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How We Lived like Thoreau at Lake Atitlán

How We Lived like Thoreau at Lake Atitlán

With plans to live at Lake Atitlán for almost two months, we took it upon ourselves to re-read Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

Walden is a classic memoir about living simply in nature by a lake. This book was assigned reading for us in high school and while its masterful prose and transcendentalist theories were enlightening then, it didn’t speak to us on a deeper level because we hadn’t yet tasted the life Thoreau mused over. That changed after visiting Lake Atitlán.

While lazing away afternoons at Lake Atitlán, we brainstormed ways we could communicate its beauty to you on this blog. Photos, for one, of course. But words, those are tricky. In the end, we determined the best way to translate Lake Atitlán’s profound beauty to this page was to use our photos and Thoreau’s words from Walden. For us, this is the perfect way to convey our personal reflections on living simply in natural surroundings. We hope this either helps bring Walden to life for you, or gives you insight into our time spent living on the banks of one of the most magical lakes in the world.

The expansive and enveloping view

There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon—said Damodara” 

The uncloacking of night into day 

“And, as the sun arose, I saw it throwing off its nightly clothing of mist, and here and there, by degrees, its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface was revealed, while the mists, like ghosts, were stealthily withdrawing in every direction into the woods, as at the breaking up of some nocturnal conventicle.” 

Metaphysical awakening during early morning hours

”The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night.”

Creativity and clarity 

"After a partial cessation of his sensuous life, the soul of man, or its organs rather, are reinvigorated each day, and his Genius tries again what noble life it can make. All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say, “All intelligences awake with the morning.” Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour. All poets and heroes, like Memnon, are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise.”

Powerfully grounding sunsets that remind you of your place in the world

This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore.”

Gratitude for the time, space, and solitude for self-reflection

“Direct your eye right inward, and you’ll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be expert in home-cosmography.”

Renewed vigor and confidence to continue our life’s journey 

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Your Guide to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala: the Most Beautiful Lake in the World

Your Guide to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala: the Most Beautiful Lake in the World

How to Use a Daily Routine to Stay Focused While Traveling

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