My brother: Where are you going this summer?
Me: Guatemala, Belize and Mexico.
Brother: You’re a goddamn fool.
He spent the next 20 minutes telling me about all the homicides and kidnappings and slavery and cartels and everything else you can imagine, Locked Up Abroad style. Right before he ended with telling me how stupid I am, he told me how I could end up in a situation where death is my best choice.
Great Sunday dinner convo.
I don’t think I’ve had specific goals when I’ve traveled outside of the U.S. Usually, I pick something I want to see or go wherever someone tells me or whatever seems reasonable for my budget. I decided I needed an adventure this summer, preferably in July, and in a Spanish-speaking area that included some beach time. So, why not Central America?
I don’t have many people available to travel abroad with, especially for more than a week. I went to Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, and Argentina in 2011 with a company that gears its tours toward teachers, GEEO, and had an excellent experience. So for this summer, I checked out Gapadventures and chose something that seemed good. Boring, vague story short – I settled on Mexico, Guatemala and Belize for 16 days in July.
Other people have expressed concerns, but my brother’s rant really made me wonder. Is it that unsafe? Am I being foolish? There’s a lot of places I haven’t seen yet, so should I choose a safer alternative and wait? If I wait, what am I waiting for?
Decisions are tough for me, and I had one made, but now I’m back in limbo.