Hiking in Guatemala


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This past Saturday we filled up our backpacks with tinfoil-wrapped sandwiches and took off for a hike. We put our old Range Rover into 4-wheel drive as we scaled a narrow and muddy path higher and higher up the side of a mountain, a path marked only by the wear and tear of other 4-wheel drives. My stomach buzzed with butterflies as I silently came up with an evacuation plan for when our car got stuck, as Juan happily and nimbly shifted gears like a pro. Meanwhile, our kids were sound asleep in the back, clueless as to our whereabouts, their heads bouncing along with each bump and hole we dropped into. Quickly enough however, we arrived to an otherwise unmarked spot and wedged the car into some trees. We strapped the kids into backpacks and frontpacks and took off up the rest of the mountain by foot, following our good friends who had brought us along for the adventure, their 9 month old son also in tow.

After a beautiful, steep, and healthy hike through ancient trees and steamy ferns, we crested the last incline. Not only was our destination spot breathtaking, but it was fully equipped with a few picnic tables, some lounge chairs made from branches, and the coolest old swing that swung high and wide over the tree tops. We drank wine alongside our cheese sandwiches, nuts, and apple wedges, lucky to have what felt like the whole world to ourselves. We laid our babies down, Joaquin ran free, we chatted about life, and we sat and enjoyed the sincere and unmatched beauty of Guatemala – lakes below us, surrounded by the serenity of enormous volcanoes.

It was one of those Sundays when you just kind of look around and breath it all in with appreciation. It reminded me of the days when the Berry family would pack into the station wagon with baguettes and salami and cheese and drive until we found a good spot shaded from the sun, usually under a California oak. I smiled to think that we were creating a memory for our family like the ones I so fondly remember and cherish. It was a simple day and so truly refreshing; an afternoon that made me grateful for the moments in life when I become hyper-aware of my surroundings, in the presence of good friends, our healthy kids, enjoying a bit of wine and a simple lunch. Gazing out at a priceless view of not only the astounding landscape, but of all the future adventures that lie before us, many of which I imagine will take place in that very same spot.

What are some memories that you’re creating for yourself and your family now?

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