By Carmen Schaffer, Viva La Vida Travel
If you’ve ever been to any country in Latin America, you will have realized and felt that there is a sense of passion that exists within its people and culture, one that is hard to explain yet easily felt. So often we have lived lives deprived of this sensation and when the feeling hits us, we are given an opportunity. We find ourselves not quite sure of what to do with this overwhelming opportunity, all that we know is that we love it and we want more. This feeling of passion and a joie de vivre exists and it is waiting for you to live it.
Anyone who is has been in an unfulfilled marriage that has resulted in divorce knows very well how one’s passion for life tends to get dulled if not erased by the ravages of monotonous cycles of dysfunction. Our sense of identity gets muted and we often times find ourselves feeling empty. What we need, after years of passionless living is to get away and jump start our lives. We need to feel things differently and more intensely so as to awaken what has always been within us yet has been dormant.
Take a look at these four great trips to Latin America, guaranteed to bring a bit more passion back into your life. There’s no better way to stoke the fire of your soul than with a getaway to anywhere Latin America.
1. Mexico City
Mexico City has been coined the Paris of Latin America. It is an enormous city with so much to see, do, and feel. Visit el Museo Frida Kahlo, renowned Mexican artist, and experience the essence of her work in the home that she used to live and create in. Explore the city via hot air balloon and see Mexico City in all of its glory from high above the hustle and bustle of the crowds below. Explore the world class Museo Nacional de Antropolgia, visit the grandiose colonial Palacio Nacional and see murals from the famed artist Diego Rivera.
Enjoy a gastronomic feast for the senses at one of the many fine dining options in Mexico City. If you’re more into eating like a local, grab some tacos al pastor and find a quiet spot in the zocalo ( the center of town} and take in the sights and sounds of city life in Mexico. After a couple of days in Mexico City, shoot over to the city of Tepotzlan, known as a Pueblo Magico ( Magic town) by the Mexican government. Hike el Cerro de Tepozteco and discover a pyramid on top of the mountain! Tepotzlan is known to be home to many mystics, energetic healers and chamans, which makes this a GREAT place to find your inner bliss. Enjoy a temazcal ( a dome shaped sweat lodge) and release the toxins of your body as you relax and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Return home feeling stimulated by all that Mexico City ignited within you and restored and renewed by the positive energy that surrounded you in Tepotzlan.
2. El Salvador
El Salvador is a teeny tiny country in Central America that borders Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. El Salvador is a tropical paradise, filled with Mayan ruins, volcanoes, volcanic lakes, an amazing coastline with world-class waves and colorful colonial towns that will render you speechless. El Salvador is just that kind of a place that lets you feel like you’ve gone where no one else has gone before, almost as though you’re a pioneer of travel. It’s off the beaten path enough to allow you to feel like you’re so far removed from your regular world,but it is civilized and enriching enough to feed your soul just as it needs to be fed.
If you want to go all out and get out of your comfort zone, try your hands at staying at a surf school. Attend surf lessons that will prepare you to surf with confidence, take a tour of the countryside with your private guide, get a massage on the beach, and then wash all that down with a cold beverage as you watch the sun set into the ocean. Let your problems dissolve as the sun sets and allow your soul to feel alive again and ready to take on anything that comes your way. El Salvador is most definitely a perfect place to renew yourself’ as the country itself has seen its fair share of hardships and understands the need for a renewal of sorts. Start your new life in El Salvador, embracing the struggles you had endured but render them no longer necessary and consider them part of your history as you set yourself free in El Salvador.
I know that I’m throwing all kinds of seemingly third world countries at you as options for a passion filled vacation but trust me on these, they will fill your cup more than you will have ever imagined.
Guatemala. What can I say about Guatemala? It’s rugged. It’s beautiful. It’s tropical. It’s indigenous. It’s home to the Mayan city of Tikal that dates back to the days before Christ. It’s magical. Guatemala is a destination that allows you to get right back to the organic state of yourself.
If you are really wanting to fill your spiritual cup, visiting the Mayan ruins of Tikal with a knowledgeable Mayan guide will impress and inspire you. You will be intrigued as you hear about your guide’s personal experiences within Tikal as well as the story that was the Mayan civilization that lived and thrived thousands of years ago.
When you’ve been humbled by Tikal, travel on to the city of Antigua where you will visit what was once the capital of all of Central America. Cobble stone streets wind throughout the city that is surrounded by volcanoes, which create yet another humbling and impressive back-drop to the city. Get lost in Antigua only to really be found.
Visiting Guatemala wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Lake Atitlan. Surrounded by volcanoes, Lake Atitlan provides you with Mother Nature’s finest attributes. Immerse yourself in nature, let your mind wander, and wonder as you experience all that is Guatemala.
4. Costa Rica
Ahhh, Costa Rica. The land of pura vida ( pure life) and natural beauty that embraces you every step of your journey.
Costa Rica is for nature lovers. Costa Rica is for people who want to get lost in the rainforest, who want to watch Toucans soar high above the canopy,, who want to wake up to the sounds of Howler monkeys, who want to get centered doing yoga on the beach at sunset, or who want to be one with the ocean and surf the waves that line the coasts. Costa Rica is for everyone.
The passion felt here isn’t loud spoken as it can be in Mexico and El Salvador. It’s understated and gentle, it’s a whisper of passion that reaches your soul through the sun’s rays, the ocean breezes and night sounds of the jungle. Costa Rica allows one to feel themselves without distractions. The people of Costa Rica are kind and caring and emanate a vibe of “pura vida” wherever they go. There is no rush in Costa Rica. . . . take your time, come into yourself, and enjoy the ride.
Start your trip to Costa Rica in San Jose and head south to the south pacific side of Costa Rica and nestle up in an eco-friendly rainforest lodge. Strip yourself of any fears you may have had about jungle living, get back to nature and feel yourself strong and sturdy as is the Ceiba tree.
If you want to challenge yourself and climb mountains, you can do it in Costa Rica. If you want to quiet your mind in the arms of Mother Nature, you can do it. There is a sense of passion that will come from you that you never knew existed when you travel to Costa Rica. A sense of connection to the world that is necessary to move forward in our regular lives.
There are so many places within Latin America that will reignite the fire within your soul. In my opinion, there is no greater place to get your groove back than in Latin America. Latin America has known struggle like you have. It has felt the pain of separation of its core-self. It has felt it all and yet it thrives and moves forward with a passion and a vibration that can only be described as enticing and motivating.
If you’re lost and want to be found. Go to Latin America. If you need passion in your life, go to Latin America. If you want to feel fulfilled and whole, go to Latin America. There is a magic that happens when we open our soul to the energy that surrounds us.
If you would like to learn how to jump- start your life through travel, join me on September 16 at 9 p.m. EDT as I discuss all things travel on Twitter. Use the hashtag #divorcetalk with thesmartdivorce.com. Join me at the Twitter party and come prepared with your questions and concerns. Reigniting your life through travel is not only necessary it’s also very possible. Join me on September 16 to find out how!
Viva la Vida!
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