Guatemala Travel Stories, Page 10

I Had an Insight on Why I Travel

I have said on many occasions,
"I will travel until I know why I travel."

If I ask myself the question,
"Andy, what is more important to you, that you can travel or that you can live cheaper outside the USA?"

I have to say,
"That life is cheaper outside the USA, often Travel is the hassle."

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Wednesday, May 12, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Economic Refugee
My friend Chris said to me,
"I am an economic refugee."
"I cannot afford to live in the USA, it cost too much, I must live in Guatemala."

I Cringe
Sometimes I think about stopping travel and returning to the USA, but I cringe. I do not want to pay all that money to live there…

I Had an Insight on Why I Travel

Photos I am Too Excited I Must Tell You

You can now see all the photos I take daily, this is truly a windfall for me, there is almost no work on my part, the computer does the heavy lifting.

I took this photo yesterday, but there are many more, and now you can see the new ones daily, no waiting.

Click here to see this new project that is fun.

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Tuesday, May 11, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Blame Boy Genius from India
Me and boy genius from India have been having daily conversations over Yahoo Messenger talk trying to simplify this on my end.

I take the photos.
Download from camera.
Delete the bad ones
Click run and I am finished
10 minutes of work and my job is done.

Web Design is a Process
Web design is an evolving process, it is not an event, and we will continue to improve.

Thank Boy Genius from India; we are off to a great start.

Photos I am Too Excited I Must Tell You

I Thought Kenya was Part of Africa

I received a truly enjoyable letter from a person in Kenya today, he or she told me.
Kenyans and all "Africans" a like do not think of themselves as "Africans"

I think of this a great example of what I feel is a social problem called:
I am having fun making a portmanteau by using "Social Status" and "Racism" to create the word.

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Monday, May 10, 2010
By Andy Graham of


The Letter
Help Center Message: Andy,
You are incredibly ethnocentric in your interpretation of Kenyan culture. One thing that you should have obviously noticed (if you were culturally perceptive) when you came here is that Kenyans and all "Africans" a like do not think of themselves as "Africans" in the sense of a unified homogeneous state. It's offensive to refer to a Kenyan by the continent. In the same I don't refer to Haitians, Canadians, Jamaicans and Mexicans e.t.c as North Americans.

It's also funny that you think that Kenyans don't have an entrepreneurial acumen, you visited rural areas populated by ethnic groups that have historically been economically marginalized. Most of them don't value entrepreneurship because they have never been exposed to it. And if you have not noticed, our economic system is not like your American system so don't make comparisons and judgments as if we share the same system. In Kenya, wealth is controlled by a select few elitists, families who were among the first to industrialize this country, the wealth is kept in these families and rarely does a substantial amount of wealth reach average Kenyans. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a well to do aristocratic family in Kenya that valued the art of entrepreneurship and I think it's important for other Kenyans to do so, but I'm foolish enough to assume that ALL kenyans should have an innate desire to make money. Your generalizations and stereotyp! es are hurtful and uncalled for. I'm glad that you took your bitter behind out of our country.

Category: Question for Andy
Name: Mbaluka Mutinda
EMail: Removed
Country: Kenya

Detected IP Address:

I guess he or she believe I would feel repulsion to be called a "North American." What this persons is saying between the lines is this,
"Do not group me or my country with countries I consider below me, we think we are special, therefore you are offending us."


Please remove my email from you website, you posted it without my
consent and I am receiving unwanted emails from your readers. I'm
really disappointed in you but I can't say that I'm surprised. You
take pictures of natives without their permission, you publish private
emails of your readers without their permission and you disrespect the
cultures and the people that you visit. I apologize if my first email
came across a bit aggressive, I wrote it in anger and retaliation
because I felt like you went out of your way to insult my nation.

Peace and love

I Thought Kenya was Part of Africa

Too Much Time and Money to Maintain

People that believe in the 500 Dollar paradise have learned a lesson. We do not buy things; we do not buy stuff, because it takes too much time and money to maintain them.

French Press

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Sunday, May 9, 2010
By Andy Graham of


I Have to Mow the Lawn
I have walked up to many a friend and asked,
"You want to go get a cup of coffee?"
They say,
"I need to mow the lawn."
I think to myself,
"I wish they would sell that house."

Do I Need Things
One of the best reasons to travel is to break the habit of buying, I have just a backpack. Yes, I still buy things, but I have realized, I cannot carry or pack all that stuff into my backpack when I lave. Moreover, for sure I am too cheap to send things home, that place where I have not lived for 12 years… I accept, nobody cares what I own, nobody wants to hear, or listen to me tell him or her what I purchased, I have more friends when I do not brag about what I own.

It is depressing to throw away many things I have purchased when I move onto a new location, finally I have learned by traveling to buy what I need, not what I want.

Too Much Time and Money to Maintain

Finding a 500 Dollar Per Month Paradise in Guatemala

I believe people have a dream, a lofty floating thought that moves in and out of their brain about a place where they will be happy. As soon as I tell a person I have visited 88 countries, the next question that comes out of their mouth is,
"Which country is your favorite?"

