Wanderlust: A rustbucket rocket-ride to the Belize airport

by Nicole Gonzalez

“The trip to Belize, initially, my flight got canceled and my best friend, Jade, was there by herself. I stayed in Albuquerque and flew out the next day. It was a bizarre start to a bizarre trip. But the way it ended was crazy.

(The) Belize (airport) was a two-hour bus ride from where we were staying. At the end of the trip, I was like, OK, we have to leave for the airport and this certain time. It was on a Sunday. We knew the bus should be coming at this time. We planned to be two hours early to the airport so that we wouldn’t miss our flight.

We’re waiting. We’re waiting. We wait more for the bus and it never comes. We have two hours left. If we left at that very moment, we would just make it for our flight with no time to spare. We had to move. There was this guy in a little Honda with a big ol’ spoiler. He had given us a ride a few days prior. His car was barely hanging on. There was hardly a backseat. We said, ‘We have to be at the airport by this time. Can you get us there?’ He said, ‘Yes.’

We get in the car and it’s like RRRRRRRRRR [mimics high-speed engine revving noise] and he’s blaring music. He takes off. It’s nuts. Jade and I are holding hands like, ‘We are not going to make it and we are going to die.’ There were cows on the road, people in wagons, steep cliffs. He had to stop at one point because his engine was about to explode. It was overheating. When he was fixing it, I said, ‘Oh my god Jade, should we just say (ef) it and stay here? Get on another flight?’

But we stuck with him and he got us to the airport with 10 minutes to spare. It was scary. We were sweating. There was no AC. He had a jangly lil’ Smurf hanging from the rearview mirror. It was a shit car and falling apart, but he got us there.”

Nicole GonzalezGot a travel story worth telling? Write it in about 400 words and send it to [email protected]. If you’d rather tell your story, send a brief synopsis to the same address. Either way, your story should be true.


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