The Shock of Returning to the First World

After 3 years in a third world country

I’ve been in Guatemala for 3 years now. This is home and this is totally where my heart is. Sorry Canada but your winters suck ass. When I moved down here I had no idea how long I was going to stay or if I was even gonna like it. Turns out I love it ❤

Back in the winter of 2016 I had to make an emergency trip to Canada to tend to some family stuff. Then in 2017 I attended a conference in Arizona. I also did a 9 day stint in London England (I swear to never return, yuck!) in 2016 so I’ve been in and out of Guatemala a few times in the last 3 years but this time was different.

Very different. This time I was away on a vacation. No work, no family, no responsibilities. Just a relaxing getaway to see a friend. I honestly didn’t know what to expect or if I would even like it. London was a nightmare, Arizona made me cry and miss home (Guatemala) and Canada I was too busy to notice where the fuck I was.

Driving from the airport to my friend’s house was nice and chill. His condo is nice and comfy. I think the first thing I did when I got there was take a shot of ice cold Fireball, smoke some weed and have a bath. Something I haven’t had, and have been missing, for so long! A nice long bubble bath. Mmmmm….

But the kicker, the water is clean. No parasites, no germs, not brown. Clean bath water with bubbles!.

What a luxury!!

Later that evening, off to bed, there were no dogs barking, no random roosters screeching, no bombas or fireworks, just total peace and quiet.

What a luxury!!

The next day grocery shopping was a real treat! Such an amazing selection of the best produce I haven’t seen in awhile. Whoa is that a pomegranate?? Yum!! And blueberries!! Oh be still my heart ❤

What a luxury!!

The best part of the whole food thing was NOT having to disinfect the lettuce a million times before preparing a salad. One quick rinse in the sink with water that isn’t parasitic, pat dry and ready.

What a luxury!!

Walking to different places and going to see things was also quite the treat. There was no poverty, no one begging for money, no poor kids trying to sell you things, no shoe shine boys telling you how hungry they were. It was all just pretty, middle to upper class and normal. So normal.

What a luxury!! (that almost sounds inappropriate)

Everything was so clean, well maintained and proper. The streets were smooth, the sidewalks were smooth, the air was clean and fresh. Driving in a car was a treat, especially with someone who actually knows how to drive!!

What a luxury!!

These were some of the key points of my trip of differences between the 1st world and the 3rd world. But that’s not really why I wanted to share this with you. As always, there’s a bigger message here (shocker!!).

Look around you. Look at all the things you have. Look at all the things you take for granted every single day. That may be an assumption on my part but I know when I lived in Canada I never thought to be grateful for clean running tap water or even a bathtub.

Stop and look around you!!

There are millions of people around the world who would give up everything they have (which is a ridiculous statement really because these people have so little to begin with) to have what you have, what you take for granted

Stop and look around you!!

Enjoy and be grateful for your amazing produce section, your fine cuts of meat, your clean water, your nice streets, the peace and quiet of the evening, need I go on?

We are grateful for many things like family and friends and life and even good health but we forget to be grateful for all the simple things in life. We forget to be grateful for the things we have that others only dream of having.

Though my time in Florida was spent relaxing and enjoying the company of my friend who I hadn’t seen since May (you can read more about him here) it was a real eye opener for me. Even though I marveled at all the luxuries and yes I do miss some of them, I wouldn’t trade my third world life in for any of it ever again.

Though I am without all the luxuries I’ve known for 53 years of my life, nothing compares to the life of freedom and purpose I have here in Guatemala. I am very grateful for my getaway in Florida and grateful for all the amazing luxuries I was able to enjoy.

But Guatemala is home now ❤ and I’ll always choose this place over first world luxuries.

Mmmmm blueberries 😜

Peace and Love

xo iva xo

Self help Guru|Expat|Website: mini self help eBook series here:

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