A Little Podcast … Stories of Traveling Through Guatemala

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Traveling through Guatemala was an unexpected pleasure; I traveled to Central America with the vague idea I would travel south from Mexico and stop in every country for a few weeks,a month if I loved a place. And then I crossed the border into Guatemala and instantly fell a bit in love. Over the succeeding three months, I would travel through major touristy spots like Tikal, Pacaya, and Lake Atitlán, Antigua, and into Western Highlands to study Spanish at a language school in Xela, or float on a boat down the Rio Dulce. I loved the cadence of life in Guatemala, the openness the people, and the colorful Guatemalan textiles—people walking around with a riot of colors on their woven shirts and skirts.

Antigua, Guatemala

I love the layers in this photo; warm light as the sun sets, a modern radio antenna and bright yellow church among the ruins and dilapidated buildings.

This month, the Amateur Traveler Podcast invited me onto the show to talk about all the things I love and recommend for short (think one- or two-week) vacations to Guatemala. We cover language schools, volunteering, traveling on and off the conventional route through Guate, and some anecdotes and fun in between. Chris, the host of the podcast, linked to tips and interest points we talk about on his site if your planning travels, and in the slideshow below the podcast link, I created a slideshow of my favorite photos from the trip—please peruse and enjoy as you listen. If you’re reading this in an email, you may have to click through to the site to listen and view! :)

Amateur Traveler Podcast:


Enjoy these photo highlights from Guatemala:

Cheers and many thanks!


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16 Responses to A Little Podcast … Stories of Traveling Through Guatemala

  1. Mark December 10, 2017 at 1:26 am #

    Looking for a good day back pack . Really like the Camo type but friend of mine said it is not a good idea because it draws attention to you as red neck American . I would not wear Camo outfit ever but just daypack in Camo . What do you think

    • Shannon December 19, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      Hi Mark. I can’t see why that would bring you any issues. People travel with all sorts of backpacks — some with their national flag emblazoned all over it. You should be totally fine to bring a pack that you like, no one will think you a redneck. :)

  2. Aodette July 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    I’m so glad you discuss volunteer opportunities on your blog! I have read countless central america travel blogs, and it is amazing to me how few include volunteering in their travels. Thank you!!

    • ShannonOD July 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks Aodette! I loved volunteering in Central America because I could access the local language more easily and it made it a much richer experience for me. Safe travels and happy volunteering to you as well, thanks for sharing your own thoughts! :)

  3. Andrea and John March 6, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    Awesome photos! We really need to check out Central America

    • ShannonOD March 6, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      Thank you Andrea and John — Guatemala really does rank highly for me on my list of favorite places!! :)

  4. Rishi January 20, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    Oh god, Shannon…look at how happy you are…this would be anyone’s dream life.
    Great going.
    Rishi, Mumbai, India

    • ShannonOD January 20, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Thank you Rishi! There have been highs and lows, even in travel, but you’re right, I wouldn’t change it for the world :)

  5. AJ Aerni January 18, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    How are the couchsurfing opportunities and hostels in Guatemala? Many to choose from? Central America is on my list of places to visit after I walk the camino in April and come back to North America for a bit.

    • ShannonOD January 18, 2013 at 1:21 am #

      Many, many hostels to choose from in each city, there are a lot of both expat and local run hostels and they are listed out on the big hostel sites too should you need that. I know that there were a few people I met who couchsurfed in Guate, but I did not–there are a good number of expats, as I mentioned, so I think you should be able to find something good! And the prices are very good, private rooms were $10-20 at hostels, and shared could be found for just a few dollars many places. Let me know when you’re heading that way if you have any questions :)

  6. Sarah January 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Love your photos!! I am planning a two month trip to Central America this summer and I’m most excited about Guatemala!

    • ShannonOD January 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

      Hi Sarah! So glad to hear you are heading there–and though I don’t want to hype it up too much, I think Guatemala is great and that you will really love your travels throughout the region. Safe travels and let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help. :)

  7. Rika at Cubicle Throwdown January 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    I loved the podcast! I often forget that Guatemala is so close to me in Honduras… maybe for my next visa run!

    • ShannonOD January 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      Oh you definitely should go there! It’s culturally *really* different than Honduras too, so it would prove to be a change of pace in many ways methinks! :)

  8. The Guy ✈ January 14, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Woo, big hairy spider! Fabulous pictures it looks like a great place to visit.

    • ShannonOD January 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      I was a little terrified by him since we plunked him from a hole, but couldn’t resist seeing what it felt like to have the spider crawl on me! :)

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