When you travel to a foreign country, you are bound to return home with funny stories. When you travel to a less developed country and no one in your party speaks the language, these stories are bound to be even more hilarious. My die-hard surfer family has been visiting Nicaragua for years and I had the pleasure of joining in on the fun last summer. During our trip, the laughter was in full force as my sister and I were dared to surf seven foot waves (which required you to jump off rocks in order to catch, might I add), my brother accidentally asked for cocaine at the local market when he was really trying to say ice in Spanish and every girl in the beach house sustained some sort of injury whilst we were running around screaming as bats flew into our kitchen one night. Simply put, a trip to Nicaragua will coax you away from your comfortable boundaries, which is exactly why you need to go. I promise that the funny stories you bring home will more than make up for any lack of comfort. You might even discover that you're much more amusing than you ever thought you were, even if it's in an 'everyone's laughing hysterically as you fall off your surfboard and nearly drown' sort of way. Humor is medicine powerful enough to heal bruised body parts and bruised egos in the same stroke.
Make sure to bring:
An adventurous sense of humor / you'll need that when you emerge from the bottom of the ocean covered in sand, seaweed and embarrassment.
Book of Spanish phrases / a necessary object if you want to avoid being mistaken for a drug dealer during a quick grocery jaunt.
At least one book per week you'll be there / I read this last time and enjoyed it immensely.
Every reggae song you have in your music library / these tunes are perfect for a pre-surf rev up session.
A video camera to document the hilariousness / this one works really well for traveling light but still captures good footage.
Aloe / sore sunburns just aren't funny, even if you have the greatest sense of humor on the planet.
Don’t leave without:
Don’t leave without:
Getting a few thrills in / jump off the pier, ride the wave, climb to the roof and watch the sunset... these are not things you can do every day so take advantage.
Visiting the closest village / soak up the flavor and test your Spanish skills, even if the locals laugh at you when you pronounce hola wrong.
Trying Toña beer and Flor de Caña rum / these made in Nicaragua ingredients are sure to increase the potential for hilarity.
Reveling in the small moments / my favorite trip stories, captured below, came from the moments when we were laughing, gazing and enjoying the simplicity of the ocean and the people around us.
Stories make the best souvenirs, don't you think?