This past weekend we took a trip to Lake Atitlan in Solola, Guatemala (a little more about location down below). It was a family trip with the in-laws to welcome my husband’s youngest brother back from a 2 year mission in Honduras. It was a time of family bonding and catching up – for them. For me it was something a little bit different – it was time to do a couple of things that I love – relaxing and simply taking a trip.

So we rented a house in a remote little lakeside town called Cerro de Oro. The house was wonderful and you could find a spot to relax anywhere you looked at. And the view… that breathtaking view!

The view from the house

So where exactly were we?

Guatemala is located in Central America. Just like the US is divided in states; Guatemala is also divided in what we call “Departments”. One of the country’s departments is Solola – home to the world famous Lake Atitlan.

Picture courtesy of worldlakes.org

 

It is a very large lake, and it’s surrounded by 3 volcanoes – Atitlan, Toliman and San Pedro. All around the lake there are many little towns or villages that host thousands of tourist from all over the world each year. Taking a trip here is so relaxing. One of these little villages is Cerro de Oro where we rented that little cozy house I’m talking about.

Now that you know where (almost) exactly we were, let me tell you and show you some of the things that I loved most about this trip. Don’t forget to leave me your comments down below – I’d love to hear from you!

Family Time

As I told you before, we made this trip so we could spend time together as a family. My mother-in-law even had special t-shirts made for us so we could take a cute group picture. I firmly belive that our family is one of the most important things we have. Together we support one another during trials and difficult times. But we also celebrate and rejoice with our individual accomplishments. In other words,  we encourage each other to become better persons and therefore we become a better family. Are we perfect? We are far from it! But we try and we love each other and that’s what matters. 

Here we are with our panda shirts

Be Thankful

Our trip was right after Thanksgiving Day. This was a great opportunity to remind ourselves of how lucky we are and how much we have. It was also great to enjoy the nature all around us, by the way. One thing that I’ve learned is that the more grateful we are, the happier we become.

Let’s give thanks and try to see what good things you have – for starters you are alive! Life is a gift and the fact that we get to live another day is amazing! It’s a new opportunity to embrace this journey, to make a difference in the world, to smile, to share special moments with our loved ones.

Do this little and simple exercise with me: think about things you have that you may be giving for granted: For instance, it could be that you have a place to go and call home. Maybe it’s realizing that you had at least 3 meals today. Were you able to drink water right away when you got thirsty? Do you have clothes, or a job? Let’s keep focusing on the good things – you have eyes to marvel at the wonders of nature; ears to listen to music and beautiful sounds; and you have hands and arms to hold the ones you love.

Seriously, it’s good!

After that, you will realize that even if you don’t have all that, you are still lucky – you just have to look around you and you will start finding simple things that are true blessings and that you can be thankful for. Just as we focus on positive things and bring happiness to our lives, the opposite way of acting and thinking can bring you down. So if you start to focus on the bad moments or on negative aspects that may be going on with your life right now you can start feeling sad or angry or “feeling down” all the time. So cheer up! Life is good and you have many things to be grateful for.

Relaxing for a moment

Spending time with family and having fun was great! Being able to count our blessings and give thanks for all the amazing things we have in our lives was fulfilling! Sitting in front of the lake by myself and enjoy the view and taking a swim at the lake and close my eyes and not care about anything else – that was priceless! It truly was a very relaxing trip. 

I was just floating there, in the lake with no one else around me. It was quiet, it was absolutely relaxing and it felt good!

Taking time for yourself is important. I always believed that I need to be ok with myself in order for me to be ok for my family. They need me, my kids depend on me, and I have to be there for them. I cannot be there for them if I’m not feeling good. So really taking the time to relax, sit back, take a deep breath before going back to the routine, etc. are things that are very important. Do whatever you need to get better or feel more relaxed if you need to – unplug yourself from what’s causing you stress, go relax and take a trip if you can.

So bottom line is…

Not everything in life is going to be happy and merry and great, but it is up to us to decide if we face trials and difficulties with our head down on the floor or if we accept them as part of this wonderful journey called life. Be positive, be thankful – you will see how much it changes the way you see life and you will see how happier you will be.

In addition, watching the moon always makes me smile, so here is a picture of it shining over the lake – it was amazing to look at! I hope you like it as much as I do and that it also brings a smile to your face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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