I am sitting in my favorite cozy hammock in our WorldStamp guesthouse in Antigua, Guatemala, enjoying the heat of the sun after a perfect morning. Jeremy and I went for a run this morning. First I ate some fresh fruits to get energy for the run. Banana, strawberriy, papaya, pineapple, apple, honeydew and watermelon – delicious! We ran through the beautiful city of Antigua. I love the small houses, the narrow streets, the mountains in the background, and the amazing coffee shops, delicious restaurants, and especially the cool wine bars. The weather was also perfect for a morning run. Blue sky, warm sun, and a refreshing breeze. We passed Cerro de la Cruz which is a beautiful viewpoint over a volcano called Volc·n de Agua and over the city of Antigua. We ran the trail which leads to our school where we do our volunteer service from Monday to Friday in the village of Vuelta Grande. I lost Jeremy at some point because it was pretty exhausting to run uphill for the whole time. I stopped a few times to take a deep breath. I looked around and just admired the beautiful nature around me. Nature is so rich here, and the colors are incredibly deep. I was surrounded by mountains, volcanos, and all kinds of trees. It is amazing how many shades of green exist. People are so lucky that they are chosen to live on this overwhelming, fascinating, amazing, and beautiful Earth.
On the way up to Vuelta Grande I passed a few people here and there, and every “°Buenos dias!” (Good morning!) put a smile on my face. When I started running I was very excited and full of energy. After ten minutes I felt how tired my legs were getting, and my body wanted to give up, but my mind said, “No! There is no giving up! Keep going Jana. You can do it!” After I overcame this phase, the energy came back into my body, and I felt like I could run for years. Do you know that feeling? It’s one of the greatest feelings you could have. You feel like you could fly because you are so light and your body is running without any effort. Although, there is always a point when your body gets tired and your energy is depleted, but it’s a feeling full of pride, relief, and happiness. You are proud of yourself that you didn’t give up, you are relieved because you did it, and you are happy because the effort was worth it. You are now ready for the next step in your life. This process is exactly what I have experienced so far while traveling with WorldStamp Gap Year Program.
At the beginning of this Gap Year program, I was super excited to see something completely different, explore the world, and meet new people. I had a lot of energy for this adventure. The experience in India was challenging because everything was different from my “normal.” I never experienced something like this and I was completely out of my comfort zone. It was my first time teaching, I was (am) the only German person in the group, and I was living in a country with a different culture. But I didn’t give up, and it got better and better. Now I feel like I’m at a very high point during this second phase of our Gap Year here in Guatemala. Everything goes without any effort, and I feel like every day great things are happening which bring even more energy into my body. I hope this state of being will last for a lot longer. I will let you know when I experience the third part of my run.
After the run, Jeremy and I went to this really cool cafe called UNION to get breakfast. Everything was perfect. The best thing after a run is a cappuccino made out of local coffee beans, fresh fruits, and oatmeal with honey and coconut. I was in heaven! We also talked to the really cool woman working at the cafe. She is from Chicago and has lived for four months here in Guatemala and couldn’t be happier. She loves it here and teaches yoga lessons in addition to working in this amazing cafe. It is really cool to meet people from all over the world and it makes me think about someday living in a country other than Germany.
I didn’t expect Guatemala to be like this. This is far from my expectations. I love the fresh fruits, chicken with rice and beans, the lovely people, the language, the nature, the weather, the music, Salsa, Merenge, and just the Latin American energy. Everyone celebrates life in every moment here. I love it!