I wake up in the morning on my sorry excuse of a bed to the sound of cars outside my room. I groan and roll over thinking that six a.m is too early to start the day. Let’s just sleep a little bit longer… At eight, I wake up again this time to the sound of clients outside my door, ready and excited for their first ever volcano boarding. That excitement is long gone for me and is now a distant memory of my first weeks at Quetzaltrekkers. So much has happened during my time in Nicaragua that it feels closer to a year than four months. But I enjoy my routine as well. I get up early, I want to walk the dog, have a nice breakfast, write some, read some and relax in between hikes. We go to the beach, we go out, we stay in… that’s how the wheels turn. And like this, days turns into weeks, weeks into months and here I am, the longest lived Quetzal volunteer in the house. I’ve seen people leave and people arrive, settling in, becoming a part of the family. I like not being the new one anymore. I’m happy, I love my life here. But amid it all I’m starting to wonder, is it time to move on?
I feel it’s time. Because I want to and because I have to. I need to focus more on developing my Spanish, make sure that I am using the full potential of my year in Latin America. It has to be a priority. So I look for other projects to get involved in and I realise that I can go wherever I want. These itchy feet won’t rest. I’m ready to take on another adventure somewhere I have never been. My mind starts to wander back to the early days of 2014 when I was fantasising about a continent and a new country so colorful and inviting I was sure it was my destiny. Before Nicaragua, before León, before Quetzaltrekkers I had a dream and now it is time to make this dream a reality. I am blowing wind into silent sails and I am off to yet another continent, I am going to Colombia!
But not before I cross the border into Panama, a crossing that will take place late January. On the other side awaits Bocas Del Toro, a group of delicious islands in the caribbean ocean. In Colón, closer to the Colombian border, I’ll jump on the ferry heading for my dream destination. 18 hours later, I’ll have touchdown in Cartagena de Indias and my sixth continent to date. Excited much? Like you wouldn’t believe.
So what are my plans? My experience with Quetzaltrekkers has been an eyeopener in more ways than one, but for the purpose of my next adventure it is the interactions with our projects and the children we support that has led me to take on a job I never thought I would voluntarily get myself into. And ironically enough my new adventure will take me to Santa Marta on the caribbean coast and another position working as a volunteer. A volunteer position hardly in the same category as my hiking guide experience. For four months I will dedicate my time to Colombia Sin Fronteras, a small grassroots organisation who are devoted to helping unprivileged children with life’s fundamental skills such as reading and writing as well as sports and cultural development. I am positive that the last half of my year abroad will be just as interesting as the first and hopefully even more educational, living with a host family interacting more frequently with locals in every part of life. Finally I will get to be close to the sea again and live in a city perfectly located, close to national parks, mountains and other interesting places such as the gorgeous Cartagena and the Carnival capital of Colombia, Barranquilla. Everything is set for this to be the perfect start to to my 2015. I’m excited about a new job that will take me beyond my comfort zone, but as far as I’ve heard this is where life begins. Bring it on.