Actually, this should be titled “lessons learned in Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua” but that just doesn’t flow as well.
- You can wear your shirt as tight as you want. No matter your size. In fact, the tighter the better. But if you want to wear shorts, oohh girl, you are going to attract a lot of the wrong kind of attention.
- A four person taxi is actually meant for six adults and three babies. Who needs personal space?
- Public singing, dancing, and drum playing are highly encouraged. ESPECIALLY at 6 AM in the morning. Especially in Nicaragua.
- River rafting guides are the hottest. River rafting guides that cook for you are even hotter. No matter what. No matter the country (even in America!). Ziplining guides are a close second.
5. You should never ever make fun of someone trying to learn another language, no matter how bad their accent is. Learning another language is hard, unless you’re German. I think Germans have like 5 languages programmed in them since birth. If the speaker says something completely ridiculous such as “I bought my lover on the plane, but I left him in Nicaragua because it was hot” perhaps its ok to laugh a little. Oopsy, I got amante “lover” and manta “blanket” confused. Other great phrases included “I feel sad when they don’t eat dog” Instead of, “I feel sad when they don’t feed their dog.”
6. When you hear or see a new Spanish word, and you can’t find it in the dictionary, it probably means pussy. That rule has about 90% accuracy in my experience.
7.You actually have to carry cash. Luckily restaurants don’t seem to mind if you have to leave to go to the bank and pay later. Yes, it happened. They were nice. I was prepared to give up my ID, cell phone or anything while I went to the bank. You know what they greeted me with “tranquila, todo esta bien joven.” Calm down, everything is good.
8. Don’t even bother looking for a seat belt in a taxi. The driver will look at you like you’re psycho. And again, you will get “tranquila, tranquila.”
9. The second after you hang your clothes on the clothesline, it will rain. Hard. And your clothes will probably smell like mildew for a week.
10. Peanut butter is the only travel food you really need. When you have peanut butter, you have everything.
11. You will meet some of the most amazing people in your entire life. Today I met an Argentinian woman traveling by bicycle from Argentina to California (Do you know how far that is??!!) and back again. She told me she loved San Luis Obispo, Ca. Me too chica! You will learn more about other cultures than you ever thought possible and gain a deeper understanding of what it’s actually like to live outside of America. From my fellow tourists and the locals, I have learned invaluable lessons and made amazing friends that I know will last a lifetime.