[ r e l a t i o n s h i p s & s o c i e t y ]
Travelling solo is something I have enjoyed for many years, purely for the challenge of putting myself out there and not retreat or shy away from others. So much is learned from listening to others and their lives, their views on the world around us. Perspective. Everyone has a story to tell and through travel it can be heard. The sense of freedom allows me to be authentically me. There is no judgement, no pre conceived opinions, no expectations. Just be. The more I travel, the more I become who I want to be and the more I can spread myself all over the map in a meaningful way. It helps me to tackle my biggest fear head on… judgement and acceptance.
In just over eight weeks I have met people from Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, USA, Canada, Israel, UK, the EU, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. Many of these countries aren’t the safest nor democratically sound. Things like living in poverty or finishing school and being forced to enlist in the army, or be married and conform to society’s wishes have not deterred some from exploring the world. I was particularly interested in the life of young Israeli’s.. I met a group of surfers in El Tunco El Salvador, who had all just finished their three year stint in the army and the stories they shared were fascinating to me. Here I was in the presence of people from an almost parallel universe yet we all had the same wishes in life. To travel, make a living, travel again and enjoy life’s offerings. Their exposure to the army and violence had not made them any less of a person, I would have to say it helped them to see life in a different light in their prime. At times I am ashamed of my naivety to all that happens in other countries especially when wars are concerned. I’ve made the choice to think positively about the world we live in so things like that fly under my radar. It was absolutely one of the most enriching conversations with other travellers and I am truly grateful our paths crossed.
The key is connection. Our stories are all in a way connected. We all want to live a life of travel, a life enriched with culture, exploration, a life with our eyes and minds wide open. At home it is very rare to stop someone in the street and have at length conversations about life and the act of sharing a meal with a complete stranger would seem quite bazaar. Everyone is busy leading their lives, earning an income, looking after family, or have their heads down updating a facebook status. It isn’t until we remove ourselves from life as we know it that we can stop and take it all in and have authentic conversations about the world around us.
Along the way you will always see symbols of where others have been. Singlets of certain bars or tours, bracelets with country names, or patches on back packs. Even in low season it is easy enough to spot another traveller on their journey through Central America. The sharing of tips and personal recommendations brings people together and it is so rewarding to strike up a conversation on places travelled and the excitement for new adventures rolls on and on.
It is quite often when travelling to stick with whats known, concrete and safe and many people travel in groups with friends from home or travel solo. On this particular trip I am doing both which has been an absolute blessing, especially with my limited spanish in difficult situations. Having someone special by my side to experience it all with me has been a nice change to previous trips solo.
My amigas and I recently spent just over a week staying at a beautiful hostel Casa De Olas which translates to House of Waves in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. Nestled on the hillside overlooking the ocean, with sunsets like a dream this was the perfect place to stop and enjoy the company and the zest for nothing but good times. In non english speaking countries, a little taste of home soothes the soul. This hostel was run by Carla and Fred, an Aussie couple in their sixties who certainly have one of the greatest attitude towards life. They were just as much of the party as we were, if not more, and it was more like staying in a home rather than a hostel. There was even a roast dinner every Monday night.. the perfect meal served with love after a big Sunday Funday. It is no wonder it is such a popular destination among back packers. No matter where you are in the world, home is where the heart is!
And the heart is where I find myself time and time again. Sharing a laugh, a smile, a hug, a tear with people whom you have just met is one of the best things about travelling. The connection is there and you feel very much apart of their world.
This feeling couldn’t have been more apparent on my time in Utila, Bay Islands Honduras. Some of the best days I’ve had on this island have been filled with deep life conversation. I have bared all and for once have no fear in sharing my story. The good and the bad. I haven’t stopped smiling for days now. The energy radiates through me. I am in love with the people I meet, the places I see and the person I become when I immerse myself in the centre of it all. My heart is open and I am receiving life’s bounty in abundance.
The trail is set and the further travelled, the more finger prints entwined with other finger prints.. the more stories to share and the more connected we become. One love!
From my heart currently in Mexico to yours,