So we made it back from our trip to Nicaragua safe and sound. It’s a long day of travel and I know that’s an issue for most, but the more we visit Gran Pacifica, the more we feel it’s worth it.
The setting is so conducive to unwinding. Warm Pacific breezes, the rhythm of the ocean waves and relaxed atmosphere all contribute to what our friend Ross Swanton refers to as experiencing “nothingness”. The ability to just sit and soak in everything around you. No schedule, no urgency. For us North Americans and our go go go mentality, this is a terrific thing to wrap your head around. I find it takes me a few days but when it takes hold…oh my…
Our usual stay has been 10 days. This time we stayed 14. It’s interesting that after the first week went by, typically I’d start thinking about our time running out. But knowing you have another week, was a nice shift, a feeling of relief. It also helped entrench that “nothingness” feeling even deeper.
Oh we did a few tours, as in trips to markets, geographic sites like volcanoes, historical cathedrals etc. But we usually planned them with down days in between. Some like to spend time on the beach or beside a pool. For me, having the freedom to dive into the pictures I’ve taken on our tours has the same relaxing effect.
It gets pretty warm in the afternoon sun down there and one of the adjustments we’ve made is to spend some afternoon time inside our condo. Coming from a cooler climate and spending too much time in the extreme heat of mid 30 temps with high humidity can take it’s toll. Daylight is pretty regular at 5:30 am to 5:30 pm. We tended to get up with the sun. It’s usually a bit cooler, mid 20s, at that time so more conducive for walks on the beach. Still left plenty of time for a morning coffee/breakfast on our patio overlooking the Pacific taking in breathtaking scenery around us. At the end of the day, or 5:30 pm, there’s the usual gathering around the pool to see who can get the best sunset picture. Prairie sunsets are great, but these rank right up there. When you take the time to watch the sun go down and wait for the color that comes after it’s gone, you see some pretty spectacular skies.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the staff at Gran Pacifica have really improved their ability to speak English. This just further enhances the element of community as we get to know regulars we’ve seen on previous trips better. Sharing about their families, pictures of their kids and experiences they are going through, helps you realize how similar we all are. The friendships are something we’ll remember, as much as, the scenery.
So where am I going with this? Well, at some point this idyllic setting comes to an end. At some point you go back to the world that allowed you to go on the trip in the first place. And so it was with this trip. As mentioned, it’s a long day of travel. Three flights, layovers, picking up baggage, checking baggage, security check points all the while making sure you have your passports and boarding passes in order.
Word of advice, when you’re my size, budget for paying up to get seats with the extra leg room. When you have some long flights, it makes a world of a difference. Also, don’t get too excited when you find out you and your flying partner wind up in different rows. Most people are pretty accommodating if you ask nicely. We actually slept quite a bit on the plane. It’s not great, restful sleep, but it is sleep nonetheless.
Adjusting to the regular routine of work schedules and colder temperatures is a major deal for me. I truly believe in post holiday blues. And I struggle with it. I’d get home and just want to go to bed. In fact I did go to bed as early as 8 pm and sleep right through to morning. Work days can be a struggle. The thing you have to realize is the world didn’t stop while you went away. Things kept moving along and now you have to catch up. Mentally, I find this part the toughest. You go from the “nothingness” to the go go go in the span of a day or so. One day you’re sipping coffee or whatever, taking in the ocean waves without a care in the world and the next, you’re at your desk prepping deals, trying your best to answer questions about things you weren’t involved in while away. Think think think…get it in gear!
I think it took well into our second week back before I started to feel somewhat normal. One catalyst was an evening when I was going to call it an early night, but went and played my bass instead. Hadn’t touched it in quite some time, at least at home. It felt great. Time melted away. Hour? More? Can’t remember exactly, but the time spent was like a shot of all things good. There was hope things were getting back in sync again.
I still prefer sunshine in the morning and this time of year it just doesn’t happen. So it’s time to start planning for the next trip. Time to think about the memories. Time to remember it’s our here and now that allows us to make those plans…
In the mean time, it’s time to take a look around and enjoy where we live…because there’s some pretty cool scenes here as well.