Living simply in the wild

Spill the Beans already!

Two weeks ago we gave you a little teaser here, and we were waiting to make the reveal until the plans were definite. More like we had to make sure plane tickets were purchased so there wasn’t any turning back.Ever since Ranger and I met we’ve talked about living abroad. We were totally ready to take the plunge into Australia and become expats. And then… we had a baby. After baby 1 came ‘let’s get a big person job’. After the job came ‘let’s get married’. After ‘let’s get married’ came baby 2. After baby 2 came ‘get a house’. After we got a house we were now living the —–Que the big microphone with an echo—–AMERICAN DREAM!Two kids, two cars, a house, a job. Yes, that’s exactly what we hadn’t ‘dreamed’ of so many years ago.We have recently, once again, took a step back and looked at our life. We live in Washington State where the ‘reflect upon your life’ really seems to happen ALL THE TIME. And i feel very strongly that once you make a huge change for the better in your life, you will then continue making great changes. So we reflected and guess what? We went back to what we had dreamed of years and years ago. Living abroad. I’ve met so many incredible families out there lately who have really touched our lives in so many ways and have inspired us to finally take that plunge. If you want to see what and who has inspired and even helped us on our decisions check out Edventure Project, Witness Humanity, The Nomadic Family, Raising MiroTravel with Bender 1 Dad 1 Kid. World Travel FamilyThe Family Adventure Project. These people are all so amazing and helpful!

So details! Yes, i’m getting to those….

We are about to embark on a journey that sets at the end of our comfort zone…remember life begins at the end of you comfort zone!

Where in the world (literally) are you going?

Plane tickets are bought and we are headed to Central America. Yes, that is right we are flying into Guatemala on December 9th 2013. Let’s here those Gasps, OOOOoooo’s, Awwwwww’s, and Oh No’s!

Lake Atitlan Guatemala


How long are you staying?

We have a return flight booked for March 25th 2014. That is 106 days, or 3 months 16 days. That seems like a long time for a ‘regular’ vacation, but let me say we aren’t considering this a vacation. This is a vagabond, a way of life, a chance to experience the world. This will be the fastest 2544 hours we’ve ever had.

Guatemala Market

What will you be doing?

We will be doing a number of things throughout those months of travel. We will be learning, exploring, and will be helping out the local communities while we are there. We have already been in contact with one group on the ground that we are going to Volunteer with for a while when we are there. We may meet people along the way we wish to help, or we may do something along the lines of helping out this farmer,  or building a Mayan Eco-Homestead. Once we are down there and mingling with the locals we will have more then enough to stay busy. We are also hoping that if we stay in one spot long enough the Junior Rangers will be able to attend a school for a while when we are there.

Women in the fields

Where the heck will you be staying?

We will potentially be staying in a number of places. From hostels (yes, most are safer then the horror film you’ve heard of), guest houses,  housesitting (if we can find one), and even renting a small place of our own.

How will you be getting around?

Traveling in other countries can be tricky but also very cheap and convenient. Renting bikes, taking busses, hiring tuk-tuks or taxis. And of course, walking, lots of walking.

Tuk Tuk in motion

Do you and the boys need special vaccinations?

We will be working with our local health professional to make sure we are good and prepared. There are obviously many new health issues to be aware of when traveling abroad. Don’t you worry…we are on it!

Antigua, Guatemala

Did you choose Guatemala for a reason?

Other then the fact it is known as the land of eternal spring, its stunning colonial architecture, only 2% of its landmass is urbanized, jungles, volcanoes, cheapest place to live in Central America, its ancient mayan cultures and ruins, freshest fruits and vegetables for pennies. I’m sorry, WHY did we choose Guatemala?

Tikal, Guatemala

Are you traveling to other countries?

We may! We will only be able to stay in Guatemala for 90 days before we will have to make a border run to renew our Visas. So we may dip into a surrounding country for a little bit before returning to Guatemala to catch our plane home. Honduras, El Salvador, or perhaps Belize. I’m not sure how we’ll decide!

Livingston, Guatemala

How are you paying for this?

Not very easily. If you don’t know how much newbie park rangers make i’ll tell you…not very much. But we made it a priority. With Rangers job we are able to have a few months break from working since he is a Seasonal Ranger. So we’ve spent our time saving and saving and saving and even doing some more saving. Amber’s been doing side jobs and saving that money as well. We’ve done the math and have figured out that it will be just as cheap, if not cheaper, to take this trip then to live in Chelan over the winter months.

We also have this handy PayPal Donate button for anyone who wishes to donate. Each donation is through the Secure PayPal website and will help us be able to spend our time down there volunteering and helping the local communities as much as we can. It will also go to paying for the boys school if that part of our trip works out.

*All donors will receive a little something from us while in Guatemala.

Central America is dangerous right? So is it safe?

No matter where you travel, even in the US, there are dangers lurking. We aren’t going to pretend there aren’t certain risks. But we carry risks walking down the streets in most places in the US. But you do have to be aware, and educated as to the realities of where you are. It is all about traveling smart, and trust me…we’ve been researching all the tips and tricks and will be aware and use common sense while traveling, like we always do. Obviously I have my own fears i’m dealing with on this journey that i’m sure will be shared in time, so please non-supporters and pessimists do not add my list.

Haven’t you watched the news lately? It doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Actually No, we haven’t watched the news lately and i refuse to do so. I am keeping tabs on the travel warnings out there. Most media sources are competing for your attention, they are looking for the stories that will capture your attention…not give the whole picture of a place. Look at how the media portrays the United States…would you say that is a balanced picture of what daily life is like in the United States? Didn’t think so.

Rio Dulce, Izabal, Guatemala

Isn’t Living life so rewarding?

More like scary as hell. We have been spending weeks super excited about this trip and dreaming and planning and plotting. But yes, it is scary and nerve wracking. And completely out of our comfort zone. But if we let fear or comforts rule our life…well i’m not sure i’d want to live in that life. I’m sure we will have some struggles and tough times down there. But i know we will also have such a beautiful experience and learn so much in those few short months.


If you have any questions you’d like us to answer please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We are striving to be as clairvoyant as possible with our readers! And if you can’t tell from all the explanation marks….we are SUPER Excited!!! Until we take off for Guatemala we will be learning some spanish, tying up loose ends, dealing with nerves and staying super excited! Guatemala here we come!




7 responses

  1. Krynn

    I’m very excited for you. I follow your blog as a recc from Michelle P. (one of you sons Preschool teacher). My husband and I went to Costa Rica for our honeymoon, my first trip and his 4ish. It was awesome and terrifying. Different noises, animals, weather (the hundred year storm happened while we were there) language, etc. It was an experience I will never forget or would have been able to do in the US. I look forward to going back and taking our two boys some day. Of course there are differences and dangers, but it seems to me you are being very thorough in your preparation. Enjoy! Can’t wait to read about all that you experience!

    September 6, 2013 at 11:21 am

    • Simply The Wildside

      So glad to have you along! Thank you so much.

      We thought about going to costa rica for a while when we eventually settled on Guatemala. I think traveling with children while young is such an awesome experience. We’re looking forward to learning A LOT.

      September 8, 2013 at 8:08 pm

  2. Im guatemalan my wife and my kids are moving to guatemala in november and we are coming back at the end of february the winter are hard for me i live here in minnesota and is really cold during winter so we decide to move down for at least three months good luck to you and about safety we have the power to keep our love ones safe if we live smart

    September 18, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    • Simply The Wildside

      Thanks Julio. Minnesota is way too intense for me in the winter too! Look forward to keeping in touch with you. Maybe we’ll meet down in Guatemala.

      September 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

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