Almost a year ago, I was riding on the back of a pick-up truck towards Totogalpa, where I would stay with my host family and counterparts for the next five weeks. There wasn’t anything extraordinary about the day, just a lot of travel, and the big reveal of counterparts and host families later on in the day.

But then riding on the back of that truck, holding on for what seemed to be dear life going up and down the mountains of Nicaragua, I experienced a feeling that I’ve never encountered. It was like happiness because I was travelling to a new place to do volunteering, one of my favourite things. It was like freedom, riding on the back of the truck with the wind in my hair, with no idea where I was or where I was going. It was a stress-free moment, as the only things I needed right then were taken care of. And even though I was totally out of my element, I knew I needed to be there at that moment. It was bliss, it was peace, it was tranquility.

To this day, I don’t have a name for what I felt that day. And there probably is a word, but I don’t really want to know what it is. Instead, I want to savour that moment forever, and the feeling of being on the top of the world.

So, since then, I’ve strived to get to that feeling again, but in the right way.

By that, I mean living each day to the fullest I can and living each day with as positive a mindset as I can. I want to live life appreciating the small things, and knowing that as long as I have food, water, and somewhere safe to but my head at night, I’ll be fine. Everything else is extra, but welcome in my life. I want to take chances, to explore, to spend that extra minute talking to a special person in my life, because I believe this world needs more positivity brought into it.

I know I’ll have bad days too when, it will be a struggle to get out of bed, when I’ll want to punch someone. However, the most important is knowing that I have the things I need in life, and as much as the bad stuff will drag me down, I am stronger than it.

At the end of the day, I hope to have made myself happy by what I’ve accomplished. And hopefully, if I do enough good things for myself, my impact on the other people in my life will be positive as well. If not, at least, I can go to bed knowing that I have not gone out of my way to hurt others, and bring negativity to another life.

And that’s enough for me, because I know that’s all I need now.

So, Nicaragua, you taught me an important lesson in the place I least expected would change my life. Thank you, a million times over.




I'm a recent graduate currently living in Calgary, Alberta. You can usually find me with a cup of coffee in one hand while reading a pile of books or planning my next big project. I'm curious about many things - including history, photography, and travelling. You can find me writing away at

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