Category Archives: I didn’t plan this

the “What” and the “How”

I think we all know “what.”

“What” is fundamental. Knowing “what” is easy. What we want and how much we want of it.

It’s knowing “how” that really gets us anywhere, but there’s a crucial key to this – it’s not so much “how” you intend to do it, but “how” you are doing it. One is about planning, where anything can happen – including nothing happening – and the other is about “doing” which is actually wants happening.

As soon as we’ve moved passed the knowing “what” and the knowing “how” we can go to the “how” it’s getting done. This kind of “how” has been a recurring life theme for me.This is truly the difference between thinking about something, and wanting it, and then actually saying you’ve done it. I can put many things on this list that I haven’t done as much as I’ve wanted to: reading, writing, and practicing Spanish (and most recently Portuguese). What I’ve found is that there is always a barrier, or in fact many barriers, but the one I want to write about is the “feeling accomplished after just the planning stage” barrier.

That’s what gets me. I can dream up, and plan out all that I want to do with my time during my weekdays or my free time, and I feel satisfied. That’s dangerous you know? Because nothing comes of it. Nothing happens unless something is set in motion and is done.

Sometimes I get so caught up in strategies, technologies, tips and tricks that I end up spending more time optimizing what I’m kind of doing instead of really doing what I intend to do, and oddly enough what it final comes down to is just a simple decision: doing it. Don’t think, don’t plan, don’t optimize, don’t strategize, don’t worry, don’t complain, just do. Just do it without thinking.

What is easy, doing is how it’s done.


Less is More

Have you thought about what really makes you happy? I mean, really makes you happy. I read a blog post some time ago where the author said that one way to find this you have to think about what is the perfect day to you. What happens in that day where everything goes right? You wake up feeling rested. You eat your favorite breakfast. Play some good songs. The sun is shining. You take a walk with a friend, or your dog. You meet some friends for lunch. You hike a trail, or go to the river, or go for a drive. You try some wine, or some beer, or you go to a baseball game.

I suppose your list looks a bit like that or something similar. What I find interesting about this exercise is that the list in itself is never complex. It’s composed of really simple things, and oddly enough, they aren’t very expensive. Then why, is happiness so expensive? Why do we buy so much? Or maybe a better question is, “Why do we buy so much but never really use what we buy nor remember what we bought?”less-is-more-dominican-baseball-july-2014

I think the point is clear, if you can’t remember how, when, or what really makes you happy then it probably isn’t a source of happiness.

Being in the Dominican Republic for me is a reminder of how easy it is to be happy without having to spend much at all. What made me happy were the times with friends, the laughter, the music, the small trips, the conversations with locals, being outside, walking around in beautiful areas, finding local fields to play with neighborhood kids. These are all elements of experience that costs so little, just some time and some up-front planning.

What I also realize is that if I spend my money on things not only do I have less money, but I have less time to do other things, and less space for the things I want. This may sound painfully obvious, but it’s really a change in perspective. To do things that make you happy you’ve got to stop doing the things that prevent you from being happy.

Doing less, buying less, occupying less is really more.

The joy of buying less, keeping less, owning less.

A Secret to Living Well

One thing you hope to find when you give up everything to take a life-changing trip is a secret or two about life. You know, the kind of thing world travelers write about in their diaries about their time with Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka or grandparents tell their children about growing up post World-War II while rocking away on the front porch.

Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to travel to Sri Lanka nor become a baby-boomer to find out firsthand one of the secrets to living life well. I didn’t read it in a book or see it in a movie or hear it in a speech, but I believe it now with such conviction that I don’t think I can ever look away from it’s brilliance. It’s completely obvious and surprising simple, but very few of us rarely do it, so maybe this is just a simple reminder. I’ve had such ordinary, life changing moments here that speak of it more loudly than I’ve ever experienced in my life. Here it is, in its simplicity:

Being present where you are so that you can appreciate what you’re experiencing.

We get so used to quickly consuming every moment that we never really take it in. We conquer hunger with expensive food cramming into our bellies, gulp down exquisite drinks for thirst, sprint out of theaters to find cell phone service to post our movie-going experience to Facebook, and turn away from a gorgeous vista to show all our friends the photos we took on a tiny 2 inch screen. In short, by trying to be ultra-present with our moments, we aren’t even present at all.

