My time in Nicaragua afforded me the luxury of a significant amount of self-reflection. It also allowed me to re-calibrate myself to well, myself. Something really lovely happens when I’m able to disconnect from the influence of other people and really have time to ask myself what it is that I like, what’s important to me, and what I want.
Here are a few of the things I learned or was reminded of:
-I feel much braver when I am alone. I realize it may seem strange, that often others would say they feel more vulnerable. But, time and time again I’ve come to learn that I am at my bravest and most adventurous when I am on my own.
-I think I hate cat-calling the most when there are expectations to follow. If you want to pass along a compliment to me, that’s something I don’t particular mind, in fact, I find it flattering and I quite honestly appreciate it. The trouble for me comes when there are hopes of action on my part. Whether that’s a continued conversation, a phone number, reciprocation, or ultimately sex. That’s when it’s not innocent. That’s when it’s invasive, offensive, and very much not welcomed.
-I’m not a partier. I’m just not. I barely drink when I’m on my own and the people that I met who spent all of their travel time partying and recovering from hang overs quite frankly bored and annoyed me. Getting drunk really only interests me if there’s a promise of stimulating conversation or one of those nights where everyone shares all of their secrets.
-I’m never going to be truly alone. Even when I traveled so far away I was constantly meeting people. Even when I was actively trying not to. By the end of my time in Granada I knew enough people by name that people would wave to me on the streets like I was in Mayberry. I keep attempting to run away from this fact, at some point I’ve just got to accept that I’m a friendly person and that’s my fate.
-There’s just not something inside of me that worries about missing out on things. I don’t feel left out when other people are hanging out together, I don’t have to see every single thing that a city has to offer. I’m happy with my experiences as they are big or small. It’s impossible to see and do everything and be with everyone all of the time, and the only time I worry about this sort of thing is when I think that someone else will think I missed something important. But, that’s a waste of worrying.
-I really enjoyed not shaving my legs, fixing my hair, and wearing make-up. Like, a lot.
-I’m totally capable of learning another language and potentially moving overseas. I’ve underestimated myself for most of my life in this regard.
-I could honestly travel forever.
-I value compassion, generosity, and kindness over almost anything. Especially if they’re all rooted in authenticity.