Exactly where is home? Well, “my hat” currently hangs in the village of San Marcos La Laguna on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, where I’ve lived for three years now. Before this stint, my list of homes reads like a travel brochure: Zanzibar, Indonesia, Mozambique, New Zealand, Thailand and Costa Rica are just some of the highlights.
I left home years ago, fueled by a desire to find the perfect location and to see the world. Every year saw me moving on to the next potential paradise. Some might say I’m hard to please. But I have no regrets. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each experience and I’m living my dream.
Now at 37 I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m ready to settle down. I feel part of the community in San Marcos and I love the relaxed lifestyle. It’s one of the most beautiful spots on the lake. There are few roads, instead mostly walking paths that wind around lush, blossoming vegetation.
I can bump into friends just leaving the house or lose myself in nature for quality personal time. The number of expats living around the lake means it’s possible to buy almost anything you want but still escape from media and TV. And there’s always the Internet for the latest sports scores.
Turning pro as a scuba-diving instructor in 2003 was the best decision I ever made and gave me unparalleled freedom. It allowed me to check that the business, the location and even the country was really what I wanted. If not, I’d simply grab a bus to the next coast. A percentage of dive staff are always seasonal so I’d just make sure to arrive at my chosen destination before the shops began hiring.
**Kathryn’s full story is in the current issue of International Living magazine. In it, she details her cost of living and gives advice to anyone looking for freedom overseas. Subscribe now and get instance access to the current issue.
Editor’s note: Learn more about Guatemala and other countries in IL’s daily postcard e-letter. Sign up for these free daily postcards here and we’ll send you a FREE REPORT: A Taste of Guatemala.