Life is better appreciated when the moments come to us in ebbs and flows, not a steady stream of  a quick-moving current. It is in the emptiness that we can appreciate what occupies the space. This may sound like Eastern philosophy, and yes, it is, but it’s also biological, our attention can only be attuned to so much in one given period.

So next time, you’re going to do something enjoyable, deliberately remove everything that distracts you from the moment so that you’re completely present.What follows are a few recent, ordinary moments that I’ve been present with.

#1 – I sat in the park in San Cristobal for a good 15 min waiting to be picked up. I listened to a town “waking up” instead of texting, reading, or playing music.











#2 – Donuts with friends. We got up early to try Dixie Donuts. Luxury donuts at a special sale price of $1 a piece. We took some time to sit outside and drink coffee. Time is precious before the day starts I realized. Also, raspberry creme is delicious.









#3 – Korean food. I normally eat a pretty simple diet most days. Something like rice, beans, and chicken most days. We went to eat Korean food in honor of our buddy Tae Seok. It had been so long since I eaten flavors like this, I felt like I was at a royal banquet.











#4 – Driving home to my parents house in VA I knew I had a few calls to make, a few new songs on my iPod to listen to, and some scheduling I needed to sort out. I turned everything off and just looked at the clouds.


Foreshadowing of a Carribean Challenge

In movies or books, foreshadowing is a plot device used to introduce or hint at  something early in the story that will become much more important later on. It hit me recently, this was exactly what happened to me 13 years ago. I was on a Carribean just East of here, but under  much different circumstances.

I had just finished my freshman year of high school and Spanish 101 (for beginners). At that time, I was not really equipped to speak Spanish, nor at the speed of the Puerto Ricans (currently, this is still a pending question). A group of youth from my church, Linville Creek, went to Castaner, Puerto Rico to do a two week workcamp with the local Church of the Brethren congregation. That trip was the longest and I had ever been gone from home, and certainly it was the farthest.

I remember a lot of things from that two week adventure. Puerto Rico was a beautiful island, with lush jungles, windy mountain roads, and breathtaking views. Too much of that viewing got me car-sick on a 5 hour trip to the city of Arecibo. Luckily, we made a stop on the side of the road to purchase fresh mangoes. Someone had just picked them from the tree. Before that, I had never liked the taste of mango, now I’m slightly in love with it. This was much like my experience a few days prior to the mango when a guy showed us how to open a coconut, because before that, I had never liked coconut. Continuing on in the gastrointestinal journey, I ate too many delicious desserts from a local panaderia and got incredibly sick later on that evening. There’s nothing quite like being 15 and feel like you’re knocking on death’s door a few thousand miles from home. Of course, It probably wasn’t grave, and true to common traveler’s wisdom, I didn’t buy anything else from that panaderia.

As a teenager, I remember that every young woman I met was probably the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I was pretty shy though, so I’m pretty sure had I been able to speak Spanish, I wouldn’t have talked too much. However, if you were the girl that wanted to talk to me by translating through your semi-bilingual friend from the Castaner Church Youth Group, buscame en facebook, por favor. Ya, sabemos que ha sido demasiado tiempo sin vernos y me encantaria tomar un cafecito contigo.

Besides the random musings of a teenager on his first trip outside the states, one experience did stand out to me during that time, and I can still remember it vividly. Our last few days in country we spent in and around the capital, San Juan. We spent some time in a Brethren Volunteer Service community located in a rough neighborhood called Caimito. I distinctly remember feeling uneasy walking around the community, where they said unemployment was just above 50%. Yet the 20-somethings had no problem walking around feeling at ease, and clearly had made friends with the locals. These young adults seemed to wield a rugged and versatile maturity in a new culture and weren’t jarred or shocked by the dangerous ghetto that they lived in.

I was desperately home sick and had just taken a nap from a long day. I awoke to the sounds of a nearby corner store playing a song, “She’s All I Ever Had,”  which was popular in the States at the same time. Nostalgia flooded my mind. I just wanted safety, clean water, country roads, and to look out of window that didn’t have iron bars. I remember feeling incredibly alone, and being the farthest from home I’d ever been; the solitude was crushing.

Just then, I heard a knock on the door, one of the 20-somethings invited all the young guys along with them to dinner at a local restaurant. Instantly, the solitude vanished, and I was connected again to people I knew. I felt like I’d been released from that emotional prison. But, the question still remained for me, “How can you live in such a strange, unfamiliar place, where you don’t speak the language, it’s dangerous, and you have constant reminders from home trying to pull you back.”

