The answer to the question is simple: It’s the people you meet.
Think back for a moment to your most precious travel experiences. What are the stories that you’re most likely to remember after you arrive home? I’ll wager that they involve the people you traveled with or the people you met along the way.
And I’ll further wager that it’s the interactions with people that led to your most important insights about the world. Especially if you met people from a different culture.
The mark of a great trip
Over the years we’ve introduced hundreds of people to San Juan del Sur. Each of our tours is designed to connect people to people and people to culture. Because without this connection the experience would be flat and uninteresting.
The connections don’t have to be earth shattering ones – you don’t have to take long moonlit walks on the beach. A brief encounter or a spontaneous exchange is often all that it takes.
The unexpected delights of connection
In San Juan del Sur it could be meeting the 14 year old child from the Carizal community attending her afternoon English class who believes that she will be a doctor, if she tries hard enough.
Or Dona Nelly, the head of the ‘Jam ladies cooperative’ who smiles with delight as you taste her new pitaya jam recipe and then takes you by the hand to see the community garden or nearby farm animals.
Or it could be the 75 year old expat who’s been surfing for 30 years and declares the breaks around San Juan del Sur as the best of his pursuit of a lifetime.
Or maybe meeting local artist Chuka and learning the meaning behind his amazing art.
“A Country with Heart”
When I first arrived in Nicaragua, the tourism slogan was “Nicaragua…con Corazon” (“Nicaragua…with Heart”). It has since changed, but I think that old slogan still describes the place best.
It’s hard to define, but Nicaragua just has a little more “heart” than most places.
So if you’re interested in a travel experience that’s vital and alive, make sure you make the effort to get to know the people and connect with culture when you visit.
And no, language barriers are not an excuse.