I’m kinda nervous.
No, not a job interview (bitch, please!). Nor an upcoming flight, or anything else that normally makes my pulse race. It’s simply, because the electricity is gone. Actually, i’m not that restless just because it is gone. That happens from time to time in Central America. It’s more, because I don’t know why. Not knowing the cause, makes it hard to fix the problem. At least, to fix it for longer than short term.
„Tranquila“, the brown-green, calming teddybear eyes of my Nicaraguan colleague give me this look, which is a mixture of “trust me, everything’s gonna be alright” and “man, what the hell is wrong with her, why is she so nervous?”. So, all normal, all good. It will come back. They’re doing some repairs on the electricity line, at least that’s what people say.
And yet, I am still too not-Nicaraguan to sit down, read a book and keep calm till it comes back. No washing machine. No fan. No Wifi (biiig issue haha). How long will the fridge keep cool…? I start cleaning windows to fight against the restless, worrying mannequin that keeps on drawing worst case scenarios in my head.
What if…? – „Tranquila!“
End of the story? The electricity came back. It was due to some work on the line.
“What ifs” had quite a big impact on my decisions, generally. And I still appreciate them sneaking up from time to time, because they help to think carefully about the consequences, the decisions might bring. But still, too many of them made me worry too much, overwhelmed me, and eventually prevented me from actually doing things. It’s hard to say if travelling changed this, or if the simple getting out of the normal was enough, but it helped me to become more “tranquila” – more relaxed.
I remember the last moment I have been really nervous, as if it was yesterday (entering planes does not count, here): I was in Australia. What if going to Nicaragua turned out to be the wrong way? What if this super expensive flight took me to a country I wouldn’t like? What if I’ve had better gone to Asia..?
Well, obviously, the only way to find it out, was to finally take the 15-hours flight (yep, fifteen..!) and experience Nicaragua myself. And what happened? Here I am, happy and all good, working in this cute guesthouse at Playa El Coco, checking in and taking care of guests, like as if this job had just waited for me to come.
At this moment, I am sure it will be hard to be without the thundering sound of regularly crashing waves, again. To fall asleep without it, will be even harder. Sometimes it’s so loud, that I have trouble being on the phone. Being on the phone in Spanish is still hard even without the waves, though.
Generally, the rhythm down here is a different one, more defined by nature. I wake up at 6 a.m., when the sun slowly rises, and feel the first yawning coming up at 5:30 p.m. latest, as soon as the sun has set down in one of this mind-blowing sunsets, that I will never ever get tired of.
Don’t get me wrong here, there’s still work to do, and sometimes I got afraid I would never ever stop sweating again. But generally, jumping into the strong, busy, and constantly-demonstrating-its-force-and determination-like-ocean (either with or without board) for a cool down, is more than worth the sauna in between.
Cruising down the dirtroad (first a bit scary, in the end a really fun thing), cuddling the one and only cutest dog of whole Coco (maybe of whole Nicaragua), going for unexpectedly adventourous expeditions with my boss (let me know when you reach the cactus), or joking around with the local staff – the family of the guesthouse I volunteered at, really found its way into my heart. So, home is, where the heart is!? Definitely.
I don’t know who was sitting in my head though, telling me that I had to come here, and looking back, it was indeed quite a coincidence, but now I am just glad it happened, I don’t care about the why anymore. Happieness deluxe.
About the location
Playa el Coco is just enough off the grid, half an hour dirt road away from San Juan del Sur. The waves are good for surfing, swimming or bodyboarding, and there are hardly any people at the beach. When it’s season, you might get the chance to spot some sea turtles at Playa La Flor.
And don’t you dare to miss those amazing sunsets!
Check out the beaches around: I liked the vibes at Playa Hermosa (also because of the nice, beginner-friendly waves haha). Also, Playa Yankee is good for a surf-day and usually not very crowded.
How to get to Playa el Coco
A chicken bus runs from San Juan del Sur direction El Ostional. Ask the driver to let you out at Playa El Coco, and you’ll be fine. If you miss it, you can still get a taxi.
Where to stay
Join the „family“, wake up directly at the beach and just enjoy this beautiful escape. Jan is an amazing host, who makes his guests feel perfectly at home. Enjoy the food!
If you’re really on a budget, check out the Tortugas Hostel. Beautiful place, nice view, good food.
All in all I think it is not necessary mentioning that I totally fell in love with Nicaragua. I can just recommend going there, even though with this recommendation swings a lot of subjective facts: I love speaking Spanish, I met some incredibly lovely people (that became real friends over the time), I love the beach life, I like the music (although it’s mostly latin, be prepared for some Eminem rap in chicken busses!) and I don’t mind eating burritos and gallo pinto (rice and beans) for weeks 😉 I’ll be BACK!