Oakland Mall, Guatemala City, Guatemala

We visited Oakland Mall, too!

As soon as I got there, my family detector activated and I told the girls I wanted to visit Forever 21 to see if I found someone I knew.

What we found first was a big white wall where we had a little photoshoot. We were dressing the same colors, once again, so we had to take pictures of ourselves like we were twins.

Also, you never ignore a big white wall. No matter if a lot of people is passing by and interrupts your photoshoot.

After our mini-photoshoot, my family detector felt stronger, so I started going up stairs inside the store and BAM! I found my cousin in the end of the store! It was so nice to see her and it was totally random because, she told me it was her first day in that store. The day before she was in another mall so our hug it was totally meant to be!

Then, we went to the food court and ate a lot of chinese food. We made the mistake of thinking a brand we knew in El Salvador would be yummy-like in Guatemala. And it was not. That’s because another local brand is the yummiest in Guatemala, a brand we have never listened before.

But we recovered from the disappointment on the chinese food by eating some Nutella crêpes made in a Volkswagen van inside the mall. ❤

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La Aurora Zoo, Guatemala City, Guatemala

We went to La Aurora Zoo in Guatemala City!

It’s not that we’d never visited a zoo before, it’s just that we’d never visited a zoo like this one, before! It’s so clean and it looks like an island because of all those palm trees. Also, is in the middle of the city, so you could see airplanes often.

Guatemalans are very kind. For some reason, they gave us marshmallows before going into the zoo. I guess it was an activation of the brand but it doesn’t stop it for being an act of kindness.

I got to see animals I’ve only seen on pictures or videos, like a giraffe, a camel, a llama, an albino tiger, a cougar, a flamingo, a penguin and an aurora!

Aurora is the name of a bird that, according to tales in my country, announces death. Leyend says if you listen to an aurora near you, it’s because it’s announcing a death from someone who is not close to you and if you listen to an aurora away from you, it’s because it’s announcing a death from someone related to you.

And, even though I’ve listened to several auroras before, I’ve never seen one. This zoo is called La Aurora so it has to have at least one! And it did! The aurora is like a petite owl!

At the end of the zoo trip, I went to buy a hawaian granizada but, apparently, I was very focused on eating it I forgot to take a picture. All I can say it was perfect for a sunny day: it’s made of ice with sweet flavors like mango, pineapple and coconut but with a pinch of salty with salt and pumpking seed powder (known in my country as alguashte). 🙂

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One thing I really enjoy before traveling

I started traveling at 13. So, you might say I have my rituals when it’s time to travel. One of my rituals, if you could call it like that, is to never plan a trip, trips should just happen, trips should be like grab your clothes and leave so you can stop calculating every little centimeter of your life. A trip should be an exit of your everyday life.

Maybe that’s why most of my trips are made in less than a week, meaning, I want to go somewhere, I’m going the next weekend and so on.

But as I said, I’m traveling since I’m 13 and most of the time, I’m traveling by myself or as a team, which is more like a job and not a trip.

I saw this new opportunity for traveling and I thought: Katherine, you deserve this trip! You’ve work hard the whole year, non-stop since January, you’re going great in everything you planned for your life in New Year’s Eve, you’ve reached your goals, take a break. Literally.

Once I convinced myself to go, I though I had enough of being lonely abroad, I wanted to start sharing what it feels like to be free for a couple of days or a couple of hours with the people I love. Who better to start traveling with than the girls who have supported my in my best days and in my worst hours?

I told them like: hey, what are you doing next Sunday? And they were like: nothing, vacation, why?

Why don’t we travel somewhere? Are you in?

And they were!

From that moment, everything was magic. Because, if there was something I had before this trip was my personal rituals, and they always start like 2 days before traveling. But planning a trip with friends is different, because their emotion reaches you and you start to get more and more excited!

Every day we said things like: we’re gonna go in a few days, in a couple of hours we’re gonna be out of the country, I’m making my bag already, what are we gonna eat on the road?

These little questions before the trip made the trip even better because we were all into the trip days before it actually happen!

So, for the first time, I started planning my traveling bag a few days before my trip. And this gave me the time to actually recognize my rituals as rituals and not as things you had to do because you’re traveling in hours.

One of the things that I really enjoy before traveling is looking for local money from my last trips. I say I collect foreign money because it’s easier to say it like that, but what really happened is that I kept the change when going abroad and saved it in a bottle. And this happens with every country I’ve visited! So, when I’m about to travel, again, I search for local coins of the country I’ll visit in that bottle. 🙂

Whenever I’m searching for the coins I’ll use, I see all those coins and instantly remember the good times I had while collecting these coins. I remember the time I found bubble gum in a chinese store in Costa Rica, I remember the time I sat in a bronze lion, I remember the time one friend threw a cracker at me because I said I was hungry, I remember when I had to take a taxi to get to my competition on time.

And I can’t help but imagine what new memories will I have when I bring back more cash to this bottle full of coins and memories.

So, I’m searching for the coins I’ll use in days and recharging my batteries because we’re leaving soon! Can you guess where?

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Dinner with Team Truck at Laca Laca.

Once in a lifetime, my team gathers to celebrate a year full of survivals, 365 days of hard work, 12 months of friendship, a season of improvements and life in general.

We like fancy stuff so we always end up going to Laca Laca, which is mexican food so you’re allowed to eat with your hands (because at the end of the days we’re throwers, beasts in human form) but we also like it fancy, so we dress up to go to a restaurant inside the biggest mall in town.

I ordered a fried pork burrito with a michelada because that’s my usual order in Laca Laca. But also, we had a little “after party” which for us means “eating more” so, we went to Red Mango, where I ordered a nutella frozen yogurt with gingerbread cookies while I admire the Stark chain one of my teammates has.

The surprise was when one clown was mocking me because, apparently, I’m super serious and even though I tried to take a selfie, he just kept making funny faces and I lost it! My teammates made fun of me the whole week because of that clown.

I think Team Truck grew together, most of them started going to University, several changed jobs, others recovered from injuries, improved their personal best records or just became stronger, changed their bodies and kept going.

We all had a reason to celebrate that night but the best reason is we are a team for another year.

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