The realities of actually driving to Guatemala are stark.
I knew it would be hard at first. I told Trista before we left. Now that we are actually doing this, the adjustment is HUGE. Most of it is the constant of being on the move. We have tried to mitigate some of that by staying more than one night in almost all the places we stay but knowing you are just going to move in a couple of days makes it hard to settle in. Then driving in Mexico is a stark reality in and of itself. The time it takes to travel distances that I could travel back home in close to half the time is frustrating, to say the least. I had been warned, but you just can’t understand it till you do it. We are already considering changing our original plans to limit our travel days. I have driven for 8 hours here without using cruise control. I don’t think I have ever done that. I know first world problems…
I feel a lot of weight on my shoulders since this was my idea to start, but I have now dragged my entire family along for this ride. I have their safety at the front of my mind, but also their mental well being. We are in a country that speaks a language they don’t speak. The only meaningful conversation will be with the members of our family. Now that is actually one of the reasons I wanted to do this. I am hoping this will bring us closer together as a family as we have to start relying on each other. Now we are only 9 days in so that hasn’t miraculously happened yet, but one can hope.
The real starkness is the emotional roller coaster I seem to be on. Having a limited handle on the language makes me feel like it’s all on me. I have no one to rely on. That is true only to an extent. If any of us is having a bad day I feel like it’s my job to fix it since I put them in this situation.
I feel some guilt as well. My kids love their cousins. They are more than just cousins they are true friends, and I am taking them away from them. I want to create an opportunity to spend time with my kids at this critical time in their lives, but these are critical times in their cousin’s lives too and my kids won’t be there to go through it with them while we are gone. Guilt.
There are other important family events that we won’t be a part of. My parents 50th wedding anniversary. My brother and sister in laws temple sealing, and others. These events only happen once. Guilt! The problem is there is always another event. There is never a perfect time to make this happen. Guilt is an emotion I wasn’t prepared to be in a relationship with. I hope to break up with her someday soon. It’s not you, it’s me I’ll say.
WiFi is another thing. You come to realize quickly the number of times a day you pull out your phone to look something up in a day. Trista’s T-Mobile plan has unlimited 2G service while traveling. 2G and smartphone are what they give to monks when they need to master patience. I know, first world problem, but it still sucks.
It is getting easier, but I think we all are jonesing to get somewhere we can settle into. If only we knew where that was going to be.