit stop to refuel our ‘luxury shuttle bus’. The inaptly named luxury shuttle bus had conjured up ideas of reclining chairs and champagne, but is really a 14 seater mini-van packed with 17 sweaty travelers. The air con is MIA and the engine block is melting my feet alongside my spirit.

Alas, we have made it. My two friends and I are delighted to evacuate the hot box and stretch our legs.

Our plan?

Study Spanish and explore the town.

But there’s a slight problem and the sweet smell of deviation is in the air…

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Me, Myself, a Renault Clio and the Road…

It all starts with that damn car.

A little Renault Clio that I can probably push with my little finger.  We look long and hard at each other, this Clio and I.

I know I am taking a bold move going through with my plan:  I plan on driving this little thing to Blarney Castle, The Cliffs of Moher and back to Dublin where I’m still standing, staring at the Clio. I am also going to undertake this adventure solo – me, the twenty-five-year-old American girl who only learned to drive a stick a mere six months before through the winter snows of Indiana.

I walk over to the left side of the car, only to stop and curse at myself.  Of course, I’m in Ireland now.

I walk to the other sideand open the door.  I take a deep breath and slide into the driver seat.  I take my time as I get my things settled, set the GPS for Blarney Castle, put on my seatbelt and turn on the ignition…

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My Unnerving Journey to the Copan Ruinas in Honduras…

Copan Ruinas

Eyes bugged out of heads and jaws (literally) dropped upon news I was traveling to Honduras. Completely alone.

It’s so dangerous!

Why would you go there?!

Get out of there as fast as you can.

As it turns out, I had planned to enter San Pedro Sula Airport and then take a bus directly to Copan Ruinas, my ultimate destination. I’m not one too freak out too much about traveling, having flown since I’ve was a toddler, but as a sole female traveler, the numerous warnings about San Pedro Sula were slightly unnerving.

Thankfully, everything turned out fine: I landed, went to the Herman Alas bus counter inside the miniscule airport and picked up my online, prepaid ticket. A half hour later, I was on an air-conditioned bus with free water bottles to Copan Ruinas, or so I thought…

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Guat’s Up? by Marlayna Glynn Brown

The man arranged by my hotel to meet me outside the Guatemala City airport and transport me to Antigua is holding a sign with my name.

I don’t ordinarily arrange for niceties such as this, but it seemed when entering a new country at night it would be best to be safe and not hassle negotiating with taxi drivers outside a foreign airport. It’s been a long day passing through three airports in three countries, customs in two countries, and carrying two too-heavy backpacks down long airport passageways to get from one gate to another.

I’m exhausted.

When he extends his hand to shake mine, I am so tired I hand him one of my backpacks and he says, “Sure, I’ll take that for you.”

Expectations are funny little things.

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