Posted by: Sarah | July 18, 2010

after all it was a great big world, with lots of places to run to…

if you like where you’re living…
if you like what you do…
if you like what you’re seeing…
when you’re lookin at you…
if you like what you’re saying…
when you open your face…
then you got the right feeling.
you’re in the right place.

Five weeks into the Central America adventure, five new countries, six borders crossed, two scraped up knees, one stolen passport, one subsequent visit to the US Embassy, countless bus rides, lots of rice and beans and tortillas, almost too many stories to keep track of.

About 10 days ago, I was joined by two neoyorquino travel buddies. Michelle, Rahul and I have visited the largest Mayan ruins in Central America at Tikal, where we climbed pyramids that towered over the jungle and watched monkeys play in the trees.  We spent two days snorkeling through the second largest barrier reef in the world. After a month packed with soccer games and passionate Latino fans, we caught the World Cup finals at a sports bar in Belize, where I celebrated Spain’s victory amongst a bunch of Dutch travelers. We have traveled by taxi, ferry, speedboat, minibus, coachbus, and chicken bus as we cross one Central American border after another. There have been so many adventures, both good and bad, and I could not be more grateful to have my friends along for the ride.

I don’t know if I realized going into this adventure just how long 10 weeks of traveling is. I knew that it would be the longest period of time that I was traveling without being based in one spot, but I underestimated how exhausting – mentally and physically – it would be. My travel buddies and I splurged on a spa day this afternoon; I cannot remember the last time I was so relaxed. It has been an amazing journey thus far and I have no doubt that I will look back on this summer as an incredible learning experience and a hell of a lot of fun, but damn, it is tough at the same time.

Traveling, for me, is like running. It is not always easy, it is not always enjoyable, it is rare that you make it to the finish line without sustaining some bumps and scratches, if not more serious injuries. It takes endurance, it takes strength, it takes determination, it takes just a little bit of insanity. But without it, life is not the same. It does not have the same depth. When I am out on the road, whether running or traveling, I find answers. Answers about myself, answers about the world. I take it a day, an hour, a step at a time, and somehow, that is enough. Enough to continue moving.

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