We all have stories that we like sharing with other people. We are made of stories. And when we compare our tales with other travellers, we realise that we are not that different from one another. We are all connected in a way. Of all places, hostels offer the possibility of becoming storytelling centres.
Yamini Benites and Subali (Camila), Brasil.
“We have just finished a course in a therapy called Bioenergetics. As soon as we were done with our studies, we decided to go travelling . . . Nicaragua had been a dreamt destination for many years. Curiously, our first workshop in meditation has been in Casa Oro.
We have connected here our passion for meditation and for Nicaragua. In the following days, we have invitations to share our knowledge in many
different parts of the country.”
Dane Wobbema, United States.
“I broke up with my girlfriend in May, quit my job in June. In the process of starting a business I decided I needed a reset: to learn to surf and to get out of my comfort zone in the States, to move from the mountains to the sea.”
“I walked around the whole town of San Juan del Sur and, for some reason I was drawn to Casa Oro.”
“I don’t have a story, only memories.”
Surfing the nica waves for over 15 years.
Juan Carlos, Argentina.
“My story? How can I start?
I used to live in Calafate, Patagonia. I used to work in a bank.
Last year I travelled to Cuba and this trip left me unquiet. I understood that if I continued with the life that I had I was meant to enjoy only 15 or 20 days of holidays per year. There was a click in my head. It made me untie myself from all the bonds that were keeping me in that position.
It was a progressive change. In the whole past year, the idea of searching a new way of life grew in my mind. Being part of the system allows you less and less freedom.”
Alexandra, United States with a Cuban origin
When I turned 25 last January, I decided it was time for a change. I did not want to keep living the life that I was leading. It was not a bad life, in fact, most people would have been very comfortable in it, but it was too simple for me. I felt that something bigger was missing, as if I were running in circles, doing the same things everyday, with the same people, rushing everywhere.
Talking about travelling and seeing the world was one thing, putting those dreams into action, quite another. Yet I didn’t want to become that woman that I was. Words were not enough for me, so I had to move. The knowledge of a necessary inner healing, together with the urge to start anew and assess myself spiritually, took me to The Sanctuary at Two Rivers, Costa Rica, where I live and work now. I’m a resident yogi, and a plant based culinary intern.
Finding this place so easily and at the right time symbolises for me that it was meant to happen. You can feel it inside. In a couple of months I sold my car, I left my appartment, said goodbye to my friends and family, and shaved my hair to arrive fresh and start anew in the jungle.
In these five months in the jungle, I have experienced that when you grant yourself the gift of time, you can heal, you can get to know yourself, as you have nowhere else to run. You are alone with your thoughts. There is no price for me to that experience because it is magic what happens, it’s the only word I can find to describe it.
“I was travelling from San Juan to Rivas, destination Ometepe. I was listening to an Argentinian band, La Renga, on my loudspeaker, because I had no headphones. That made a guy from Argentina talk to me. We got involved in a random conversation and he ended up convincing me to apply for a volunteering position in Casa Oro as bar attendant. That was Ezequiel, who was changing his position at the bar to start working at Rancho Regeneracion project.”
“I was robbed in Granada. All my money was gone. Some people at the hostel there told me that I could easily find a job was in San Juan del Sur, so I hitchhiked to San Juan.
As soon as I arrived, I started asking everywhere for a position as a volunteer. I was offered to work at the bar in Casa Oro. But I needed to make money, too. It was low season, so the best I could find was a restaurant that gave me a meal in exchange of bringing them customers at the shout of “almuerzos, almuerzos.”
It was a fun period, working at the restaurant during the day, and at the bar at night time. But I changed my volunteering position, moving to the permaculture project. I am an environmental engineer, so I wanted to know better the work that it is done there. I was eager to learn about the compost and all the processes that were taking place at “la finca”, as we call it. At the same time, I felt I could help with my experience and knowledge in the field. I do not bring customers to the Asador Areliz anymore, but I sell sweet cakes all around San Juan after I finish work at Rancho Regeneracion”
Myself, the person who is writing about everyone else.
“My life is a continuous contradiction, an everlasting dichotomy. I always want to stay in a place, but at the same time, move somewhere else.
I have spent the last month and a half volunteering at Casa Oro, being part of the different projects that they are carrying out. On the one side, I want to continue working in San Juan del Sur, seeing the seeds develop into something bigger. On the other side, I want to continue travelling, exploring, moving. As said, a neverending contradiction, an ongoing tune in my head: should I stay or should I go?”