So I asked one of the older volunteers how they did it, “. . . Believe me man, once you get some time on the ground and know a little more Spanish, you get used to it, and you start to like it. That’s just how it works.”

And here I am, 13 years later, I’ve got some time on the ground, I know a little (a lot) more Spanish, I’ve got friends, I’ve got a community, and I’m used to it. I guess that’s just how it works.

The Sound of an Epiphany

When you slam the door of the carro publico and you speed away down Independencia and understand every word the driver says. When you hear him call your name from the other side of the street, and see that he waited for you. When, after the argument, you understand that they just wanted to see you; it has been two weeks hasn’t it? When he has to say goodbye, he doesn’t say anything because he’s working on it, and he says, “I’m proud of you.” When you’re laughing with a group of friends and you look at their faces and realize that this is the last night you’ll be together. When you understand the one word the changes the entire significance, and you have to apologize. When you and your friend drop your sister off at 2:30am at the airport and she walks through the final security gate.

An epiphany is (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.

In the past twelve months, I have had moments that can only be described as epiphanies. Where time slows down, and the moment is allowed to linger longer than the others that surround it, and I am enabled to see the situation with a perspective that is greater and clearer than what I had before. Maybe there should be a limit to how we can define an epiphany so that the word does not it lose its special significance, but to me, I have had so many “a-ha” moments, so many experiences that felt like the shifting of the transmission into a new gear, I’m starting to feel like I’m driving a different car. This vehicle, I’ve realized, has plenty of room for a lot of friendships, words, songs, places, and just simply, room for more.

This post is not about a specific epiphany, or a group of travel epiphanies, nor about a more fuller linguistic definition, but rather to understand yet another facet of how we make sense of the things that are important to us in this life. An epiphany can help us understand an important, meaningful experience in our life, that enables us to better explain and better live in the specific place of life that we find ourselves. Maybe this most often happens in an image, a snapshot of a reality where all makes sense, but recently I heard it in a sound.

I had such an epiphany about epiphanies, when I was listening to this song presented in the youtube video presented below and I realized that the note that comes at exactly 2:01 is a note of an epiphany. To me, it is the sonic encapsulation of an epiphany, or easier said, “The sound of a meaningful experience.”

See, to understand the beauty of this note you must understand what comes before it, and what comes after it. And really, when you think about it, a single note is not beautiful in and of itself, it is the sequence of notes, the context in which the note sits, that gives it its color, its fullness and weight, its shade of meaning, its brilliance in its phrasing that we savor in the time that it is exists. So it is with image, with memories, and the lessons we carry with us.

This note is a moment of an epiphany, a metaphor in sound.

Maybe to you, it doesn’t sound like an epiphany, but it does to me. And if you haven’t had such an experience, an image, a memory, or a sound, just keep listening . . .

Traveling is the Excavation of Character

Near the office of Esperanza (HOPE’s office here in the DR), a construction crew is finishing the exit ramp of highway overpass. I walk past the crew every day and see the progress they are making. In one area, they are digging heavily into the ground exposing every good and bad thing found below the surface.

I think that’s what traveling is like.

A group of dedicated laborers goes to work unearthing everything you thought you knew about yourself and things you’d prefer to keep hidden. The heavy machinery crew labors throughout the day and late into the night. At times, the sheer force of the demolition leaves you shocked and speechless. You have to call in your advisors (via Skype) and ask them what the heck is going on. Sometimes you feel like the job site changes, even though you know this is the same place being worked on every day. Other times, usually at night, some specialists wake you up with probing questions about which pipes need servicing. Usually, you have to answer them immediately, they can’t wait until tomorrow. (I’ve tried arguing to postpone the meeting, it just doesn’t work.)

All this demolition and excavation is for a good purpose. Everyday you can see things a little more clearly in the sunshine. It’s amazing to hold mysterious, yet familiar objects in your hands and flip them around and see all their facets. Some things you know you need to clean up if you’re going to continue carrying it around on the journey, and other things you know are meant for the junk pile. You realize your pockets are only so big and your back is only so strong, so you must be judicious in what you continue to carry. Airlines at most, only allow two bags, which is never enough space. You’ve really have to decide what baggage you’re going to transport back home.

