"Have you thought you might should be in California?"
- Iron & Wine, California
dear readers, today is officially the last day of my trip!
i've been a few weeks behind in my blog posts (when i get home i'll add more detail about my trip to antarctica and the highlights of buenos aires, as well as finally write those Hungary, Jordan, and Oman blog posts), so i'll quickly bring you up to date: since i was feeling ready to return home at last, i updated my itinerary to shave a few weeks off of my previous trip plan, and decided that my last day would be march 20. so tomorrow i'm up at 4am (for the second day this week) to get to the airport and catch my Delta flight to LAX.
i arrived in antigua via a $10 shuttle minivan from the airport at around 9pm, and checked into the Black Cat Hostel, which i'd found after doing a bunch of searching online for a good hostel in antigua (they're too new to be in the current lonely planet). this is definitely one of the best hostels i've stayed at in latin america, and far better than the somewhat run-down lime house hostel in buenos aires (they win the award of worst hostel breakfast in the world! come on guys, at least empty your coffee pot of yesterday's old coffee before making today's coffee in it). after slugging down a few beers at the bar in the light of the jar candles arranged along the wall, i headed out with several other people from the hostel to hit some of the other bars in antigua.
after getting up and enjoying the delicious french toast for breakfast here, the coffee cleared my mind enough to notice that it's a beautiful sunny day here in antigua, guatemala, with only a few white streaks of clouds in the sky. the city itself is a fantastic place, reminding me a lot of the time i spent in cuzco, and i'm looking forward to posting a lot of the photos i've taken today. culturally, it's been really interesting to move from the southernmost city (mas o menos!) in south america up into central america, and then to los angeles to see a little bit of the origin and evolution of the latin american influences in LA.
do i have any regrets about my trip ending tomorrow morning? suprisingly, not many! it's been a fantastic journey over the last 12.5 months, but i really feel ready to move on to the next stage of my life, and i will treasure having my own bedroom to sleep in, and not having to live out of a backpack every day.
in other words, i'm ready for California and home at long last. and this trip has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life.