12 things I learned in 3 months in Central America

Few days ago, I accidently showed up at one birthday party and I asked the guy who had birthday: “So when exactly in March is your birthday?” Everyone in the room looked at me and started laughing. It’s April, not March. This situation made me think of how could it be possible that I so often have no idea about the time or date? Maybe it’s because I don’t have a smartphone, watch or an office job. Or maybe it’s just because I’m enjoying the moment more than ever and I don’t plan that much. This is a new situation and it’s very different from the South American trip where I traveled very fast and I felt that there was no time to “just chill” in a hammock and stay somewhere for a longer while. This has changed recently and I would like to share my feelings about the current travel with you.

New travel – new episode – new experience
I started traveling in Central America exactly 3 months ago. That is a good time to do a little summary of what I learned or experienced so far and match my current situation to the ideas and dreams that I had for this trip. I wrote a post about the decision to travel Central America, so you might check that first if you want to: Decision taken – Hola Central America!

The following points describe what I learned, observed or discovered in Central America so far:

1. I’m not a newbie anymore.
I’m used to traveling, it’s my lifestyle. I find my self calm in many situations that positively or negatively surprised me one year ago, e.g. seeing a giant cockroach, sleeping in loud dorms to saying goodbye to people. What shocked me the other day was a scorpion that walked on me… luckily it went away and didn’t hurt me.

I don't want to meet this guy anymore.

I don’t want to meet this guy anymore.

2. I enjoy the time spent alone.
I noticed that I don’t have to talk to everyone I meet, I’m more selective in who I want to spend my time with. I’m used to finding activities for my self and I don’t depend on others to do some stuff. On the other hand it’s great to meet people that have the same interests and to share my time with them. I met some interesting and inspiring people again and that confirms what I learned in South America: “Good people do exist and I believe in them.”

3. Long-term traveling & crisis.
For the first time in my “travel” life I experienced little travel crisis. It started like this: “What am I doing, why am I going form a place to place, I’ve already seen so much and I met so many people that I don’t know if I want to see more”. So before purchasing a ticket back to Europe I decided to wait and see what happens. And what happened? I finally found a place that I was looking for, it’s called El Tunco in El Salvador, where I can surf, do yoga and seriously, I love it here. It’s certainly not time to go back home, I just need to have bit of everyday routine and create some stuff (like this post). And when the time comes, I’ll hit the road again.

My new office: hammock and swimming pool :)

My new office: hammock and swimming pool 🙂

4. Traveling solo vs. traveling with someone I know from back home.
When I traveled in South America, I traveled alone, although I was never alone. I wrote a post about it before: Travel buddies – you are not alone 🙂This time I was very lucky that one of my best friends from Slovakia – MADULA – decided to join me in Nicaragua. The overall experience was very positive, because we shared many funny, exciting and also hard moments (e.g. being sick from food). What was great was discussing lot of topics that I usually don’t say to people who I’ve known for 3 days. This made me think more about my life and review some values I had or I discovered while traveling. I also noticed, that it was not so easy to get used to a person who suddenly shared my everyday’s life on the road. Suddenly I had to compromise and it was not that easy as I thought. But following one my favorite quotes: “Alone we run faster but together we go further” helped me to understand that there is something I can learn from and I did so. “Old” friends are here for life. It’s like a family and not everything has to be exactly perfect or ideal. We learn and inspire each other and there is a great amount of trust that makes my life easier and more fulfilling. And!!! We did a video about our journey in Nicaragua and I know that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. Thanks Madula!

Fun with Madula

Fun with Madula

5. Hot vs. cold weather.
Since I started traveling in Panama (I remind that it’s been exactly 3 months ago), it rained only one time – for 5 minutes. This is dry season for the countries where I’m traveling and it’s very hot everyday. My plan was to do much more online activities, write more, start my own business. I’m much slower to what I planned initially. I know that I can’t blame the weather, but I certainly understand that things take longer time in countries with tropical weather ☺

6. Blogging when traveling.
Before I started traveling in South America, I decided to run this blog – the Unboxing traveller – to stay in touch with my family and friends and to discover some funny, special and local products. As I kept traveling the blog started growing and I saw the potential of being a full time travel blogger. This time I know that it’s not the direction I want to go. I still like to share my stories, take photos and inspire you. But I don’t want to spend my time traveling and having a full time job where I have to be online all the time. And that’s what – in my eyes – travel blogging is about.

