Closing in, turning tables, the beginning of the end; Nicaragua

The amount of positive critique you come across about Nicaragua is generally connected with money; it’s soooo cheap. And I guess that is true in a sense but that’s mostly because the rest of Central America really isn’t that cheap, not as cheap as what I usually compare to; India or Nepal. But still, one can make do. Nicaragua however is finally a bit more modest in pricing. You can get a bed for 5-6 bucks, and a proper meal for 2-3 if you’re persistent. Street food is of course, always to prefer. The other aspect of the positive critique considering this country is that the surf breaks are wicked! What do I know, never surfed and honestly, strong currents kinda freak me out. Even though I know how to act while caught in one, I still feel highly uncomfortable being dragged around in the ocean with no safety pins. This doesn’t, however, stop me from enjoying lazy days at the beach, piña colada and the whole package; not my primary associations with Nicaragua a few months ago. These travels have surprised me more than once, with the varied experiences I’ve so far had from big city life in Mexico D.F. to permaculture farming in Michoacan, jungle trekking in Guatemala, learning to dive in Honduras , climbing volcanoes in full moon light, crazy 12-hour chicken bus races and meeting, getting to know, to love a whole bunch of strangers. Learning a new language, re-thinking my whole future, discovering and re-discovering certain aspects of my personality. The travels are for this time, coming to an end, but I already got my next destinations set up and clear; diving really changed a lot for me, and henceforth I’m gonna focus my travelling around diving opportunities mostly. Though music, people and culture still of course is gonna be at the core right next to the diving.

After more than a month in Nicaragua I still got a few more days before heading into deep jungle in Costa Rica followed by a few days in San Jose and finally; home. Nicaragua has been sweet, varied from inland to coast, from city to villages. Not a particularly pretty country, it’s a bit too dry and too hot for the lush tropical rainforest of Guatemala and further south of here, and the many volcanoes are striking but have created a vast deserted countryside. Every beach is littered, as are the city streets, even here in Ometepe which is supposed to be the environmental, eco-friendly hub in Nica. Plastic’s fantastic! People are really nice and helpful, I’m surprised to think that my limit conversational skills in Spanish is more than enough to get me through on my own. A few months ago I didn’t know a word of this language! I would still say it’s not a directly poor country, people seem to be well off, and again, I see way more beggars and homeless people back home. I don’t know where they gather here, or if they do at all. Any night walking through the cities I’ve visited I have come across a very few sleepers on the street. The mainly disturbing social chaos is the drug abuse among kids, which employs many volunteers in these countries. There’s plenty of ex-pats and locked down travellers around, specially in Granada which houses more foreign artists and musicians, restaurants- and hostel owners than local. Still, getting cat called by the local teenagers is more a norm than an exception and after a good 10 days in that city, I really can’t wait to get back to Gothenburg where guys politely and uninterestingly ignore you in the streets. But there have been a few months of dream life, I still can’t come to terms with my everyday life; it’s too good, too much fun and too carefree. When is it gonna blow? Even though I’m coming home I can’t really see any clouds on the horizon, it’s gonna be wicked seeing all you beauties again, it’s gonna feel good to get back to work, running, yoga, healthier food and a moderate climate, “routines” in the sense that I will only have two free weeks each month. My job is a blessing and a curse. Life as a backpacker is nothing hard really, I just look forward to unpack and live in a more organised pattern until the travel sickness gets me again. Guess that feeling started growing the day I bought my ticket back home, and looking at other friends travelling in different patterns, I feel both jealous and satisfied. I know the world is right under my feet, and will not disappear because I land in Gothenburg a while. Travellers will be crossing my paths even there! Had I stayed in one place I wouldn’t have learned a fraction of what I’ve learnt in these months; I might as well have been away for a year. Have I changed? We all have changed, and that’s the beauty of life; we all grow, constantly and in that sense change. I’m not different than I was before, but my values have slightly switched focus, they’re come out clearer now, it’s more certain, I’m more certain. Like the zoom of a camera lens, what was before a bit foggy is now adjusted and I have a clear close up of what is important to me and how to keep that in my life. It’s a start and an energy infuser which I want to expand, bring with me and grow with.

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