Guatemala: The Top 5 List

I mentioned in our video blog that mere hours after Billy first told me he loved me, I hopped on a plane headed for Guatemala. My original plan, which I told him on our first-ish date, was to learn Spanish.

Since our relationship was becoming more serious, I was also looking forward to meeting Billy’s family. It was definitely a little nerve-wracking to have that introduction without Billy present, but my in-laws are some of the most welcoming people you will ever meet. They made me feel right at home.

Here are my Top 5 memories from my first international trip AND my first meeting with my future in-laws.
# 1 - Billy’s parents picked my roommate and me up at the airport, which was an awesome blessing. While driving us back to their house to recover from the red-eye flight, Billy’s mom shared how glad she was that I was dating her son. “He’s getting old,” she told me. 

# 2 - I loved riding in the back of pickup trucks. Occasionally, we would go on “field trips” with our language school, and my favorite ones included this mode of transportation… except when it was cold and raining.

# 3 - While my friends and I were bagging our groceries at the store, my future mother-in-law asked me, “Sarita… do you love my son?” As you may recall, Billy himself was still awaiting this declaration, so I did what any weird person would do… I giggled and said, “sort of.” My friends could not stop laughing.

# 4 - I also got a big kick out of riding the Greyhound bus. As if the high speeds and precarious turns weren’t enough excitement, my bus soon pulled over so my driver could get in a fist fight with another driver. As everyone piled off the bus, my friend and I tried to decipher what was happening. Very quickly, the police showed up and everyone hurried back onto the bus… one man tossing his machete back into the overhead compartment. Whew!

# 5 - Eventually and unceremoniously, I closed a phone conversation with Billy by mumbling “I love you.” Seconds later, the phone rang again. He was calling back for confirmation about what he thought he’d heard.

It was a phenomenal trip. What stand-out memories do you have from your first trip abroad? Or maybe your first time meeting your in-laws?

If you want to catch up on all the posts about how we met, click here. If you want to read more about my husband's immigration experience, begin here. To find out what happened when I returned home to L.A., click here


  1. My first trip abroad (if you don't count Canada) was wild and crazy mission trip to Costa Rica and I remember being afraid of the giant spiders among other things!
    Also, I met my sister-in-law first and I remember she was offended that I didn't like the food in the particular restaurant that we had gone to. I am picky and she is a foody who had also been raised to NEVER say anything bad about the food. Oy!

    1. Ah... food. Often a bit complicated while traveling. Thanks for sharing!


I love to hear from you! Like, seriously. It makes my day. Please feel free to respond, question, or add your perspective. Of course, please keep your words respectful. Thanks for reading and joining in the conversation!

A Life with Subtitles. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.