12 things no-one tells you about travelling in Central America
I wasn't scared to visit this part of the world but I 100% came here with an attitude of skepticism. Trust no-one, be super careful, never leave your valuables unprotected blah blah blah. The truth is I've learnt that those things are really the least of your worries! It's the little stuff no-one tells you about that ends up exasperating you most. So here's a few things no-one told me about before I left...
1. Hot showers are non existent. If you happen to get a luke warm one you're living in luxury my friend!
2. You'll suffer a mini heart attack on every bus journey, no joke the drivers are lunatics and if you survive it's a straight up miracle.
3. Finding an ATM that will actually give you money often turns into an epic and vexing endevour. That 'brrrr' noise the machine makes as it counts the cash has recently become my favourite sound.
4. Get used to lumpy pillows and no blankets. There's nothing quite like sleeping on what might as well be a full sack of potatoes. The blanket situation is fine most of the time as it's generally hot, but in mountainous regions such as Guatemala you're likely to find yourself sleeping in a jumper and using your bath towel as a pathetic but necessary source of warmth.
5. If you don't speak Spanish you better be seriously good at mime. Thankfully I've always been pretty good at charades...
6. Nothing is ever on time, like ever. Whatever time you were told go ahead and add one hour to that.
7. Without cash you're royally screwed, which highlights point 3 above.
8. There's a distinct lack of veg, I'm craving broccoli more than a Londoner craves the sun.
9. People are way more friendly and helpful than you're led to believe! Don't be so entitled to think the locals are all out to kidnap you, I'm pretty sure they have better things to do.
10. It's totally safe, don't listen to all the horror stories. Sure bad stuff can happen but if you've got a normal functioning brain, i.e. you're not an idiot then you'll be fine.
11. It's the BEST learning experience you'll ever undertake. No school and no amount of reading can ever teach you the things that travel, real travel will.
12. All the 'bad' stuff in points 1 - 8 is actually the good stuff in hiding. That's the stuff that makes for the best stories and in years to come when you look back at the memories it'll be those things you remember most vividly and spend hours laughing about!