From Canada to Guatemala and Back Again

From Canada to Guatemala and Back Again

A Story by Rachelle

A memoir about our family trips back to Canada ever summer. It outlines the best and worst parts.


From Canada to Guatemala and Back Again


In 2006 we moved to Guatemala and every summer since then we’ve gone back to Canada to visit friends and family. I always enjoy going back to where I was born, but the best part is the actual journey. Like they say, “Getting there is half the fun”. We leave from out home in Panajachel, Guatemala then we mosey on up through marvellous Mexico. We cross into the USA where we camp in beautiful, secluded National Forests. The best part about these forests is that the camping is free. That is totally unheard of in Canada, eh? One of the prettiest places we’ve driven through in the U.S.A. is Aspen, Colorado. It is absolutely gorgeous! There are snow capped mountains, crystal clear rivers and of course, a bundle of Aspen trees. We had to drive up a gravel road to get to a camping spot and when we got there, it was almost dark. We set up the tent while Mom made some campfire chilli. Once we were done setting up, we ate our meal around the campfire under the stars. It was so peaceful and beautiful that I wished we didn’t have to leave the next morning.

We always learn many new things when we travel. Some of these lessons are helpful and interesting, while others are better left unlearned. I remember one painful memory of a dry, dusty, red-ant infested campsite. There wasn’t a tree in sight in the middle of this God-forsaken patch of Texas. We saw the familiar sign for a State Park. Since it was getting late and we had already travelled very far, we decided to check it out. Ten dollars later we were at that horrid campsite 29, trying to set up our tent while billions of demonic, little fire ants gnawed at our feet. Mom got the worst of it while trying to make dinner as she unknowingly stood on a massive ant hill. Battalions of ants were attacking all of us and we were complaining loudly, but my mom was fit to be tied by the end of the night. By the time we actually ate, Mom and the rest of us were ready to start the campsite on fire, but unfortunately, Texas was having a dry summer and there was a fire ban. We grumpily went to bed very early and tried to get some sleep. Unfortunately, our tent had gotten a couple of small holes in the bottom and multitudes of ants invaded. They riddled us until we looked like we’d been shot at a million times with a BB gun. None of us got much sleep and the next morning we ripped down the tent, got in the van and vowed never to return to that campsite. I’ve dubbed campsite number 29 “The Devil’s Worst Nightmare”. Poor Mom’s feet were swollen and p***y from all those little beasts and I won’t forget that awful place as long as I live.

Crossing the Canadian border is one of those triumphant moments. After ten days of driving, we were all overwhelmed with joy to be back in a place we knew and loved. A Canadian family crossing the border doesn’t have to do much but to answer a couple of questions and have less than 24 cans of American beer with them. There was a celebratory atmosphere as we drove north towards Winnipeg and enjoyed the better radio stations that Canada has to offer.

Seeing family and friends are definitely the highlight of my summer, but as we made our way back to Guatemala, I couldn’t wait to get home. As most travellers know, arriving back home is a great feeling. It is relief and contentment all rolled into one feeling described by many as “home sweet home.”

© 2010 Rachelle

Author's Note

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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A outstanding story. Nothing better then to cross the country. I have done it a few times. Always something to see and learn. I like the description in your story. Must took a long time? Thank you for sharing.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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Added on March 4, 2010
Last Updated on March 8, 2010
Tags: Memoir, comical, summer vacation



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