Destination: Belize

Book: The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman

"The Possibility of Everything - Search for a truer self"

In her recent memoir, The Possibility of Everything, acclaimed author Hope Edelman writes, "A person in the act of traveling from one place to another is a person stripped down to her very essence, perhaps the truest self that can exist."

Our travels take us away from home, our familiar surroundings, our familiar self. For Hope, her familiar self was the eternal skeptic. A "card carrying member of the Church of the Senses," she had to see to believe. But when her 3-year old daughter Maya develops a mysterious imaginary friend, named "Dodo," whose presence becomes increasingly disturbing, Hope and her husband make the unlikely choice to take their daughter to Mayan healers deep in the rainforests of Western Belize. In the process of this journey, Hope transforms from a woman, who only believed in the "visible" and "proven," to someone, open to the existence of larger, unseen truths--a leap of faith that heals both her and her family.

Publishers Weekly called the Possibility of Everything, "equal parts a meditation on the trials of motherhood and marriage, a travelogue and an exploration of faith." That's where the power of this book lies for me. It explores life in all its facets, traveling being an essential ingredient in the quest for a larger truth, a larger self.

Steeped in the ancient culture of the Maya, a world where body, mind and spirit, are tightly intertwined, Hope starts to question the truths she built her life on and opens her heart and mind to the possibility of everything.

In Western culture where many parents resort to the next best prescription drug to ensure the "normality" of their child, I cheered Hope's leap of faith to a more holistic approach to her daughter's condition--not out of a romanticized Western desire to dabble in the voodoo magic of third world cultures, but to try to be the best mother she could be, to do anything for her child.

Beyond Hope's personal story, her detailed descriptions of Belize, the poverty, yet generosity and warmth of the people she befriends, the untouched beauty of the countryside, and the continuing presence of ancient Maya Civilization in the life of people in Belize, put a trip to Belize at the very top of my travel list.

The book is ripe with Mayan history, cosmology and accounts of a visit to Tikal National Park (Guatemala), one of the most fascinating archaeological remains of the ancient Maya Civilization. On her journey, Hope also stayed in some beautiful places worth checking out. In fact, the book website provides Hope's itinerary and resources to accommodations and must-see sites.

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