I’m not sure if it’s more accurate to say we’re “quarantined in paradise” or “paradise is in quarantine.” Either way…how bad could that be?
Imagine being “stuck” along a lake, surrounded by volcanoes, a good book in hand, and quite possibly, a cold beer by your side. If I weren’t already here, I’d say, “Where do I sign up?”
And yet, I’ve been itching to leave this place!
So, here we are, camped along Lake Atitlán , Guatemala, six months into our year-long adventure, and smack in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. The universe is on lock-down, and no one is going anywhere- well, at least until Easter! 🙂
So, yes! We are literally quarantined in paradise!
Our year-long road trip would take us from our home in Colorado, down the entire Baja Peninsula, across the Sea of Cortez to the Mainland of Mexico, and south into Belize and Guatemala. It was to be a trip of a lifetime! Guatemala, specifically Lago de Atitlán , was to be one of our final spots before turning around and venturing back home, with many additional stops along the way.
Truth be told, my inner voice is screaming, “This whole virus-thing is really screwing up our plans!” But my “real-self” knows and understands the enormity of the situation. People are dying, and our “trip” is nothing compared to the struggles many are facing right now. I also know many of you feel the same way about the things you are being denied right now:
Work… Family…Pickle Ball.
Ok, that’s the serious Shannon talking and quite honestly, she’s annoying. There has got to be something we can do in our ‘current state of affairs’ that feels positive. Just like all of you, we can’t leave home right now, or in our case, our 27’ RV. Except, we can leave the RV. We can move around camp; we can paddleboard on the lake; we can swim in the pool, and we can still get eaten alive by bugs! But, truth-be-told, it’s still hard.
What we should be, is thankful.
What I didn’t understand at first is that, in some ways, we’ve been given a gift. We’ve been gifted the ability to slow down and focus on what really matters in life, without the guilt of doing so. There is no work to do, no deadlines to meet, no demands to honor. There is just time.
Oh, what will I do with it? Well, I’m so glad you asked…
Be a Better Teacher
Like many of you, along with the task of parenting, we have also taken on a new role: Teacher! Ahhh!! Let this nightmare end! This is probably new to most of you, but we actually chose this role for the year. Yeah, I’m still not sure what were we thinking! Well, we’ve been at it for the past 6 months and, admittedly, we’re not doing that great! Of course, my plan is to blame my husband in the end, but honestly, it is quite difficult to find a routine when you’re moving from place to place all the time.
Well, excuses-be-gone! We’ve been given the chance to dive into a new school routine with Noah, which I’m sure he will be super excited about, where we can discover new things together, and have some amazing conversations in the process. Or, someone will start crying and we’ll all retreat to our corners of the RV. Probably the latter. I’ll report back.
Work Out More
I finally have time to get that rockstar body I’ve always wanted. Ok, at this point, I’ll settle for the body of a middle-aged folksinger, but the point is, I’ve run out of excuses to make it happen. Enemy #1 of a good workout routine is travel. When you lack the normal demands of life, and “Happy Hour” is no longer set by a clock, but rather a feeling inside, things can go downhill pretty quickly. I’d like to say I’m working up a sweat while jumping around, swatting bugs off my body, but I think it’s time to step it up. Move over Jane Fonda, there’s a new camp workout coming soon…
Become a Master Knitter
I can finally start knitting! Yes, I’m serious. I purposely took some knitting lessons before leaving, assuming I’d have a lot of time on my hands and I’d need an extra hobby. Well, between school, constantly sweeping ants and sand out of the RV, and moving all of our belongings from one end of the RV to the other, I’ve found myself to be quite busy. Now, I can finally crank out all those scarves and blankets I’ve been meaning to create. Now, if I only remembered how to knit!
Start My Own Camp-Cooking Channel
The one thing I’ve been somewhat successful at on this trip (so far) is cooking. First, I love to cook. Second, I love to cook outside. Well, except when I have bugs chomping away at my skin the whole time. If I can manage to find the ingredients, I can get pretty creative in our camp kitchen. First, and I am still patting myself on the back for this, I brought along our Instant Pot. Yes, it is the amazing kitchen necessity everyone says it is! Whenever we have electricity, even if it’s an extension cord run from a Jerry-rigged outlet on a nearby tree, I plug this baby in. One-pot-meals means less cooking time, less dishes, and more time for the important things, like Happy Hour.
Write a Book- Or Maybe Just a Blog Post or Two!
Finally, I have time to write. If you’ve been following along on our adventures and reading our blog and newsletters, you can probably tell that I enjoy writing. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m great at it, but I do love to tell stories, especially when I can poke fun at my family (and myself) in the process. And if you know me well enough, you know I can find humor in just about anything- a blown tire along a Mexican highway, an infestation of ants in Baja, the traffic nightmares in large cities, and getting stuck in small-town intersections. Maybe I’m just afraid if I stop laughing about it, I might start crying, and no one wants to read that sob story! So, the point is, prepare yourselves! I’ve got nothing but time on my hands and there’s a lot more stuff to laugh at!
So, what have you been putting off and no longer have excuses to ignore? Dig deep! After all, we’ve got nothing but time and I’m in a foreign country, living in a trailer, and could use some inspiration!
Be safe out there and remember, never stop laughing! We’re all in this together!
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