Sola to Nicaragua

View of Granada, Nicaragua with the Cathedral by Carlos Adampol
View of Granada, Nicaragua with the Cathedral by Carlos Adampol

On being impulsive

Nicaragua was a slightly impulsive trip.

This is what happens when a wanderlust freelancer gets stir crazy working from home. February was a busy work month for me. I was juggling many projects at one and working long hours. It was awesome (yay money!), but it was also stressful.

Whenever I feel stressed out, I go window shopping. For airline tickets.

Nicaragua has never been a country that interests me. I wanted to go to go back to Mexico, a country I can keep returning to again and again. But this time, looking at the map I noticed an area south of the US that neither Jack nor I have set foot on: Central America.

When I read about Nicaragua and its gazillion volcanoes, I perked up. Volcanoes? I can’t have enough of ’em. The idea stuck.

One day, I pulled the trigger.

“Err, I just bought a ticket to Nicaragua,” I told Jack after after a particularly stressful day. He rolled his eyes and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like, “I hope it’s a one way ticket.”

Truth be told, he was just jealous. I knew he’d love to come but he doesn’t have the flexibility that I have as a freelancer. And in case you’re curious, I’ll be dragging my laptop and working during my time in Nicaragua. One of these days I’ll be taking a ‘real’ vacation. But it’s not this trip.

Lion statue outside the cathedral in Leon, Nicaragua by Mark Stevens
Lion statue outside the cathedral in Leon, Nicaragua by Mark Stevens

On traveling alone

Many people were surprised to find out that I’ll be going to Nicaragua by myself. The most often asked question was invariably along the line of ‘Your husband lets you do that?’

I’m lucky that Jack ‘lets me’ travel on my own. Nothing makes me happier than exploring new places. Being a wise man that he is, he’s come to realize that having me gone sometimes to indulge in my passion is better than having an unhappy wife around all the time. It’s one of the most precious gifts he’s given me in our relationship: the trust that I won’t get myself in trouble when left on my own device in a strange city.

Don’t feel too bad about him. Just so he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on the fun, he’s got a new shiny gadget. He’s also got to drag me on a big climbing trip in the summer. Our relationship is all about making compromises (and bribes – ok, maybe mostly about bribes).

So in a few hours, I’d be kissing Jack and the cats goodbye and off I go on my way to Nicaragua.

What am I doing in Nicaragua?

How how does it get in Nicargua in April? Pretty hot.
How how does it get in Nicargua in April? Pretty hot.

There are volcanoes to climb, but I’m scared of the heat. Due to pure bad luck in timing, I’ll be there during Nicaragua’s hottest time of the year. Last I checked it’s 95 degrees in Leon, Nicaragua. Phew! I’m sweating just looking at that number.

I have my 1st night booked in Granada – Nicaragua’s prettiest colonial city (or so I’ve read) – but my feeling is that I’ll be making a beeline to the mountains to find a higher and hopefully cooler ground.

As I battle the heat, homesickness, and consume ridiculous amount of gallo pinto (the closest thing to veggie friendly Nicaraguan food from what I’ve read – but it’s basically rice and beans and therefore is lacking in the excitement department) in the next few weeks, I hope to find the answer to the question,

‘What the hell am I doing here in Nicaragua?’

Valuable Resources

  • Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders, for those who love anything weird and offbeat.
  • Resource Toolbox: How I find cheap flights, accommodations, and other travel hacks.

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23 Replies to “Sola to Nicaragua”

  1. Ha ha, you make me laugh: I am sure he didn't say that he hopes it is a one-way ticket. Seriously though, you are lucky to have such a supportive hubby. Nicaragua is one of those countries I am intrigued to visit, so I am looking forward to your volcano climbing posts!

  2. My husband is "letting" me go to Bali next month without him. Aren't we lucky gals? LOL

    Hope you're having a great time in Nicaragua, water problems or not!

  3. Sounds awesome! I'm interested to see what you get up to in Nicaragua. I'm sure you'll love it! I use to travel all around the world by myself, but now that Dan and I are married I can't imagine jumping on a plane without him 🙂 Luckily our schedules are both pretty flexible! I totally admire you though!

  4. Sounds like a great time.
    One of these days I'll have to take a trip alone. I am heading to a Wine Bloggers' Conference in June but it's only 45 minutes away and I'll be alone – I guess you gotta start somewhere.

    Have fun!

  5. I've read great reviews on Nicaragua and how it is one of the least explored countries in Central America. I hope you'll have tons of great stories to share! 🙂

  6. You'll have a great time! I went to Nicaragua by myself last September for a couple of weeks. I was in a Spanish school so a bit different but loved it there. Look forward to your stories so I can discover more places to visit in the country when I get back there again.

  7. You should find Nicaragua fascinating. Smart move to get up into the mountains. If you get up to Matagalpa (so easy by bus), I recommend visiting "La Selva Negra" coffee plantation, if you're into that sort of thing, you can bring your laptop and get some work done in a very nice setting there too. You can go beyond "Gallo Pinto" by visiting places owned by foreigners. At first I was supporting the local economy but then needed to hit up some of those places for the healthier food factor. The locals set up roadside 'ready-to-eat' fresh fruit stands set up in the morning in many places though. Good luck!

  8. Looking forward to read all about your visit to Nicaragua. We went to Costa Rica a couple years ago and stayed a couple days in Rincon de la Vieja National Park which is not to far from the border with Nicaragua.

  9. Nothing like a little excitement to stir up your life. That's how I ended up in Colombia. It was totally an impulse thing and a way to use some airline points. It ended up being a fabulous trip. And hopefully yours will too. I have three framed prints from a trip to Nicaragua my husband did – for business. He had nothing to say but kind things about the people. I hope it's a great success.

  10. Your solo adventure travel sounds good. I am impressed with the roaring lion statue. Good job buddy. Some time spontaneous plans end good. 🙂

  11. Have a great time! I've never been but I can't wait to read about what you have to say about the country. I'll get there someday!

  12. LOVE how impulsively you've planned this.
    I usually spend weeks looking at tickets, comparing prices, considering dates…
    Hope you have the best time and I'm really looking forward to why someone should go to Nicaragua. Besides because of the volcanoes, of course.

  13. Sounds like it's going to be an awesome (and very hot!) trip.
    I do the impulsive travel thing too. I definitely think it's the best way to book travel. If I sit around and think about it for too long I decide I want to go somewhere else, and then somewhere else, and then somewhere else.. so it's best just to get it booked!
    Looking forward to reading all about it and I hope you have a great time.

  14. That's awesome that you have understanding in your relationship. The "he let's you thing" annoys me because you are not property of his! Relationships are a two way agreement and we all have to accept each others ways. You love to jet off and be independent and that rocks!

    I freelance too and earn from blogs, my partner and I travel together luckily but I am sure we'll take our own breaks from time to time.

  15. What a fabulous trip to do on the spur of the monent! Good on you being sponteneous! It's a great freedom to have to be able to act on your own decisions and know that hubby will support you. I haven't been to any of the Central American countries either so I will be following with interest. Have fun!

  16. Sigh, how nice of your husband to "let" you be a grown adult who can do whatever she wants! I can't believe people still ask that question.

    Enjoy your trip!

  17. Haha. I love that you've been so impulsive. I've heard so many great things about Nicaragua. I went to Costa Rica a couple of years ago, and would love to go back, but via a couple more (and perhaps less touristy) South American countries. I hope you find what you're not sure you're looking for!!

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