Namaste from Nicaragua
My recent trip to Nicaragua was meant to be about exploration. I had it all planned out: hiking volcanoes, soaking up culture, chillin’ with indigenous people—the works. I even packed a cool Tomb Raider ensemble, complete with a leg-strap sheath and knife for visual effect. Yup. I was ready.
However, my plans derailed the moment I entered the sanctuary of serenity called Aqua Nicaragua. Carved directly into a mountain of the jungle, this resort echoes tranquility. Exotic birds sing, while monkeys swing across vines and shy hermit crabs scurry about. It is Eden. Descending the highland, I found myself surrounded by masterfully designed tree-houses nestled within lush bushes. The crisp scent of the North Pacific wafted through the salty air. It was shabby-chic all the way, and I loved it.
“With a direct view of the ocean, and vibrant flora about, I sank into a trance that lasted six amazing days. I was in heaven.”
I entered my treehouse and flopped down on the bed. As an earth-woman, I’m truly at home in the most natural of surroundings. With a direct view of the ocean, and vibrant flora about, I sank into a trance that lasted six amazing days. I was in heaven.
Nevertheless, I sternly told myself, “Self. You will tarry no more!” But nature prevailed. Despite my desperate attempts to break free from its spell and set forth on my expedition, the jungle pulled me in.
The resort promotes wellness. Its goal is to reconnect you with nature and harmonize your spirit. Villas don’t have TV’s. Cell phone reception is virtually nonexistent. And WiFi?? Fuggedaboutit. Aqua also offers yoga, organic fare, fresh juices and the like. Combined, it all makes for a very soothing experience.
Looking back, it may have been the deeply relaxing yoga classes that adhered me to the compound. Or, maybe it was the hammocks that I melted into each day following lunch. It could have been the calm ocean waves that lulled me to bed each night, rendering me completely useless in the morning. Not entirely sure. But, there was just something about that place.
Now, listen. I’m all for the oft-preached advice to tourists that says “Don’t just vacation… travel” and “See more: Explore.” I’m a huge advocate in this school of thought. To me, it’s profoundly necessary to expand one’s horizons, be curious and explore beyond our “normal.” It’s what fosters creativity, makes us smarter and improves civilization. I believe it’s our duty to make that contribution to ourselves and society; after all, curiosity led to some of the greatest discoveries known to man. “Exploration begets inspiration” and all that jazz. But, this trip was a breed all its own.
There was something about sinking into Warrior Pose each morning while gazing at the serene, yet powerful ocean. I became somehow more deeply aware of its strength and power. It was as if a transfer of energy ensued between the deep blue and my outstretched hands. I quietly listened as the breeze whispered in my ear things that were only for me. I had connected with the pulse of the Earth. It both invigorated and humbled me. Contemplating awe-inspiring mountain views while failing miserably at Revolved Big-Toe Hold was pretty fun, too.
Beach days were spent sun-baked, studying the Kebra Nagast. At night, I ingested light dinners and local music. That’s it. No wild adventures, no exploration… unless you count the self-exploration that you’re bound to encounter whilst on the mountain. That part was lovely. I did, however, make time to swing among the vines like the primates.
Otherwise, I can’t quite say that I’ve “seen” Nicaragua. I’ve only experienced a taste of what its quiet naturalness can offer—which was remarkable, to say the least.
So, if you’re ever down that way, please do explore and update me on what I may have missed. Oh, and also take a moment to quietly reconnect with nature while you’re at it. I promise, you’ll be glad you did.
Nikiesha McLennon was born in Germany and raised in Queens. Artist, culturalist, and computer nerd, she's visited more countries than there are subway lines. This Guyanese/Jamaican mix likes her food spicy and her beach water clear. Currently resides in Brooklyn and loves window seats.