The Lessons I Learned In Nicaragua
One thing’s for sure - traveling to Nicaragua has changed me. I love that traveling challenges me and pushes me to grow. I get to see and experiences cultures that are vastly different from where I come from, meet people who lead drastically different lives than mine and come from an array of societal backgrounds.
Upon returning, everyone always asks the question, well how was your trip? And it would be kinda strange for me to break into a ramble about how it really was. In a lot of ways, I’m still processing it. I feel like I’m still taking in all that I learned and walked away from the experience with.
In an effort to give the curious (and myself for memories’ sake) a true reflection about how my time in Nica really was, I’ll tell you the top things I learned during my stay there.
Rise with the sun.
There’s so much time in the day to get creative with and even more when I allow myself to get out of bed earlier. My days were spent going to bed shortly after the sun went down and getting up as the sun was rising. My mornings became such a sweet and sacred time to get the day started off on the right foot which kept me focused throughout the rest of the day as well.
Get creative with how you live life.
Brent and I met so many people who had chosen a different lifestyle than the traditional American “norm”. We worked for people who picked up and invested what they had in building a hotel from the ground up in the middle of nowhere Nicaragua. People who were following their passion even when that meant it didn’t look like everyone else. The pressure of an American lifestyle were gone and we were on “Nica time” where you could do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. The stories we tell ourselves and the truths that we believe can be limiting, or expansive. We’re the ones who get to decide.
Simplicity and ease create joy.
You don’t need a lot to be happy. Less things create ease and simplicity. There wasn’t a lot of have to’s or shoulds - I got to get to decide how I felt, what I wanted my day to look like. Star-gazing was entertainment (there were SO many!) and when you live close to the land, without that many options of “things to do” I noticed I was able to find time to read, journal, completely relax and enjoy life. I had time to relax, experience the joy of simply being and feel all the feels in each individual moment.
Everything just was. It didn’t need a label. Brent and I noticed that Europeans in particular (the ones we met at least) don’t put a lot of descriptors on things, events, people. And it made us notice how everything we thought or said had a label - it was certain way. This new framework in our minds let us see that things could just be as they were. Letting it flow without resistance or push-back from us thinking it had to be good/bad/awesome/cool/gross.
Just be free.
Riding horseback on the beach. Swimming naked in a pool overlooking a volcano. I’ve never felt more liberated in my life. Let loose. Live your life and let others do the same. Come as you are so that people can see you, love you and celebrate you.
Take time to pause for reflection.
How often do we just let life happen to us? When really, it can happen for us if we allow it! Brent and I found ourselves talking about our experience a lot. We would discuss the aspects of ourselves we saw changing and habits we wanted to bring back with us. It was a huge part of our experience to really digest it in real time and brought both of us more in touch with ways in which we wanted to live our lives and the connection we wanted to create with other people.
You’ll still have hard days, even when you're living your dream
You guys, let’s face it - sometimes our energy gets low and in those moments you gotta give yourself GRACE! Brent and I had to remind each other of this a few times. Feel what you’re feeling, know it will pass and allow yourself to feel grateful for where you’ve gotten to at this point even when you feel like where you want to be further along on the path.
Going to a brand new country I’ve never been to, meeting new people and hearing their stories has shown me these sacred lessons and allowed me to see the world through a new lens. Now, I feel I can lead with more empathy and understanding.
I feel like I’m shedding old versions of myself all the time. Learning new things and growing into a more true and authentic version of myself. Traveling seems to have sped this process up - it’s funny how being outside of your comfort zone will do that.
Nicaragua allowed me to connect more with my human-beingness. I experienced and felt the aliveness of living in the moment and the pure potential that exists there with it’s endless possibility and clarity cultivated by a deep sense of inner peace.