It was in September a year ago that I decided that I wanted to travel…where I didn’t know for certain but I knew that I wanted to go somewhere new. I had dreams of places I wanted to see and read books written by women who travelled solo. I began making lists of places I wanted to go…romantizing the idea of travelling and finding myself in some way like an unholy pilgrimage. It was only six months before I left my job that I decided where to go.
Destination Central America. I bought a one way ticket and made my decision the day I quit my job and made it official, which in this day and age is via social media. It was about this time also that I met someone…two months before travelling to another country. I thought…of course you sell most of your possessions and are leaving and start to see someone, great idea.
I had no idea the effect this intimacy would have on me until months later when I stopped hearing from him and felt a pang in my chest and realized the extent of my life choices…I am in a foreign land, alone with my life line being social media. This may sound insignificant to some but for me…I gave up all I had to follow a dream of travelling. A life where I wear dirty clothes when laundry is hanging on a clothes line, I sleep in a dorm with 3 to 7 other people and I take a chicken bus through Nicaragua.
I don’t want to sound like I have been alone the whole time…because that is false. I have been surrounded by other backpackers and travellers whom share similar experiences of travelling to…escape their lives, as a form of vacation and self discovery. My trip has brought me to some very interesting places where many have travelled before but for me, has been a baptism by fire. Like my trip to la playa Popoyo. A remote beach and surf spot surrounded by the lush green hills of Nicaragua.
As I left this beautiful playa…I had a 25 minute walk out through a salt marsh and what I thought would be a stream but in fact was a muddy river. I took off my shoes and thought…well if a snake bites me I have twenty minutes to make it back the beach and get help…I am also deathly afraid of snakes. So wading through a mucky Rio and my head spinning with random thoughts…I made it to the other side…to discover another Rio, just as muddy and deeper. The things that go through your mind when alone in a foreign land are funny in hindsight but at the moment it fills you with a bit of fear. I thought…I will never see my nephew grow up, hug my Gram or have good sex ever again. Dramatic I know but it is me alone…I decided to walk a bit further down and so glad I did because I came across this…
And did a happy dance that can only be seen in moments of drunken bliss or desperate happiness.
So my point of all this…when I committed to exploring Central America I gave up love but I found a piece of myself that I thought I had lost…a determined woman who has more stories to tell and more adventure to seek out.