I plan to take my niece, Kayla, to Guatemala this year. She’s never been out of the country before and, actually, not to far from the confines of Ohio. I feel that I have benefited greatly from travel and wish to offer her the opportunity for those same benefits. She’s 17. It’s a great place to start. She’s already applied for her passport. Now, all we need to do is wait for it to show up and then I can begin the planning process.
I chose the country. At first, I chose San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Mainly because I knew of a fantastic homestay as well as a very good language school there. My only requirement of her was that she take Spanish for a week, in-country, to which she agreed, in exchange, I would provide the all expenses paid travel. Pretty good deal, no? 🙂
Anyway, I had to switch to Guatemala because Mexico has some pretty onerous laws having to do with minors (under 18) entering and leaving the country. So, I switched to Guatemala, which has no such laws. We will follow the same type of schedule though. Homestay with a Guatemalan family, school 4 hours a day, in the morning, and fun, sun, and exploring in the afternoon and evenings. I need to remind her to save some of her money so that she will have some for shopping! Girls like to shop!
She’s very excited about the opportunity, as am I. I think that she’ll get lots of value from this. Who knows, she may even want to learn to speak another language. I want her to have a bit of discomfort, being in a country where she doesn’t speak the language and needing to struggle a little bit. It provides one with a bit of insight as to the struggle that people from other countries may incur when switching countries. Also, it will give her a look into the lives of other people.
I’m ready to do it, as is she!