If you talk with the foreman on the jobsite you’ll get a better understanding of what the new structure is going to look like. I’ve found that I need to check in daily to have a better idea of what’s yet to come. Sometimes it seems like there’s a new set of blueprints every week, but you trust that whatever is going to be built is a whole lot better than what existed before. As far as time and money is concerned, it’s going to take a lot longer than you thought, and cost way more than you anticipated, but it’s all going to be worth it.

Know that someday in the future, you’ll invite your family and friends over, and you’ll sit and have lunch in the plaza in front of the building. You’ll tell them about the hilarious and insightful construction crew made up of international workers who excavated nearly everything underneath, but nevertheless helped you build and improve this marvelous structure that you enjoy today.

And for that, I am grateful for traveling.

(Currently though, I’m in the middle of a construction zone and I’m trying to reduce my velocity. No sense in getting fined for excessive speed, but really, I just want to be able to see what’s being dug up.)

What Are You Running From?

When I was little, I loved to run, just for the sake of running. I think there’s something beautiful about running with reckless abandonment, without worry, and simply for the joy of how the wind rushes past your face as your own energy carries you forward. I used to run with a simple passion: to be in motion. I ran fast because there was nothing to lose, and everything to gain. The faster I ran, the more I felt alive, the more I wanted to keep going, and the energy inside me kept growing, and I was always amazed when I looked back, because I was able to see the great distance I had traveled.

“What Are You Running From?”

Quite a few people have asked me this question over the past year: “What are you running from?”

I think it’s a fair question. Sometimes, when people choose to quit a job, leave the country to travel and start a new chapter of their life, they are trying to escape something.

I never saw this life decision to leave Richmond to travel, learn Spanish, and volunteer in an international organization as an escape. My life in Richmond was good, and God blessed me with an amazing life. I had an apartment with awesome roommates, I played on a successful soccer team, I attended a solid church and had a good community there, and I liked my job and the people I worked with.

The Real Question: “What Are You Running Toward?”

So when people asked me the question, “What are you running from?” I usually responded with “You mean, what am I running toward?”

I think this is an important distinction, and maybe a suggestion on how to handle a major life event, so I’ll say it now: “When you have a good idea of where you’re going, run toward it.”

See, I think that most times when we choose to make a big decision, we kind of creep toward it, unsure of how it’s going to pan out. We’re afraid of how it will change our lives, our friendships, and our comfortable living situation. I think this anxiety comes from a good basis, and it is important to seek advice and wisdom from the good Lord, your friends, your peers, and your family – the kind of people who know you, and can tell you if they think this fits in with what “you” are all about. But once you know where it is you’re going, do you wait for someone to take you, slowly walk toward it, or do you run?

It was a little more than a year ago that I chose to leave Richmond to pursue volunteering opportunities overseas, and almost immediately I felt that I was on the right track. It was as if I was swimming against the current for awhile, and as soon as I started heading in a different direction, everything became easier. I could feel the wind at my back.

I set up the plans to finish my job in July, and to head to Nicaragua to work with my church at an orphanage in Managua, and then onto Spanish school in Guatemala. It all just seemed to fit in place. And here I am in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, ready to volunteer with HOPE International.

Run Like There is a Tomorrow

Now that I know where I’m going, I want to run like I used to run, without worry, without pain, just fully and passionately alive and full of joy because I am in motion.

Maybe that’s the final point I want to make,

“When you have a good idea of where you’re going, run toward it and sprint with all that you’ve got inside you. Run without worry, or fear, and run like you’ve got everything to gain.”

It is only with energy, passion, and momentum that helps us get through the transitions in our life, but more importantly, they make the fuel that helps us get to where we’re going. And if we never let ourselves run, how far will we let ourselves go?

More importantly, if we let ourselves run, how far can we go?

Tomorrow is my first day in the office – me voy a correr . . .


This post is dedicated to everyone who’s spurred me to run as far and as fast as I can. (And to you mom & dad, but I don’t have pictures of y’all on Facebook.)

Thank you, I love you all!


A Response to Kindness

I’ve been thinking about my previous post, “The Transparency of Kindness” since I’ve been in the Dominican Republic, and I’ve seen yet more evidence of the goodness in this world.

It’s always a difficult process to switch from a place where you’ve felt comfortable to a place where you’ve never been, and you don’t speak the language. By the end of my three months in Guatemala, I felt like I could pretty much understand every conversation, and I could communicate myself fairly well. But, my first night in the DR with my new family, I felt like I knew zero Spanish. Between the accent and speed, my comprehension suffered greatly. I felt like an outsider again.

