Now I know how Rocky Balboa felt running up those steps…
I am not a big fan of challenges, however I have come to realize that as much as I don’t intrinsically like them, I need them to feel alive. I am not one to get bored or too comfortable. I keep going, I keep searching and dreaming…I keep creating and producing and working until…I stop and take it all in.
For many years I have been waning to visit Tikal. Tikal is an ancient archeological vestige of the Pre-Columbian Mayan civilization. It is located in the Guatemalan State of Petén. Ironically, during the 23 years I lived in Guatemala, I never went to Tikal, though it was right there in my backyard. It wasn’t until now, when I live thousands of miles away in another country that I finally got to go.
I planned the trip in 3 days. It was so rushed that I didn’t even tell my family in Guatemala that I was coming. Part of me didn’t want to worry them. I didn’t want anything or anybody to stop me from visiting this magical place. I had made up my mind that I was going.
I was lucky to find an accomplice in my cousin and some of his friends, so off we all went to Tikal. Less than one hour after boarding a small plane at the Guatemalan airport we landed in Petén. We then drove for 1 hour to the park. The journey there was beautiful, a joy in and of itself, but my mind was set on the destination.
Finally, we got there and it was not what I expected, it was so much more.
To see the ruins of El Gran Jaguar in person was as if a post card had come to life. It was a dream come true. I couldn’t believe that I was finally there. It was beautiful and real.
No, I did not get to run up the steps like Rocky Balboa, but I for sure felt how he did. I felt I had accomplished something great just by being there and I took it all in.
I took mental pictures, I smelled the grass, I touched the rocks and enjoyed every single drop of sweat running from my forehead down my body while hiking under the hot tropical weather. I chased monkeys trying to get pictures of them, I made new friends, I got a much-needed break, and I had the time of my life.
Visit Tikal. It is one of the most amazing places on earth.
What other places do you find magical?