Back in Chicago – Working on a New Plan

July, 1975

Back to Chicago to work out some kinks in our NEW life’s plan. I once again got a job as a head designer working for a classy architect’s office in St. Charles, IL. We got an apartment, now for the third time, in Four Lakes Village, which we decorated with furniture that we moved out of the pickup truck camper. We were on the ground floor, because we now had a new member of our family, our German Shepard-Doberman dog who we named Nevada, and he needed to be let out on a regular basis. Rainy hung colored sheets on the large windows to give us some privacy. She tied them back, I guess to give the apartment the look of some class? It was pretty empty, but very spacious!

We worked and plotted, dreamed and schemed and saved until by Christmas it was once again time to leave. This time we traded in our pickup truck camper on a Jeep CJ-7 and a used 17-foot travel trailer. We were sure that now we had exactly the right travel vehicle that would make it all the way down to Tierra del Fuego or bust. We drove, with big grins on our faces to Brownsville, Texas in just a few days, but before we could make it into Mexico a huge storm came up and blew our trailer over on its side, and wiped that smirk right off our faces. The repairs set us back a few days. And by January we had entered Mexico with our dream setup. We had the intention of driving south forever, but after spending several months in Mexico, we found ourselves in Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala.

We spent several months in Mexico. With our new rig we were usually pretty popular too.

Truly one of the most picturesque places in the world. A crystal-clear blue lake surrounded by 3 volcanoes. Some pretty primitive villages dotted the lake, and were filled with colorfully dressed and friendly indigos. We immediately fell in love, especially when we found out that we could rent 3 houses right on the water’s edge, complete with a family of servants for just $35 per month. So, we happily stayed there for a year and a half. To read a day in the life short story that I wrote about our Guatemala lake adventure click on this link.

After enjoying our exotic living arrangement, we began to feel that all of our “stuff”, including the jeep and trailer, and all of the contents, were holding us back from the true adventure that we had been dreaming of. So, we put up signs all over town, “Gringo Se Vende Todo.” Gringos sell it all. We were almost immediately mobbed by Guatemaltecos who indeed wanted it all, and so in a few short weeks we were each left with only a small day pack filled with our most precious item—travelers checks.

The bus was crowded, but cheap!

We three then walked off down the street, and caught a bus to the next country — Honduras.

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