This month, I stepped up to the plate, and entered a writing competition. To date the majority of my goals have been fitness orientated. I constantly set goals and challenges in this area. I strive to explore, grow and remain curious within my practices. I feed off the energy I get from continuing to do so. Until now, I had not equated that type of mindset with my writing. I want to transfer that positive energy and growth into this area also. Why not try, see how I can expand this area of my life which I enjoy. Take the mind shift and move forward with it.
I understood that this was just a starting point, my writing wasn’t going to be perfect, my piece would not smash it on my first offering. It was a place to start, a place to measure where I could grow from, see where I needed to put the work in, what I needed to improve upon. This can hold us back so often. That we are not going to be instantly awesome at something. It can stop us from continuing to put in the work, and get better, to hone our skills. If we can get over that mind hurdle, keep showing up, and keep putting in the work, we will succeed.
With all of that said, I now share with you what I wrote. It’s a story from my travels. It was entered for a travel writing competition. My aim was to evoke a feeling, paint a picture, hopefully bring you back to a moment where you may have felt that same feeling. Perhaps inspire you to hold onto it, and seek it more often in your life.
Throughout our entire trip in Central America we got an overwhelming sense of the happiness and gratefulness the people there had, for simply being alive. They were happy because they were. It’s so basic, yet here in the western world, we seem to be so busy wanting, that we lose touch with that fact. How lucky we are to be here, and this story is one of those moments that knocks me down with that knowledge.
“One of the most liberating things about travel is, listening to, and hearing other travelers regale tales of incredible experiences, and unique discoveries from the road. In turn inspiring you to go on, hatch a plan, catching yourself an opportunity to go explore some of the magic they painted for you.
This story is one of those moments, and how it paid off for me and my travel buddy. We were spun an idyllic tale of swaying in a hammock, on top of a Volcano, under the cover of a million stars. Awakening to the most breath-taking sunrise over the Gulf of Fonseca in El Salvador.
We set our sights on this Volcano Conchagua, and its fairy tale sunrise. At 1,242 meters tall, it looks out on the Gulf of Fonseca, home to a collection of various small islands, encompassing views of Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador.
Transport to the top, was what could only be described as an old cattle truck. A domed open wired frame, ropes hung, tied and knotted from same. Choosing a rope, we braced for a bumpy ride uphill. The views glimpsed between clearings and moments of concentration to avoid branch whippings, were spectacular.
At the top, wind had picked up considerably. We were shown to an unfinished restaurant, and it was suggested we sleep there. Unfortunately the weather continued to turn, and with no windows or properly secured doors, the winds howled, ripping through the restaurant. Without sleeping bags we were very under prepared.
Gone was our vision of a calm balmy night, dozing in a hammock, occasionally gazing up at a canopy of a billion stars. Upon taking our final bathroom break before properly bedding down, we were met with several parked 4×4’s, and the most warm and welcoming of greetings. A small group of El Salvadorans had driven from San Salvador to camp for the night. They were part of a hiking group that met at weekends to hike volcanos all around El Salvador and Central America.
They informed us that a freak weather front had come in from the States. When we told them of our under prepared situation, they offered a half covered truck bed for us to sleep in. This is what turned out to be our saving grace.
Returning to the restaurant and our icy tiled layer, we huddled as best we could, bony hips met with hard tiles, padded bottoms grown numb. To the truck bed we went. Crawling into the compact space we were instantly relived by the wind cover.
Early morning brought calmed winds. We were beckoned for the first tendrils of sunrise ‘ Girls its starting’ . Stiffly we climbed out, met with the offer of a warm sleeping bag. With sleepy heads, and puffy eyes, quietly we padded across to the viewing area and chose our spot.
Black horizon turning to dirty grey orange, to cobalt blues and burnt, fiery tones; the rest of the sky remaining inky, stars still twinkling bright. Oranges turned to powder pink and cerise. The sun began to shine its golden glow upon us. Each and every second being different, never stopping to hit you right in the chest. How it lit up every cell in our bodies with the acknowledgement of how truly incredible it is that this happens. Every. Single. Day.
We lolled on rocks, ate breakfast, drank coffee and relished our time together on Conchagua, exchanging stories. This volcano had brought us all together, from such different parts of the world, with diverse life experiences and stories. Yet we were all just humans, in search of, and trying to maintain our inner peace, by connecting back to our earth, and in turn each other.
Later in our trip we managed to connect again, climbing Volcano Santa Ana with some of the group. This honest, pure human connection we encountered on Conchagua, not only made our first sunrise of Central America so special, but our time in El Salvador one we will hold onto for a very long time to come.
Anyone visiting El Salvador should add Conchagua into their time budget. It is worth spending a piece of it here to catch a sunrise.”
And that’s a wrap! I hope this short summary of a moment in my travels, can inspire you to delve back to a time you felt something similar, and give you some good energy. Strive for those simple pure moments of gratitude, they don’t need to be found on top of a volcano, sometimes they are found in a hug, or a walk in the park, or waking up on a bright morning. Let those moments fuel you forward into pure happiness, and appreciation for where you are right now.