This past November I was in-between jobs, a little lost, trying to find some extra ways to earn money. I wasn’t really sure what my next step was career-wise but I had faith and confidence that something good was around the corner if I looked and worked hard enough for it. I felt inclined to reach out to local Salt Lake companies I liked to simply ask if they needed extra content creators. I didn’t have expectations of anything happening but… Fast forward 3 months and I’m jumping off waterfalls in Guatemala with 9 of the best people I’ve ever met, working full time for a company I full heartedly love and believe in. It’s crazy how quickly things can change and for this particular change in my life… I AM SO SO SO GRATEFUL. My first week of working for Albion Fit, I sat down for a meeting with the 2 wonderful co-owners and Brad & Hailey Devine, dream team/videography extraordinaires. Liz, the Mother of Albion opened up the idea of bringing the Devine’s to Guatemala, the home of Albion’s factory and her childhood, to film a travel guide and lookbook for their 2016 swim collection. Little did I know when I was sitting in that room that the idea would quickly turn to reality and I would come along for the ride.
I had little knowledge of Guatemala before I went. I had seen some colorful pictures of the town Antigua but besides that I had no idea what I was getting into. It’s safe to say I was B L O W N A W A Y. Not only was Guatemala one of THE most beautiful places I’ve EVER been but it was bursting with adventure, passion and yummy food. The video Brad & Hailey created captures the amazingness but here were my top 2 things we did and should FOR SURE earn a place on your bucket list.
- TIKAL MAYAN RUINS @ SUNRISE
I remember sitting at a table eating a late dinner at our jungle hotel when Liz came up to us saying “I’ve got good news and bad news”. She informed us that she found a guide to take us on a tour of the Tikal Mayan ruins the next day BUT… the tour started at 3:00AM and involved hiking through a jaguar, snake, tarantula infested jungle to climb a mayan temple in time for sunrise. We all exchanged looks around the table and decided… well, we’re here! Let’s do it! 3 hours of sleep later we’re latched on to each other, hiking through a PITCH black jungle, using phone lights to guide our steps. We we’re deliriously laughing and cowering in fear from the SCARIEST sounds I’ve ever ever ever heard the weren’t coming from a horror movie. Straight up roaring was all around us. I think i said “well, this is the end guys” at least 4 times. But I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We made it to the top of the most impeccable Mayan made temple and found our seats on the steps just in time to watch the sun come up, waking animals of the jungle and bringing the many temples throughout the jungle into view. THERE AREN’T WORDS.
- FINCA HOT SPRING WATERFALLS
Our last morning of the trip, we woke up in bungalows on the Rio Dulce river, chowed down plantains and hopped in a little river boat. We cruised through the river passing children fishing and all sorts of tropical wildlife until our guide steered us ashore a little private beach. We docked and were greeted by locals who had us pile in the back of a truck. We forged the bumpy road through farm land until we came to the end of the road. I didn’t know what to expect but being greeted by a mother/daughter duo cutting open fresh coconuts for us to drink was a perfect indicator of the wonder to come. We walked a short ways sipping from our “cocos” when we were hit with the faint scent of sulfur. Through the trees I could see it. Lagoon blue water pouring over rocks, steam coming off. If you know me... you know how much I love being warm and how much I love jumping off of things. So believe me when I say this hot spring waterfall was heaven on earth. I never wanted to leave. All my mermaid dreams came true. I will make it a point to return one day.
Sitting here now, reminiscing on the trip and thinking of all the crazy “coincidences” that led to this opened door is pure bliss. Every time something negative has happened in my life, patience and perseverance have proven to deliver something extraordinary in it's place. Moral of the story, you never know where an email can land you and you should definitely, definitely go to Guatemala.
SHOP THE SWIMWEAR FROM MY TRIP HERE!!!!!!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Jessica Janae
VIDEOGRAPHERS: Brad & Hailey Devine