Traveling is something that I and my social environment take for granted. Sometimes I almost feel bad when I tell people that I am just going to stay at home during my vacation. It is almost normal to go somewhere during vacation times. Just as I am doing right now, I am staying for 8 weeks in Guatemala.

During my time here – at this point the 8 weeks are almost over – I have met many people for which the world is not a place that can be explored in the way we do, simply because they cannot afford to do so. For example the Spanish teachers or the host family. Of course, this is a great topic to talk about. They are probably used to students who have traveled to many places and want to tell stories about these experiences. When talking about this topic, I get the feeling that they would love to travel too. Also I am wondering what the people in the street are thinking of us “gringos” who come and visit. On the one hand, tourists bring business. On the other, it probably constantly reminds them that they are missing out on something. The problem is obvious: It is simply too expensive. Just the airfare costs a fortune. Compared to countries like Guatemala, most other countries are very expensive. For us travelers who mostly live in countries with strong currencies, it is vice versa. With the power of our currencies, life in countries such as Guatemala is quite cheap in comparison.

So, with that in mind, just a little call-up to all my fellow travelers: Take a moment and remind yourself how lucky you are, being able to explore the treasures of the world. For most of the people of this world it is not possible to do so. For you it IS possible, and this is a huge gift.

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