One week has gone by since I arrived in Ometepe, an island in South Nicaragua. It’s one of those places where time dissolves and you find yourself wondering whether it’s been a day or a month.
I’m staying at Finca Zopilote, a permaculture farm where you can volunteer – minimum stay two months – or just visit and enjoy the amazing beauty of the place and its surroundings.
Sleep in a hammock, shower in the open air, eat organic produce, yoga every morning and afternoon, learn about permaculture, and much more… A little piece of paradise for sure.
The island is gorgeous. You can submerge yourself in the lush nature. Meditate by the water of Lago Nicaragua. Tarzan swing into the beautiful natural swimming pool at Ojo del Agua. Spend the night in a mirador with fellow travelers, singing along to the guitar while watching shooting stars. Buy delicious papayas for 15 Cordobas a piece – about 50 cents.
And off course, gaze at the volcanoes while biking, walking or hitch-hiking. Touring the island on a scooter is probably the most popular activity, but maybe think twice… I’ve only been here a week and I saw A LOT of people who crashed, most of them in a pretty rough state.
Better ways to get around? Catching a ride in the back of a truck. Or even just a cosy spot in a full chicken bus!
I reunited with a friend I met in Sri Lanka and met a bunch of other beautiful souls.
The island has a special vibe, maybe it’s the two volcanoes sharing the small surface? There is something in the air that makes people want to stick around, which a lot did or do. Ometepe has a surprisingly high number of organic farms, permaculture projects or yoga communities run by foreigners who decided to stay here.
I can see why. Life in this Nicaraguan jungle makes you connect. To nature, to others, to yourself. It invites you to travel within, to dormant parts that needed awakening. Almost like the volcanoes traveling to the center of the earth and stirring her insides. This is one of the things I love most about traveling in general, and traveling alone in particular. You meet yourself.
Many people think that traveling is an escape, a way to run away from something. I disagree. Rather than running away, it’s diving into an adventure of self exploration and horizon expansion. Traveling, for me, is not about the checklist of must-see’s and must-do’s. It’s about meeting people, sharing experiences, broadening your views, opening your heart, and somewhere along the bumpy road get in touch with your true self.
I travel to come home to myself.
Sometimes you hike volcanoes and enjoy breathtaking views.
Other times you’re sick and miserable in the middle of nowhere, hoping it will all be over soon.
Sometimes you laugh your ass off with people from all over the world, regardless of country, color or beliefs.
Other times conversations or encounters will reopen old wounds that never healed properly.
This one week on Ometepe has been perfect. It reminded me of things that needed reminding and gave me a lot of new insights.
On how powerful the mind is. How beautiful it is to be real and meet like-minded people dealing with the same questions and issues. How being grateful can change everything. How free it feels to be just here and now. How miraculous it is to be alive and healthy. How every single effort we make to change the world in a positive way is meaningful. How, in the end, the only person you can really change is yourself.
And, how it always comes down to love. And that maybe the world is lacking love because so many people lack self-love.
This journey within, like a volcano erupting, is beautiful and terrifying at the same time – like nature itself.
It already feels hard to say goodbye to this place and its people. But new horizons are awaiting! I’m probably heading to some Nicaraguan surf spot today. Or change my mind and stay here another two months to volunteer as a yoga teacher 🙂