When Haruka and I made the emphatic decision six months ago to sell our farm and travel the world, we suspected that the process of literally uprooting ourselves from our thriving farm and community would be riddled with plenty of hurdles and maybe even a brick wall or two. Without going into all of the gory details, let’s just say that the hurdles got higher and the walls got stouter the deeper we plunged into that process. With just a few days left in North Carolina, and a lot of critical details still unresolved, our ability to function under pressure was being severely tested. At the peak of our stress tsunami, my good friend, David put it into perspective beautifully:
“Right now, you’re in this tiny, dark, sticky tunnel moving forward ever so slowly, but pretty soon you’re going to see some light. And you’ll jostle your way toward the light little by little, and the light will get bigger and brighter until finally the day will come when…POW…and you’ll fly out of that tunnel like a big, beautiful butterfly!”
David, if you’re reading this, you have no idea how much we leaned on that imagery to get us through those last few weeks. As farmers, Haruka and I have witnessed many a chrysalis develop and burst open with the promise of the next astounding phase of life. However, being inside of and then finally busting loose out of our very own dark, sticky coccoon was by far and away a much more powerful experience than anything we’ve seen on the farm. A long day of airplane travel followed by another long day of van travel brought us to the lovely town of San Pedro, situated on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. As we got out of the van and started our short walk to our guesthouse, we confirmed to one another in great relief…’The chrysalis has opened’.
Within moments we were greeted by our dear friend Lawson, hooting and hollering from his guesthouse rooftop four stories above. Lawson first talked us into checking out Lake Atitlan two years ago, and that experience blew our minds clean open. This time around, the magical magnet that is Lake Atitlan was serving as our springboard for our open-ended odyssey to anywhere, and Lawson was intent on gifting us a sweet, soft landing into our new adventure. After settling into our newly constructed room that Lawson had lined up for us in his guesthouse, he and his long-time friend Andy, took us to their Japanese friends Mayumi and Nao’s place for a home-cooked meal prepared by their dear friend Maya, with entertainment provided by their daughter Mana. Only an hour into San Pedro and we were already speaking our other language of choice, and finding our tribe. Vibe surfing, as our good friend and former apprentice, Grant would say.
The following morning, Lawson took us to Corazon Maya, which he had scouted out as a potential place for us to spend our first month in Guatemala. We were sold on the place at first sight. A very sweet, traditional Mayan family owns this compound on the outskirts of San Pedro, which primarily functions as a Spanish language school for travelers. It also has several bungalows available as weekly or monthly rentals, which are set within a beautiful garden on the shore of Lake Atitlan and in the shadow of Volcan San Pedro. We’ve quickly settled into our 2nd story abode, complete with a kitchen and veranda, and we’ve even started taking Spanish classes.
Now a solid week into our journey, I can truly say that we’ve left that chrysalis behind to serve as compost for anyone who may need a bit of inspiration to grow their dreams into the reality they may be pursuing. And now that we’re fluttering carefree through this miraculous garden of life, I’d like to take this moment to express my deepest gratitude to our precious Mother Earth for providing us with this exceptional playground for experiencing all that this life has to offer…Thank you dear Gaia!