6 reasons why you need to travel to Nicaragua.

Nicaragua has been on my radar to investigate as a "new" destination for travelers to explore ever since I read that Nicaragua is pegged to become the  new Costa Rica. I love Costa Rica. Costa Rica was my gateway country  into Central America many moons ago when I chose to study Spanish there while in college.

Everyone I ever knew who traveled to Nicaragua always said that it's so different from Costa Rica, that the vibe was totally different.  I wanted to know what made Nicaragua so different from Costa Rica; geographically speaking, they have some of the same things: mountains, volcanoes, beaches, rainforest's, etc so why the distinct contrast between Nicaragua and Costa Rica?
What's so great about Nicaragua?
1. The Volcanoes Nicaragua has 19 volcanoes. The skyline is riddled with volcanoes everywhere you look. On my last trip to Nicaragua, we visited Masaya Volcano National Park where we stood over the edge of a bubbling caldron of fiery red lava where clouds…

The men's travel movement.

As of late, I've been giving a lot of attention to why there's not more of a men's travel movement. I mean, Google women's travel and you'll find gobs of articles and websites that promote women's travel. Retreats, solo trips, group trips, women-centric trips that focus on empowerment and transformation, you name it, you'll find it. Google men's travel and you'll find websites that sell men's travel bags, gear, clothing, etc., but the first thing you will NOT find is anything about men's only travel trips.
I don't get it, yet again I do. Since women's liberation became a "thing", women have been forging ahead in the workplace, politics, home life, within their personal endeavors as well as in travel. Women have been on the rise long before we have been given the freedom to do so and now, we are seeing women transform themselves and redefine themselves over and over again, fearlessly in every aspect of their lives, includin…

Is Nicaragua safe?

I travel to places where many people sometimes give me that "Oooh, you're going there? Isn't it dangerous? Isn't it poor? " comment. I always respond with an enthusiastic, "Yes I am and I am about to break any stereotypes that you may have about this country."

My most recent trip was to Nicaragua where I spent my days meeting with tourism partners, hoteliers and then traveled around to experience the country first hand. In order to promote travel to a country, I like to experience it personally so that I am basing my suggestions off of personal experience instead of someone else's reviews. 

When most people think of Nicaragua, their first thought is usually one of a few of these things : Guerilla warfare, Sandinistas, poverty, danger, and gang activity. Understanding the history of a country will allow you to see past the stereotypes that you have and help you determine your own opinion on a destination.

Here's a bit of history for you on Nicaragu…

Preconceived notions.

What do you think of when you think of Ethiopia? What about Croatia? How about Jordan or Jerusalem? What crosses your mind when you think about El Salvador or Colombia? Chances are a flash of images or events cross your mind that were fed to you via a variety of media channels.Having never been to any of these destinations, your tendency may be to immediately write them off as  viable travel destinations based solely on the information you’ve received via news channels or social media.
I was talking with someone the other day and she said, “ I have some friends who are traveling to Croatia right now. I never thought to travel there. I mean, I think of war and struggle when I hear Croatia but these people are LOVING it there. They don’t even want to return home. I have send their pictures and it looks amazing! I want to go to Croatia now.”Like many people, she had an idea in her head about how Croatia is ; she was proven wrong by people who took a leap and traveled there themselves an…

The benefits of a local guide.

Travel is such a funny thing.

There are so many different types of travelers that getting to know my clients is the FIRST and MOST important thing I can do when their planning vacations.

When my clients begin to plan their vacations with me, it's critical to know what kind of traveler they are. Some travelers prefer to get to their destination and explore on their own and others prefer to have a guide. Many clients do copious amounts of research on their upcoming trip and decide that they will navigate their trip on their own based on their own research. There is no right or wrong in how people choose to experience their travels but when it comes to traveling to a new destination and exploring, I often encourage people to choose to travel with a local guide.

Self-guided travel is amazing and creates moments of spontaneous adventure but it can also be exhausting and challenging. While I was in Japan, on a guided trip with G Adventures, I kept running into the same two women from E…

Locked out.

I woke up this morning with this "feeling" of needing to write something and for whatever reason, the thought of locking oneself out of ones home or car popped into my head.

I sat on this thought for a minute and thought about what happens in those moments where  we lock ourselves out of our home or car. For most of us, I think it'd be safe to say that there's a sense of panic that sets in when we find ourselves locked out. Our ability to think straight or see beyond the present moment of distress flies out the window and all we can think about is "I'm locked out. I can't get in. I want in. I NEED to get in."  We look in the windows of our home or our car and all of a sudden see it from a different angle. We see it now as something that we ought to take closer care of and have a deeper appreciation for because looking at it from the outside doesn't feel nearly as good as nestling ourselves inside our secure walls, painted with our personal taste…

The poetic side of travel.

Maybe it's just me, but traveling brings out the romance in me. I'm not talking about roses and chocolates and long walks on the beach type of romance but instead  the type of romance that comes with an infatuation with everything around me. I'm talking about seeing the world with rose colored glasses. I'm talking about living poetry. By definition, romance fits describing travel perfectly:

ro·mance rōˈmans,ˈrōˌmans/ noun 1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
"in search of romance"