Today is the day! Well, tomorrow is the day technically, but I leave tonight just after midnight. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m nervous, and I guess I am more nervous than I have been about the trip before, but I’m still feeling confident and excited to embark on this new adventure.
I haven’t done much travelling before – I’ve been to Mexico a number of times, and spent two weeks traveling in China, but those are my only experiences traveling out of the country (I’ve been to Canada too, but I’m not sure I entirely include that as an experience abroad). With my limited experience in traveling abroad, these next few months do feel like a HUGE step in my life just as far as gaining experience goes.
In college I took a number of classes which focused on the importance of being knowledgable, which aids in being respectful, of other cultures and their beleifs. These classes, which were most of my favorites, emphasized the importance of learning about others in order to be a more informed world citizen. I am a firm beleiver that many of our political conflicts today would be greatly diminished if everyone took the time to understand where the other side was coming from, and why. This trip, for me, is my start to learning and appreciating a few more cultures in this world.
As mentioned in my last post, we’ll be flying into Costa Rica tonight and then immediately taking a bus to Nicaragua. It will be a long night/day. Look at the map (thanks Mama!) below to see where we’ll spend our two weeks in Nicaragua, and below the map I’ll tell you what adventure each place holds.
1: Leon – Cerro Negro Volcano (climb up, sandboard down!), Cathedrals, and A LOT of language school, we’re going to try to kick-start our language skills with a few days of intense Spanish immersion. At the very least, we’ll spend a few hours each day with personal tutors.
2: Esteli – Estanzuelas Waterfall, experiencing the more mountanous region of Nicaragua.
3: Selva Negra (near Matagalpa) – visit their webpage to find out about Selva Negra!
4: Masaya – Masaya Volcano, famous outdoor markets, more language school.
5: Granada – Architectural and cultural wonders, Lake Nicaragua, more language school.
6: Isla de Ometepe – Adventure and more volcanoes!
7: San Juan del Sur – Surfing, and language school.
That is the plan, but it is completely subject to change. We’re definitely going with open minds and flexible attitudes to allow us to change plans if we hear of better options – which we hope we do!
Here’s a taste of the many volcanoes we’ll be seeing – this is Volcan Concepción on Isla de Ometepe.
Next up: Packing list. Get excited.