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I spent all morning looking for my money belt and trying to get a week’s worth of clothes to fit into a backpack. It took me a few tries and I had to ditch a pair of jeans, but I finally got the zipper closed.

Packing has a funny way of clearing the mind. When your brain is buzzing, it has no choice but to quiet down long enough to solve a puzzle. It’s meditative; contemplative; almost a spiritual rite of cleansing. It forces you to abandon your preconceived notions of what you want and focus instead on the basics.

This evening, I’m boarding a plane for Guatemala, where I’ll spend a week traveling through the country, experiencing the sights, meeting the people and, yes, eating the food (lots and lots of food). For me, this trip is a way to find some balance by stripping down my existence to its bare minimum. I’ll still have a camera and my credit cards, but the bustle of my wireless, always connected 21st century lifestyle is being left at the gate.

It’s freeing. No email. No Facebook. No Twitter. No notifications or comments to read. Most of all, I’m looking forward to writing in its most natural form. Instead of typing on my laptop — while posting to my social networks, reading the news and clicking between six or seven open tabs — I have the time and the freedom to write with a pencil on paper. What could be more pure?

This will be a week to remember. I’m expecting to face culture shock. I know my senses will be overwhelmed, but amidst the excitement, I can’t wait to crack open my notebook and lets the words flow. What a beautiful thing that will be.

— 30 —

Did you know that I have a Twitter? Well, now you do! I won’t be updating it much this week, but when I get back, I promise to post things worthy of your time. Follow me at @jonnyeberle. Buenos tardes!

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