December 2, 2004
El Fin de Semana Pasada
Santa Catalina Arch and Volcan Picaya
When I was a freshman in college, I discovered what life was like with a fast internet connection and hours of time to goof off. My roommate always went to bed hours before I did, so I would stay up late and surf the internet by the glow of my computer monitor. We had this routine for almost 3 years...I wonder if she had to adjust to sleeping without the tap-tap-tap of my keyboard to lull her to sleep once we left school. I'll have to ask.
Anyway, it was during that first semester that I stumbled onto the newly emerging tend of Weblogs, back before Blogger was owned by Google and still had days when their server would crash and people would freak out because they couldn't publish right away. One day, the people at Blogger put up a new section called Blogs of Note, where they posted their favorite blog of the week or of the day or of whenever they got around to picking one. It's from that column that I found Solbeam. I began to read her blog and I have followed her on her travels around the world for the last 4 years. It sounds kind of stalkerish, but I merely appreciated this woman's spirit and enjoyed reading about her life. That first year, she ended up in Antigua, Guatemala and I was fascinated. We had been learning about Antigua in my Spanish classes because of the activities that happen during Semana Santa. (Holy Week during Easter) While I'd been watching stupid videos in the dreaded Spanish lab, this girl was actually there, seeing it all first hand.
This past weekend, I got to go Antigua again and this time I got to explore it some. The first time I went, it was only for dinner and it was dark by the time we left so I didn't get to see very much. This time, I actually spent most of Friday and Saturday afternoons there. We checked out the markets (which is where all of your Christmas presents are coming from, FYI), and ate lunch, and walked around the streets, and even went into some of the churches and ruins. It was a good time. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I hated looking all touristy...which is totally a pride thing, so I promise to get over it and do better next time. We even went into this hotel called the Casa Santa Domingo...there aren't even words to describe how incredible that place was.
Anyway, while I was wondering through Antigua this weekend, I thought about Sol and her adventures and the crazy way things happen. I didn't come here because of her or her weblog, but I think maybe it helped spur on the idea in my head to go somewhere and just try something new. And here I am, 4 years down the road, walking along cobblestone streets that I saw in her pictures. I don't think I will be following in her path the rest of the way because her case of wanderlust far exceeds anything I can even imagine, but it is fun for me to think about the way our paths are all intertwined. Antigua is full of backpackers and people from all over the world, and you can see it in their faces that they are people that get it. They understand just how amazing this world is in so many ways that have nothing to do with money or power or television or Gap jeans.
And I really like that. A lot.