Like most difficult things, it got easier, and just a few days later, I started to have an ear for the accent and the speed. The Moreta Family helped me out tremendously. They fed me dinner even though I arrived when they were going to have a meeting at their church. They slowed down their conversation so I could understand what was going on. They gave me a room. They said I could set my stuff down, and they said that it was my place to rest.

I think about how strange it has to be for them to open up their house to a foreigner. They gave a room to someone they’ve never met. They let their kids crawl over this stranger and they serve him first at the table. So strange and so amazing. It’s this transparency of kindness that I have grown to love since I’ve been traveling. I feel like I am able to see it so clearly now, and I want to savor it as much as I can. I know that while I’ll be here for quite some time, I will eventually return to the states.

Does that mean I will lose the ability to see it?

I mentioned before that I believe that you don’t need to leave the country to see the goodness of this world, but I wonder if I will immediately fall back into my old mindset? I would like to believe that there are some things in this world that permanently shift the way you think about your life and the world you live in. There are some things you’ll never be able to turn your back on.

Hmm . . . will I turn my back on how people have helped me in each country I’ve visited? How easy it would be to say thanks and move on. How easy it has been to sit at the family dinner table and walk away when I’m finished eating. I guess I’m alluding to a fundamental question: does kindness demand a response? Is it enough to just be able to see the goodness of this world? Is it enough to say thanks? Is it enough to take a few photos and write a few posts about my gratitude?

I believe kindness begets kindness. And maybe, I can’t turn my back on my experience.

Oddly enough, as I was writing this post, the family came and told me that they had picked up my pile of laundry and they planned to do it with the rest of the family’s clothes. They just didn’t want me to be alarmed when I went back in my room and didn’t see my pile of dirty clothes. In the barrio in Santo Domingo where I’m living, the water and the electricity goes in and out, frequently, usually everyday. Rebeca mentioned this to me when she apologized for grabbing my clothes, “When there’s water, we’ve got to take advantage of it.”

At first I thought, “Well, that was nice of them.”

. . . Haha, is that all I’m going to think?

Sometimes kindness is clarity. Antonio was an orphan that probably would have died if the family didn’t provide for him. Today, if we didn’t do the laundry, we might not have the chance to do it for awhile.

Sometimes, it’s clear that kindness demands a response. If this family is going to feed me and give me a room, then maybe I can help them do laundry. After all, with two young boys, there are always dirty clothes to be cleaned. Rebeca knows this because she comes from a family of 11 siblings, and Federico from a family of 14 siblings. There was always laundry to be done, and you had to do it when you had the opportunity.

. . . I walked upstairs to hang up some clothes, end of story.

Always Pack a Second Sandwich

I had the opportunity to spend two days in San Jose, Costa Rica with the Meyer family who have been serving Latin American Mission at La Palabra de Vida school in San Jose. I got to spend some quality time with the family learning about their experiences living and serving overseas. On Sunday night, Josh was going to take me to the airport and he encouraged me to pack some sandwiches for the trip, “You never know how hungry you’ll be or who else is going to need one.”

There was a big group hanging out in the San Jose airport to catch the 2:05am flight to Fort Lauderdale. As I was standing in line to check in and there was a couple from the States, and we started talking about how early or late it was in the evening. The husband asked where I was from and when I told him “Virginia” he said that there was a young guy hanging out from Virginia who was having a problem with his debit card. The young man hadn’t yet gotten the deposit back from the rental car company, so he didn’t have enough money to buy a ticket home and was going to have to spend the night in the airport without any money or food. He was going to stay up as late as he could so that he would be able to sleep straight through until the morning because he didn’t want to wake up and be hungry and have no money and no food for the rest of the night. The couple wished there was something they could do.

After I checked in I headed toward the security and found the guy who looked like he was trying to get comfortable on an airport bench.

I said, “Hey, are you the guy from Virginia who’s stuck here overnight?”

He was like “Yeah, I ran into problems with my debit card and I have to wait until 8:00am to withdraw enough money to pay for a ticket back home. I haven’t eaten lunch or dinner and it’s been a ridiculously terrible day . . . How did you know about me?”

