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   My (R)evolution, part 6.

Living the dream ain’t always easy, I tell you. Even in times of peace, there were things in our tropical island life that we’d jokingly complain about. The amount of curious questions we repeatedly have to answer, is one of them. (I dedicated a separate page to these FAQ’s on my website, in case you’re getting curious now too).

One of the questions asked many times is: “Are you here for good?”

“No” has always been my honest and wholehearted answer. “But I have no idea when I will leave.”

Before, when asked what could be a reason for me to leave this little island off the coast of Nicaragua—a country now on the verge of another revolution—I’d would sum up this short list:

When the island would just get too crowded, or too commercial. When it would become too much of a party and drug-destination, or too unsafe. Or when the island would become totally unsustainable, when we’d run out of fresh water or would be drowning in our own trash.

Or, and that is actually the most relevant one for me: when this island and what I can do here wouldn’t offer me any more opportunity for personal growth.

My little business, a one-woman spa where I teach yoga and offer body and energy work, has always been and still is an amazing source for personal growth in many ways. It’s inspiring, it allows me to be creative, to be of service, to be myself. I’m constantly learning new things, both through experience and study.

“When this growth-curve will level off, it will be time for me to move on to something new and challenging, most likely off-island”, I would often hear myself say to the curious questioner.

Of course it would be a challenge to determine that moment, because there is also such a thing as my comfort zone. I make a decent living with the total freedom of being my own boss, I live in a lovely little house right on the beach, surrounded by gorgeous nature. I have time to write, study, relax. I have (had) never anything to worry about. Yes, that all sounds almost too good to be true, but it has been my reality for the past 13 years.

An extremely comfortable comfort zone.

There’s always been a fair chance that I might push that moment to leave a little past my official “expiry date” of running out of personal growth opportunities.

In all these years of answering that same question, I’d never added “revolution” to the list of possible reasons why I would leave.

Since a few weeks, this might well have become reason no.1 to leave.

We discuss this topic now and then amongst ex-pats: should we stay or should we go?

It all depends on how soon the political chaos is resolved. If the situation calms down and it becomes safe again to travel within a few months, tourists will hopefully have forgotten about the whole situation by the time next high season starts. Then we can just start afresh.

While on the mainland—where things are rough and ugly right now—all tourism has come to a grinding halt and hotels are closing for lack of business, here on the island we still have a trickle of people coming in, because we’re basically the only safe part of the country. Foreigners can fly into Managua and transfer to a domestic flight straight to the Corn Islands, without being exposed to dangerous situations.

Here, we still have some hope that things won’t get too dire.

We’d all like to believe that by next season things are fine again, and we’re all willing to sit around twiddling our thumbs and eating up our savings, waiting for things to return to normal and we can resume living the dream.

But if the national upheaval will not be resolved, and the Nicaraguan people will not resign to the situation either, this country will most likely not return anytime soon to a state of tranquillity that allows for safe tourism.

If the negative travel advices from many foreign countries will not be recalled in the near future, Nicaragua will have lost its name of being one of the safest countries in Latin America to travel in, for good. Or at least for a long time.

Tourism is the main source of income on this little island. Without tourists, there is no way to sustain myself. Living the dream would become a nightmare. Kicked out of my comfort zone by force.

I would have to pack up and go.

This would be a textbook example of how our lives can be rearranged by circumstances, things that we have no influence on.

When this country becomes too unsafe, permanently, I will have to revise my life big time.

Total overhaul.

Do I panic now? Nope. I trust that something good will come out of this whole situation.

“If you want to be given everything, give everything up.” ~Lao Tzu

The Universe had to be very creative to play a life-changing trick on me.

I have no partner to break my heart and leave me, no boss to fire me. No more parents to die, no children to lose and my cat already drowned last year. No volcanoes close by to erupt, or faults to quake. No rivers to flood, too much rain to allow for wildfires.

A year and a half ago it sent a hurricane straight at us, but that darned storm held its breath until it had passed our little island and only puffed out on the Costa Rican coast. It seems almost impossible to screw over my life here with a little disaster.

A coconut on my head would be too drastic and probably do me in for good.

Finally that quirky Universe came up with the brilliant idea to throw me a revolution to change my life. Oh well.

Drastic endings make for splendid new beginnings. I may have to start creating some.

I’ll keep you posted.

Reporting from a country in chaos, trying to make sense of my own mind. 

P.S. the most interesting and weird part of all this is, that everything is still open, nothing is certain. There’s no way to make any plans, since we have no idea how things will evolve. This makes that, although we know many big changes might happen any time soon, we can actually not take any action, until those impending changes become reality, or until we make a decision, each for ourselves.

We have to be prepared for anything, and at the same time are prepared for nothing.

This makes for a perfect practice opportunity to live in the present moment and take things by the day.


This is part 6 of the series My (R)evolution, my personal reflections during the current revolution in Nicaragua.  

Missed an episode? Find them all here. 

This story was also published on

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