Hi all –
So I’ve officially been living in San Juan Del Sur for just over a week now. It’s hard to describe just where to start with all that’s happened since I’ve been here in some organized fashion, but I’ll give it a shot. I’ll start off by sharing a few of my initial reactions and photos:
- It is no joke HOT here. Like….90 or so all the time. The room I’m staying in for the time being is totally insufferable unless I have a fan blowing in my face. And apparently it will just get worse during dry season…here’s to hoping I adjust.
- The town itself is really quite small, only 8-10 streets that run in some version of a grid, I can walk to the edge of central SJDS in 7 minutes or so – this is disregarding the outer neighborhoods (barrios) that I’m still not totally clear on
- Family is super important. The family I’m living with is a grandmother and her children living with their spouses and children all in one house
- The electricity goes out a lot
- Most tourists can be loosely placed in 1 of 3 groups:
- backpackers that are here to party or surf or just hang out in a beautiful place for a while
- Those who are here supporting some sort of social cause or calling with a charity or non-profit group
- And, those who are retired or have come here because they can afford retirement/a higher quality of life here
*many people can fit into more than one of these and of course there are outliers
- One issue with this sudden and rapid flow of tourism is that prices are going up. While it is still quite inexpensive to go out to dinner and pay rent or participate in activities like fishing, horseback riding, zip lining, surfing, etc. they are all rising pretty significantly while local wages are not
- I brought 4 cardigans that I can promise you I will never wear
- The wifi here leaves a lot to be desired…though it is easy to access free wifi at most local bars and cafes and even the park!
With that, I’m at very exciting and strange cross roads here in my life as a “blogger” (I use this title lightly as not to offend any real blogger who may beg to differ). In the past I was blogging purely as a tourist for somewhat short periods of time and as someone with loads of motivation and desire to travel on the weekends and experience new things as rapidly as possible. The difference here is that I am here for the next year and I’m working full time which means less travel and more time locally.
A lot of the other blogs I’ve read about Nicaragua read a lot like “how to’s” which I found incredibly helpful when making my decision to move here. I could write about the things I see hear and my opinion of it but run the risk of offending family, friends, co workers, and strangers about my private thoughts and reactions. The point is – I’m not sure where to go with this or what will be the most interesting thing to write about, TBD.
What I do know is that I want to become part of this community over the next year and have no interest is being grouped in with the foreigners that come here to party and be disrespectful of the local culture and environment while they are here. With this comes the realization that I don’t want to be someone who takes pictures of the “kids” or the “people” here because of the discomfort that I know I’d feel if the local community here traveled to my home and did the same to me. If there is something worth taking a picture, for example the independence day parade I saw earlier today, then of course I will take a photo to help commemorate my time here.
This travel experience is different than anthing I’ve done before in that because the town is so small people will recognize me and I will have a reputation. My goals are to blend in, teach awesome English classes, and grow as a person – all of which I expect I can accomplish here.
So…stay tuned. This blog will hopefully grow into something consistent and interesting where I can share my experiences and learn a thing or two about myself and what I’m passionate about along the way.
Thanks for reading! Hasta pronto!