I responded, “There was a couple in line from Florida. They told me about your story and they felt bad that nowhere was open to buy you some food . . . but listen, from one Virginian to another, do you want a ham and cheese sandwich?”

“Are you serious??? I would love one! I haven’t eaten all day. Oh, that would be so awesome. You’re really serious?”

So I gave him the extra sandwich and a bag of peanuts and raisins I had in my bag. He was in such disbelief and was so grateful for the food, he just sat there looking at me. As I walked away he immediately tore into the sandwich.

I sat down at the gate and about 10 minutes later the couple came up and I saw the husband with a huge smile on his face. He reached out to shake my hand and he said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. We felt so bad for that young guy but couldn’t do anything to help him out. I appreciate what you did back there.”

And I said, “Well if y’all hadn’t told me about it, then he’d still be hungry . . . I guess it was more of a combined effort.”

Both he and his wife smiled. They told me they were just coming back from their honeymoon, and the felt bad they couldn’t do anything for the guy.

6:17am in Fort Lauderdale we were picking up out bags from the baggage claim. The husband came up and wished me well for my upcoming trip, “Thanks again for helping out that guy in Costa Rica. It’s really good what you did. Blessings to you in the Dominican Republic. I know you’ll do great things.”

I stepped back and thought about this small event and how it really wasn’t me at all. It was first Josh who encouraged me to make another sandwich, and then it was probably the guy’s wife who felt terrible for the young man and encouraged her new husband to do something (I mean think about it, “Honey, are you going to let that young man starve? What if he was our son? Would you want him to be sitting in the airport all alone with no money and no food?”), and then there was the husband who was incredibly concerned but still powerless to do something about the situation.

And then there was me, the fourth person in the chain with an extra sandwich that got to help a neighbor in Virginia.

As simple as it sounds, from now on, I think I’ll pack an extra sandwich and begin a campaign for packing extra sandwiches. You never really know which person you’ll be as you wait for an early morning flight.

The Last Shuttle to San Pedro is When You Decide it is

My first night back in Guatemala, I spent the night in Antigua, Guatemala with my friend Shane. Shane and I went to language school in San pedro for three weeks. He was also the guy getting his haircut when I was playing Oasis in the barber shop (barbershop concert). I called in the morning to get a shuttle to San Pedro and they said that all was good, there was plenty of space. Like most things when traveling, plans change. They called me during lunch (at 1:30) and said there wasn’t anymore space. Normally, this isn’t a problem because there plenty of shuttles in Antigua. But they all leave at 2:00 . . . I had already made plans to be back in San Pedro with the family and with my school, and I was like “Uh-oh . . . what do I do now?”

Guatemalan life is pretty laid back. Most people are content when plans change because schedules are flexible. There isn’t always a rigid adherence to set plans or schedules, like in America. I felt compelled to see if there was another shuttle, and a little guilty for being so proactive, because in some ways I could really just relax in Antigua and spend another day there. Still, I believe that I should be proactive in my decisions, and I was planning on eating dinner with my family that night.

So Shane and I finished our lunch and headed out the door. Determined to find another shuttle, we walked briskly toward the central park. On our way we stopped at one agency – no more shuttles. We stopped at another, and apparently they were eating lunch and couldn’t help us. (I didn’t understand why eating a sandwich prevented them from getting me a ticket but it was clear they couldn’t help me, so Shane and I continued on). Maybe there was a shuttle leaving late, maybe there was one to Panachel?

We crossed into the central park and I was headed to the same agency that I called that morning. Just then, I spotted a shuttle. “Wait, a second I think I know that shuttle . . .” I ran up to the shuttle which had just picked up a passenger and was started to accelerate and I asked them to stop (hehe).

“Are you all going to San Pedro?”




“Right now??”

“Yes, get in the shuttle, we’ll take you to get your luggage.”

Normally, I don’t jump in random shuttles, but I recognized both of these guys, and there was already a female in the van. I’ve taken shuttles with them to Antigua and Chichicastenango and this time, I had a whole seat to myself. It was the Casa Verde Tour Agency of San Pedro!

I brought Shane along because he knew how to get back to his house. He was equally amazed that we found a shuttle. They dropped us off at our house and I ran inside to get my luggage. We tossed it in the back, and the shuttle continued picking up three more people. In 15 minutes we were on our way to San Pedro.

I laughed to myself as we moved into the countryside.

“Sometimes, the last shuttle to San Pedro is when you decide it is.”