I know the answer that will make them happy --- it is the country in their dream.
- It is not Guatemala, they generally do not dream of Guatemala.

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Friday, May 7, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Which Country is Paradise for Me?
Wrong question, as a Professional traveler, the answer would be 5-6 countries, there is no way I can choose just one; I would never risk everything on one endeavor. It would be silly, why choose one when I can choose five or even all of them.

Togo West Africa
Colombia or maybe Peru
Latvia maybe if I had more money.

I would choose these countries because they allow me to meet new friends easy, and I am a rich man in these countries, well, I need to exclude Latvia, I am not rich there.

You are Brave Enough to Test a Country
I know all of you have it in you, you all can come to Guatemala and test the country, or get this one country scenario out of your brain, choose one of the 252 for an interview.

How to interview and test Guatemala?

Gamble one month of your life on a city, probably one these five locations are going to be on your list. Maybe I should make a list of the top five places to live on 500 dollars per month for every country, what I would be the best places to start, you can always change as you go, but here I my list for Guatemala, generally 90 percent are going to be happy enough.

I can live comfortably in any of these five locations, with zero problems.

A. Antigua

B. Lago Atitlan or Panajachel

C. Quetzaltenango

D. Rio Dulce

E. Coban

Find Friends
Now comes the hard part, it will make this journey easier if you can find a friends in one of these locations who will allow you to call them on However, you must steer them, you must say,
"I want to find a room for 200 Dollars per month?"
If they say something silly, like,
"Not possible."
Then you need to classify them as too stupid to help, Guatemala is one of the easiest places on the planet to find a room for 200 dollars per month.

I can find an acceptable 200 dollar per month room in any country on the planet. Generally, I like countries where this is easy to do, not difficult.

Finding a 500 Dollar Per Month Paradise in Guatemala

My 500 Dollars a Month Paradise in Guatemala

After 12 years of travel, I finally accept the majority of my readers do not trust me, they think I live like a Hobo, when in reality I live in Paradise.

I pay 187.46 US Dollars per month for my Private room in Hotel Posada Don Carlos here in Panajachel, Guatemala. I pay daily, the monthly rate is cheaper... hehehe

80 Cable Channels, with HBO, Cinemax, CNN and all the other stations.
High-speed Internet that allows me to use 24 hours per day.

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Thursday, May 6, 2010
By Andy Graham of


I was living across the street in the Hotel El Amigo for the same price, the room was nicer, but I enjoy the family environment and the courtyard of Hotel Posada Don Carlos.

Friends Annoy Me
It annoys me when my friends do not believe me I live in Paradise, however I must accept it. Generally, people believe they need to pay 100 dollars per night to have a great room. If they believed me, then they would need to accept paying 100 Dollars per night is stupid.

I guess there is a group of us that will always have the paradise to ourselves; there is no need to worry that we need to share.

Chris said to me,
"I do not want to tell people, maybe the Hotel will be too full, and I would lose my room."
I said,
"Do not worry, they do not believe us."

My 500 Dollars a Month Paradise in Guatemala

Travel Drives People Insane

I call it "Losing the Plot."

What do you call foreigners who dress up funny, I was told the word is "trustafarian," however there has to be a better word.

Trustafarian: One Definition
Portmanteau of trust fund and rastafarian. A hippie poser. Essentially a rich kid who smokes weed, wears hats designed to hold dreads when he in fact has none, and uses the word "peace" to say bye.
Money can't buy hippieness, you stupid trustafarian!

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Wednesday, May 5, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Travel convinces men to carry purses and wear dresses, I told someone,
"They are drinking the water."

These Are Not Trust Fund Kids
Yes, the urban dictionary sort of describes these boys as Trustafarians. I do not buy this definition; I do not think these two are living off a trust fund; however, the first does indeed have dreads.

Lately, I have been interviewing the people in Pana their opinions of this, and so far, I am the only one that thinks of it is strange. I have to deduce, if I am the only one that thinks it is crazy, then I am the person who is crazy. I know dressing in normal western clothing from the USA could be considered an act of rebellion here in Guatemala.

Yes, I am quite sure, travel causes mental illness, and the sad part is I am not joking.

Travel Drives People Insane

Who Gives You a Sense of Mastery

Seth Godin says a write is "often better off giving the majority a sense of mastery and a platform to take action."
- Seth Godin
The Goal of Writing

Seth Godin

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Wednesday, May 5, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Seth Godin is what I would call a motivational writer, he generates missives that props up the emotional status of his readers, and then hopefully they take action and do something. Maybe this is possible, personally, I am not so sure, but motivational speakers and writers do make us feel good, and that is probably a good thing.

I do not wish to prop you up or blow wind up your skirt, however I will recommend you find something in your life, something specific that you do very well, something you can say to yourself, I am the master of this… and when you do, you may feel empowered enough to say you are responsible for your life, the master of your fate.

Who Gives You a Sense of Mastery