Friday, May 30, 2014

The Top Five Scariest Things that Did Not Happen on My Trip to Central America (and five other things that did)

There are so many myths and fears that surround travel. If we let them, they can scare us away from going anywhere besides our own front yard. Here are five fears our group had before our trip to Belize and Guatemala that did not come true, along with five other things that actually happened.


DID NOT HAPPEN:

 
1. My flesh was not infested with botfly larvae. All anyone could talk about at the airport were the bugs that attached themselves to the legs of mosquitos, then burrowed into your skin when the mosquito landed and laid eggs in your skin. It takes about two weeks for the larvae to hatch, so it looks like I’m in the clear! Sorry to anyone I just grossed out.

2. I was not bitten by a fer de lance. The seventh deadliest snake in the world, its venom rots your flesh. The only one we saw was behind glass in a zoo.

3. I was not captured while crossing the border into Guatemala and sent to serve as a slave on a coffee farm. A lot of people were super nervous about going to Guatemala (it’s a less peaceful country than Belize…they also allegedly don’t like Americans OR Belizeans), but we were perfectly safe. Guatemala was my favorite stop on the trip!

4. I did not wake up with a tarantula on my face. They were around…I just chose not to look at them, and they left me alone. We never had one in our house, thankfully.

5. I contracted zero illnesses from bugs, reptiles, food or water. My mom sent me off with all sorts of stomach soothing medicine, none of which I used, and I didn’t bother getting malaria pills from my doctor.

 
DID HAPPEN:

1. I accumulated at least fifty bug bites. I quickly learned to apply bug spray like sunscreen: on every inch of your body.

2. I found a baby scorpion in our jungle lodge hallway. (“Hey, guys…is this a bug, or….”)

3. A frog leapt onto my hiking boot. I screamed. Again and again.

4. Sunburn on my butt. To be fair, it was the backs of my thighs below my butt, but it didn’t make sitting down any less painful.

5. I almost had a panic attack in an iguana enclosure. 50 iguanas…and they can leap onto people! Thankfully they stayed away from me and the guy showing us the exhibit got the message after the first time he tried to hand me an iguana.  

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