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Christmas Eve in Guatemala

I’m used to spending holidays alone now. In fact, I’m used to being alone most of the time so this time is not any different from any other. Well, yes it is different in a few ways. For one thing, it was over 80 degrees today. Not bad for Christmas Eve weather. For another, I [...]

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I’m used to spending holidays alone now. In fact, I’m used to being alone most of the time so this time is not any different from any other. Well, yes it is different in a few ways. For one thing, it was over 80 degrees today. Not bad for Christmas Eve weather. For another, I am in a nice hotel on beautiful Lake Atitlan. Still …

I am fighting a battle with myself. It is a war I’ve been fighting for years. It is a war that reflects our age, sort of like the numerous US wars of recent times. I don’t know who the enemy is. I don’t know where the front line is. I don’t  know what the objective is. There is just one skirmish after another. Some are won. Some are lost. Captives are tortured for useless information. None of it seems to make any difference in the long run. I am always alone.

Don’t misunderstand. This just feels like the natural order of things to me now. I just wonder why, like perhaps I would if I were dying of some terminal disease. Sometimes I want to just go out to the edge of the world and scream into the void of it all, “Why me?”

Why was I “chosen” or “bent” or “warped” or whatever it is that “selected” me to have a personality that basically keeps other people at distance from me?

Years ago I was tortured by a drug problem that I felt was beyond my control. I turned to a twelve step program to help me. One of the first things I learned was not to ask the “Why” question. I was told that even if I knew the answer it would solve nothing. Still …

So, what does all this have to do with a trip around the world? You may think nothing at all but to me it is the essence of it all. This is what it is all for. I warned everyone in the beginning of this blog. This is not about a trip around the world. It is really about a trip around the inside of my head.

For reading through all that though, I’ve included a picture of the only painting I’ve done in months. I left it behind in San Marcus when I left there a couple of days ago. I didn’t mean to leave it. I meant to take it off the stretcher bars, roll it and pack it, but, I didn’t…


Filed under: Guatemala, Travel Psychology

About the Author:

Gar Williams liquidated his former life, sold all his possessions that wouldn’t fit into a 46 liter backpack, and left it all behind at age 63. He is now traveling the world, and, in his words, is finally doing what he wants to do. Gar stops by at VagabondJourney.com from time to time to offer his wisdom and advice on the Senior Vagabond series. has written 65 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Gar Williams is currently in: Ecuador

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  • John D. Wilson December 25, 2011, 2:10 pm

    Well done, Gar.
    Look forward to the journey!
    Yeah, to most people who write blogs, it’s about pics, and what sites they have seen.
    The real fun of travel, for me, is the people and getting more in tune with what I am about.
    The why, for me, is the journey through life. It’s not looking forward to the end, but to learn to enjoy each day, each hour that one is alive. I think the term in the 12 step rooms is gratitude on a daily, minute by minute basis.
    Not a bad way to live life – with or without friends and acquaintances.
    Play nice, travel safely and enjoy the people that you meet. No one knows your past or who you are.
    Be what you want to be, each day – you changed once, and you can do it again if you’d like too.
    John D. Wilson

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    • Gar December 25, 2011, 8:56 pm

      Hey John,
      I knew you would know what I was talking about. We are all on a trip together really even though sometimes it feels as if we are apart – like it did that night.

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  • Sis December 25, 2011, 2:56 pm

    I am looking forward to the time when you get here you will not be alone then.(you may wish you were at times lol) But you will be around other people and lots of them if you choose it that way and if not there is always walking on the beaches alone when you need that time and you prob will need it sometimes having been alone a lot of my life I know that when you are around a lot of people at times it is uncomfortable and you need to get away. Anyway I look forward to seeing you in your own time and when you are ready. Love—–Sis

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    • Gar December 25, 2011, 8:58 pm

      Hi Sis,
      Don’t worry. Us loners can be alone in a stadium surrounded by 20,000 people. Sometimes its a gift. Sometimes its a curse.

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  • Carolyn January 22, 2012, 1:27 pm


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    • Gar January 22, 2012, 2:51 pm

      I tried to keep it quiet but I guess everyone in San Cristobal knows about it. They held a parade in my honor today – OH – wait a minute, the title of the parade was “Long Live the Virgin.” I think somebody put the wrong banner on the truck or something…

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      • Carolyn January 22, 2012, 3:41 pm

        ha,ha. That is what I was thinking when I saw your blog. What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday. They must have found out somehow.

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  • David Frost February 6, 2012, 7:52 am

    Your painting says a lot about yourself Gar. My paintings are a lot worse than my banjo playing but it’s a good way for me to express what I feel. What in the world that means I dont know and dont care.

    In our old age the hammock gets a lot og use but that darn mind of mine keeps thinking about where I can go to next, places to see, things to do. There are very few things I dont like in life but cold weather is one of them. The weather here in Catemaco is just right for me and a place to return to after traveling.

    Thinking about going to Comitan this summer, have some friends there I havent seen in years. That lake in Guatamala looks like a nice place, now my mind is working overtime again, getting to old for this. Suppose that’s why they call me a geriatric flatulator.

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    • Gar February 6, 2012, 10:01 am

      Thanks Frosti,
      I really think you and I are going to have to get together soon. I “play” the guitar. Unfortunately, my guitar playing is a lot worse than my painting. Looking forward to meeting you.

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