Travel Update – 3 Months in Nicaragua

  • I’m in Nicaragua longer than expected
  • I found an outstanding hostel
  • Costa Rican border finally opened
  • I’m flying home

I entered Nicaragua (on January 9th) and expected to pass through within a few weeks. But, over 12 weeks later I’m still in Nicaragua. I’ve been halted by the Costa Rican land border remaining closed despite Air and Sea borders opening months ago. When I entered on the 9th I emailed my Embassy and found out that the border may open on February 1st. I was hoping I could just bike through without a hitch but that didn’t happen. They pushed it back to March 1st. I thought I’d fly out but flights cost about $300. Plus, all the trouble that comes with dealing with airports. So, I opted to wait until March 1st for the Costa Rican border to tentatively open. For one, I hate airports. And spending more time in a foreign country sounded cool. It also made more economical sense to stay another month. I could spend $300 on one big purchase or spend $400 on housing, food, and all expenses for the month. Another 30 days would bring more priceless experiences than what a 5ish hour-long plane ride could. And I am in no rush.

But, a few days before March the Costa Rican President extended the closure again to April 1st. So, with the same rationale I had previously, I opted to spend another $400 for a month in Nicaragua. I was already settling into an outstanding hostel and started negotiating long-term rates. First, I stayed in the dorms for a few days paying $10 a night. Then, we progressively negotiated to a 15-day deal at $5 a night in a private room. I was liking my arrangement so much that I wanted to stay here longer. But the bitter-sweet news came in on March 22nd saying that the land border would finally open on April 5th.

“This actually works out well”, I thought. So, last week I extended my Nicaragua visa for another 30-days, which would have expired on the 4th. And in a week or two I’ll be heading south again. I plan on spending a few weeks in Costa Rica then a few weeks in Panama, which will conclude the first half of my travels. From Panama City, I’ll be flying out to Chicago on May 21st. This seems like a perfect time to take a break and return home to revisit friends and family. I’ll be there in time for a wedding and a reunion. But most importantly, I just miss my friends and family.

Making it to the Panamanian airport in 6 weeks will mean that I’ve been traveling for 10 months. It will be the halfway point and it concludes Mexico and Central America. It also makes sense to fly back at this time because a land route connecting Central America and South America does not exist. So, I’d have to fly or boat across anyways. And instead, of flying directly from Panama to Colombia I could fly from Panama to the USA then to Colombia. Well, maybe. Maybe, instead of biking south from Columbia I could fly down to Argentina and work my way north. Then, I could go through Central America and Mexico again. Or I could bike down south again starting from the States. If I did this then maybe a friend would want to join me through Mexico. Anyways, that’s still a ways away.

I’ll remain in the States for several months before I complete the remaining part of my trip. This also gives more time for countries to lax their Covid entry requirements, namely, Covid test that can cost upwards of $150 per border. This hasn’t been a problem for me, so far, I’ve only done 1 out of the 5 international borders I’ve crossed. But the cost and inconvenience will surely add up.

That aside, I’m loving this nomadic lifestyle and I still have no plans to settle down. My finances are also looking strong. Thanks to some lucky investments, I actually have I higher net worth than when I started. I think I’ll continue this lifestyle until I tire out or find a good reason to settle down. Maybe another year, or 2, or more. But until then, I’ll continue reading, writing, and meeting people. Until then, I’ll continue to learn more about myself, other people, and what other people do.

The hostel I’ve lived in for 2 months. Includes a pool, free breakfast, and an in-house cook who serves me hamburgers once or twice a week.

P.S. I’ve been writing something tentatively called, “A Self-Discovery on Purpose, Meaning, and Reality; Setting Aside My Childish Dream.” I planned on posting this update with it but I haven’t finished it yet. Haha It’s taking way longer than expected. I hope it’s good enough to post within a month or two

By Adam W. Keen

Hey, my name is Adam. I’m a small guy surrounded by big people and a quiet observer in a complicated world, and I am trying to figure things out. I have limited time, resources, health, and capabilities, like us all, but I’m trying to do my best to maximize what I have. Born into a loving middle-class Christian family in Derby, Kansas, USA, I’ve had what people across the world can only dream about, loving and financially well-off parents and over 18 years of exceptional education. I do not earn these things based on my own merits (i.e. birth-parents, birthplace, nationality, race, etc.) and for that I am lucky. Now, it is my responsibility to make something of myself, to take all that I’ve been given and excel.