Updated: Apr 21, 2021
Whenever I mention the idea of traveling with strangers, I’m greeted with a lot of questions, concerns, and overall hesitancy. Traveling in itself can be pretty dangerous. Interacting with strangers is something we’ve been taught to approach with caution since we were children. Hello, stranger danger! But learning how to interacting with strangers is a necessity of life. And traveling with strangers turned out to be one of the best group experiences I’ve ever had.
During the beginning of the pandemic, I joined in on a group trip to Antigua, Guatemala, randomly through Facebook. I saw an old friend share a post of a gorgeous villa and decided to go. Seeing as the trip dates were well into the following year, I figured traveling wouldn’t be an issue.
Of course, I had my reasons for being apprehensive. Group trips with people I knew didn’t work out in the past, so traveling with strangers was a little intimidating. The group chats didn’t make me feel any more comfortable, seeing as I suck at those.
The date arrived, and I hopped on the plane. It was time to join a group of 18 people in Guatemala, the land of volcanoes. To ensure our safety, we had to travel with a negative Covid-19 test when going and coming.
The villa was more beautiful in person than in the pictures. The house supported 20 guests, with three floors, 10 bedrooms complete with 12.5 bathrooms, an indoor fireplace, a private pool, a jacuzzi equipped with a bbq grill area, and a guesthouse amid lush trees and three volcanoes in view. Not to mention the fantastic in-house staff who were always ready and willing to assist all of our needs. It was truly an oasis, indeed.
As a group, we got along great and found activities to accommodate everyone. A constant flow of shots, laughter, and music filled the air of our holiday. We went for a three-hour ATV tour through the mountains with Simoon Rentals & Tours. We took a day trip to the black sands of La Playa de Monterrico and visited Altamira's Giant Hand at Hobittenango Nature Parks. Of course, we wandered the streets of the city, visiting local bars and restaurants, overindulging in everything from delicious tacos and tostadas to finding the local chicken shop. Returning to the villa for a seated dinner and evening swims.
I made unique memories with strangers from different parts of the country that I now consider my friends. Who would’ve thought this would be possible in a pandemic. A wonderful experience that I give five stars and highly recommend! My advice is to stop waiting on your friends to travel, join a travel group if you must, pack a bag and go!