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Living in Antigua Guatemala. A Month of Being Normal.

I posted on Facebook the other day that life was pretty fine, the kids were in the pool, I had a glass of red and all was right with the world. Normal life has been resumed for a month of living in Antigua Guatemala. That is exactly how life used to be back home in Port Douglas before we set off to travel the world. Same life, different spot.

 being normal in Antigua a month in Antigua.
Home, and our base for being normal for a month in Antigua, a beautiful villa with pool in a gated compound.

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Pool, check, wine, check, kids not in school, check, dad playing with them, sometimes check, blue skies, check, nice house ( a great AirBnb!) , check.

I started out writing this post about how normal we are being. How we’re not doing much at all. By the end I realised that what this post is actually about is how much learning is happening just through being here and how travel, or any exposure to life outside of our normalities, is a wonderful thing. None of this would have happened if we hadn’t ditched our old life in favour of exploring the world.

More on what a fabulous country Guatemala is will follow, today’s post is about life on the road, in Antigua.

What Are We Doing With Our Month Living In Antigua?

a month in Antigua Guatemala
A quiet month in Antigua is letting chef keep up with his Iron Man training. He’s swimming and running, very normal for him.

We are staying in a gorgeous villa rented at just $30/night and we’re quietly living our lives. For the first time in 9 months we have a routine of sorts. I’m not one for routines, but empty days and kicking around the house calls for some sort of structure or the kids would drive me nuts.

Sign up for AirBnb here to get our special discount, then take a look at the lovely AirBnb villa we rented here ( for 2-4 people). We rarely use AirBnb, but in Antigua it was certainly the best, and cheapest, way to go. The owners were a dream and fluent in English, being American. There IS a language barrier in Central America.

So we get up, get washed and dressed and I throw the kids out of the house to play while I cook breakfast. We all eat together, outside overlooking the pool, big breakfasts with eggs, fruit and lots of vegetables. Yes, I said vegetables, we’re off wheat and dairy at the moment to try to fix D’s rash, so we’re being ultra healthy and I’m dropping the pounds from our USA road trip and cruise ship blow-out .

In the mornings we’re getting through some school work. Written work in the excellent books I picked up in the UK and blogging for the kids. Blogging is covering loads of educational bases at the moment. My 7-year-old won’t read, but he’s more than happy to blog, so, if that’s the way he wants it, that’s what we’ll do. His blog is called Boy Around The World, click the link if you’d like to take a peek. D, now 9 , has decided he’s a food blogger, his blog is called World Food Kid. I’m waiting for them to start making some money and keep me for a change.  But the obvious school work isn’t where the most learning is happening, there is so much more besides. Christianity, the Mayans, the Spanish invasion, music, art, language, it’s all going on every day.

a month in Antigua
A pre-Easter procession. So much learning for the kids.

Then it’s time to cook lunch, more fruit and veg and eggs or beans, we’re not eating meat at all. Another family meal and then it’s up to them what they do. They can use screens, watch movies, play Minecraft or Lego, swim, whatever. That gives me some time to work on the blogs.

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The kids’ special Lego spot outside our beautiful AirBnb villa, within a gated compound.

Maybe we’ll take a walk down into town.

Antigua is so pretty, a glorious little town overlooked by volcanoes that intermittently worry us with dark smoke. It’s normal apparently, they just do that all the time.

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Yep, that’s one of the volcanoes around Antigua, The view from our favourite café. Cafe Sky.

All that fruit and veg we’re going through necessitates lots of trips to the market, it’s a hike and we lug it all back up the hill in our backpacks. Our Spanish is coming on quite well, nobody here speaks English. The produce market is huge and the fruit and veg is delicious. We’re trying new dishes, fried bananas and plantains, home-made guacamole every day and frijoles with everything.

We wander and explore, we’re always finding little shops, galleries and interesting hidden courtyards. There are endless craft markets and stalls and we keep discovering doorways that lead to more hidden treasures.

a month in Antigua courtyard market
Another hidden courtyard, another market.

On weekends there is music in Central Park. Wonderful Central American musicians with flutes and pan pipes. It’s the sort of park where people just hang out, locals and tourists, to see what’s going on and pass the time quietly. The kids have their own drums and pipes bought from a friendly street vendor, they practice at home.

normal antigua living in Antigua for a month
Music in Central Park Antigua on weekends.

Every now and again we come across something totally unexpected, like our neighbours here, the emergency services guys, making their sawdust and flower carpet for a pre-Easter church procession. We hung around for a few hours, watched the art, enjoyed the carnival atmosphere, tried the foods from the street vendors and saw the somber but magnificent parade go by.

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Making a sawdust and flower carpet ready for the procession.

We cook another meal, maybe watch a movie and head off to bed to read or sleep.

And that’s it, that’s all we’re doing. Normal isn’t it? We’re hardly eating out and we’re not going on any sight-seeing trips. We’re not travelling. But just check out the learning. With almost zero effort, just living our lives, we are all picking up so much. This is why we travel. Back to the Guatemala Travel Blog round up page.

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Tom

Sunday 7th of June 2020

My favorite part was the 100 ads and the video autostarting talking about constipation.

Alyson for World Travel Family

Sunday 7th of June 2020

I'm sorry you have constipation, I hope whatever product it was is helpful to you. Thanks for looking at our ads, that's how we make a living and are able to provide you with free information. The ad ratio we use on this site is below Google's recommendations.

Welcome Guatemala

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Thank you for sharing about our beloved country Alyson! Greetings from Antigua, Guatemala :)

Ginia

Sunday 6th of September 2015

How/where did you find a (nice) place at $30/night?! Especially IN Antigua, not a nearby city... So many Americans bought up real estate there as of late, so it costs the same as any random city in the US, I noticed. Still affordable, but nowhere near $30/night, especially w/ a pool.

[email protected]

Sunday 6th of September 2015

It was an AirBnb rental Gina, from an American, in a gated complex just outside own. It was lovely. But you're right Antigua is expensive. The only time we have ever used AirBnb, we find it more expensive than guest houses usually.

kate

Sunday 20th of April 2014

BTW tell your hubbie to consider Dubai for chef work. My brother is an executive chef here and the restaurant scene is bursting -- crazy good. It's a great place to live for awhile too:)

kate

Sunday 20th of April 2014

We did three months in Costa Rica a few years ago similar to your description. It was nice and we want to explore more in that region but Asia keeps pulling! Heading somewhere that way for 2.5 months starting in June. Thinking of Hua Hin as a base and then Laos and Burma with possible Bali (of and Hanoi LOL). So many places to see but I do love those chilled out months of just living. Slow Travel is best.

nomadic family life

Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.