7. Volunteering.
What I find much more interesting is volunteering or taking part in different community projects. In February I worked in a hostel in Costa Rica and thanks to that I could stay for free and have some money for food. I learned a lot about hostel industry and met great people that stayed in the hostel. Right now I’m looking for a project with kids, teaching or helping with project’s marketing or communication. Cross your fingers for me, there might be something soon ☺

8. Relationships.
It’s still hard ☺ On the other hand exciting. I don’t want to be rational, I think that it’s better to enjoy a short story with someone that is great than adjusting to something long-term but not really exciting. But I noticed that “destination relationships” are less and less interesting for me, so maybe I’m getting older and it’s time to settle down… who, knows, this is a chapter on it’s own ☺

For you

For you

9. Fit when traveling.
There is a big change in my diet from traveling in South America. When I traveled in South America I gained and I didn’t feel fit. Also, I started to be vegetarian before that trip and I didn’t know what to eat, so I ate lot of pasta, rice, chips and cookies (the worst!). In Central America though, I changed my diet also because it’s much easier to choose fresh veggies and fruits than in South America. I love FRIJOLES (beans), avocado and tropical fruit. I allowed my self to eat only one dish of pasta per week (hard, but not impossible!) and most importantly I’m surfing and I do yoga. I’ve been a bit lazy lately, but because I’m writing it here, it will hopefully “kick-my-ass” and I’ll start surfing everyday again!

Sunset yoga in El Tunco

Sunset yoga in El Tunco

10. Latin American specialization.
I hope that I can say that I’m more and more specialized for Latin American topics. No wonder, I traveled from the bottom in Ushuaia/Argentina through the whole Pacific coast of South America and now I’m in the center of Central America. Some people asked me why don’t I travel to Asia or Australia and I will surely do so one day. But I find it super interesting to travel one huge continent from bottom to top, discovering the geographical changes, biodiversity and political/social differences between Latin American countries.

11. I’m not scared of bacteria anymore (or as much as I used to).
Or was I incredibly lucky so far that my digestion is working (mostly) alright? Or am I used to this bacteria? I also don’t care about dirty places that much anymore. I don’t know if that is good or bad hehehe.

12. I don’t have a return ticket and I’m easy about it.
I miss Europe, my family and friends. But I’m used to be without them, also because I know that at some point I’ll go back. But the time hasn’t come yet. Big hugs to all of you in Europe!

Stay tuned for more stories and discoveries, I’ll try to write more although it’s HOT LIKE IN HELL ☺

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10 Comments on “12 things I learned in 3 months in Central America

  1. Silvia, what a nice & true post! I have followed your blog for months, and I can feel that you have been enjoying Central America so much. Sometimes it is better to slow down the traveling little bit, and just enjoying the present. Big hug from Europe 🙂

    PS: Do not stop writing 🙂

    • Ahoj Kristina! Thanks so much for your comment and for a hug 🙂 You made me happy. And don’t worry, I won’t stop writing. Byeeee 🙂

  2. Hi Silvia,
    great post, I could not write it better on my own 🙂 I am also traveling, but in Southeast Asia. I am very glad to see more and more Slovak people decide to discover the world not just because of better paid jobs but also for traveling. With your hostel volunteering you inspired me to look for something similar. Enjoy your travels!

    • Ahoj Petka!!
      Thanks for your kind words. I like how you wrote that more and more Slovak people want to discover the world – and not only because of getting paid more. That is also my case, because I left a nice job to discover the world. I don’t regret at all. And yes, volunteering is a good way how to be more active in a community or do something for a cause that you support.
      Enjoy your travels too 🙂

  3. I love what you wrote about not having to talk to everyone you meet. When I first started traveling, I felt this pressure to make new friends at every new hostel and in every new town. Now I’m like you – much more selective about when I choose to open up and with whom. I’ve found the relationships I do make are much richer because of it. Great post!

    • Thanks Rashad! I love that each trip is different and I’m learning new things all the time.

  4. Hey Silvia! It is a pleasure to read you blog and I especially enjoyed this post! My travels change a lot at the moment, having spent 4 wonderful weeks with my dear friend Lisa, where we met so many phantastic people (including you of course) and another 4 weeks with my partner but now it’s time for me to head further by myself and your post gave back some positive feelings about travelling alone that I must have lost somewhere on my way. Thank you!! Big hugs from Bogotá

    • Hi Laurita!! I hope that you’re enjoying your travels, even alone 🙂 I think that all scenarios have it’s own charm and when you’re alone, you can basically do whatever you want. So enjoy the freedom and say hi to Colombia, one of my favorite countries. Take care and see you in Europe. Chao!!

    • Hola Ana. Thank you very much for your feedback! I’m happy that you like it 🙂

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