A female traveler’s guide to exploring Guatemala like a local!
Are you ready for your next trip? Perhaps you have thought about traveling to Guatemala but you need some motivation. We got you. 😉
Keep reading and check out more about her experience!
Q&A with Flavia Cornejo
What have been the challenges you have faced being a Latina traveling solo?
I’ve had people assume a variety of things when they’ve seen me travel solo from having a sugar daddy to claiming I’ll never find a husband. I’ve dealt with a lot of cultural stereotypes to overcome when I first started this lifestyle. It was difficult to overcome for a while, but when I did I finally felt free.
Why did you decide to travel to Guatemala?
I had time between two conferences I was attending in NYC and wanted to visit a place I had never visited before. I knew I would have the time to do this, so I had been surveying my audience for a couple months prior to have them choose where I would go on this solo adventure.
During your trip to Guatemala, did you feel unsafe?
There were only two instances where I felt a bit unsafe due to the fact that it was nighttime. I usually don’t like to go out at night too often if I’m traveling solo and especially if the places I have to walk to don’t have sufficient lighting or are very isolated. These were the conditions I found myself in when I felt unsafe.
What did you do to ensure you were staying safe while traveling alone in Guatemala?
I made sure I knew where my upcoming accommodation was to know how to get from the bus station to where I need to be. I kept my phone charged to always have a way to contact someone if I needed to and carried a portable charger in case my battery ran low.
What have been some of the most memorable experiences you had on this trip?
Visiting Tikal National Park and learning about its history. It’s a place I had always wanted to see so it was great to see in person.
Experiencing Antigua Guatemala in person. The city reminded me of a blend of a few Peruvian cities so it was nice seeing it all together in one place.
The people were very friendly. I visited many cities/towns where people were eventually calling me ‘La Peruana’ when I would walk on the streets. It was nice knowing I was making connections with people where I went.
How did Greether help you learn more about Guatemala?
Meeting Beverly through GreetHer and having her show and tell me different parts of the city, gave me a different perspective and gained unique insight that I wouldn’t have learned on my own. As someone who usually stays in a city only a few days, it’s impossible to fully know a place compared to someone who lived there for years. Having someone who knows where you should visit and the places to avoid through their own experiences via text is really priceless.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from traveling solo?
That I’m capable of much more than I give myself credit for. As an introvert, people assume I couldn’t travel solo because who would I talk to? My extroverted side comes out more often when I’m solo because I don’t have to stay within the limits other people put me in. I’m quiet around people I don’t feel comfortable with and loud around those that I do. People take my quietness for weakness when really I just couldn’t be bothered to waste my energy. Traveling solo has allowed me to be exactly who I am when I meet people who know absolutely nothing about me.
Any tips or recommendations for female travelers?
Don’t feel as if you need to go far to travel solo. Start stepping slightly out of your comfort zone by taking yourself out on a date. Then slowly progress further and further from that zone.
What do you think women need to be motivated to start traveling solo?
Confidence in yourself. It’s hard if the people around you see and think of you in a certain way. It makes you think that that’s the only way you can or should be, but you are so much more than people think or know.
What have you found the most challenging about being a female traveling solo?
People assume I’m either really dumb for choosing to do this or lonely for having no one to come with me. These used to bother me and I felt that I had to prove people wrong, but now I could care less. You get so comfortable with yourself and in your skin over time that these comments no longer faze you.