At the book launch for All I’m Asking, I talked about how one of the inspirations for my novel came from the long distance email communications between me and my friend, Jen. She and I met online about twelve or so years ago (I live in Minnesota, she lives in Tennessee) and a couple of years after that we took a risk and decided to spend two weeks together in Guatemala.
It wasn’t our first time meeting in real life. It was the second. That’s how confident we were in our friendship. I mean, smarter people would have maybe chosen a shorter trip because what if we’d had completely different traveling habits? What if week two was hell together?
But of course, it wasn’t. (Although, it’s given me an idea for a story, now!) In fact, we took three more trips together after that (Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Peru) and several States-side long weekends, including blending our families together on a couple of different occasions, too. As it turns out, we are fantastic travel partners. We share similar attitudes and curiosities and complement each other in planning and in-country decision-making. After that first trip to Guatemala, we decided to do a trip together every couple of years.
We had to miss our 2020 adventure, but finally got to play it out last month in Belize. It was an amazing trip with both jungle and beach adventures (including snorkeling–a first for me!). Belize was a beautiful joy and the time together with my friend was a much-needed balm after some wearying years. What an incredible privilege and gift it has been to have these trips. I’m ever grateful.