Maiden Voyage to Nicaragua

New Eyes and Bare Feet

It all seems like a vivid dream.

I can fully remember the experience of being on a Nicaraguan beach. I remember how the ridges of the sea shells felt against the bottom of my feet but I can’t seem to get back there again. Like those sweet dreams that are interrupted by screaming alarm clocks; you can’t return to the same magical land no matter how many times you reposition your pillow.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

The waves echo in my head as I swim to the bottom of my pool, looking for a board or a current to carry me away. If it wasn’t for the chipped lilac polish on my nails I would wonder if I actually even left the country.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

I am very aware that I possess the same mind, body, and material possessions as I did before beginning this adventure. But I feel like a different person, or rather, a reawakened person.

I don’t know how to explain it, but my world is more focused. I can now push past the noise of the television, mute my phone, and ignore the neurotic voices of surrounding bodies.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

I feel like my spirit learned how to hone in on what’s vital. My survival instincts are making me search for support, positivity, and light. I no longer have tolerance for the rest. I only have tunnel vision for adventure and encouragement. I can laugh and encourage those around me without bitterness or hidden agendas. I strive to fill my garden of friends with nourishing and joyous souls.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

I am suddenly aware of the impact all of my choices have on the environment. I can choose to live a more sustainable life. I can choose to feel grateful for the plentiful food on my table and to enjoy the simplicity and beauty of walking barefoot.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

I am forever altered from this inspirational venture. My new eyes match only my bare feet in rawness and pace. I will look the same to most of you but you will notice slight shifts in my behavior, in the paths I choose to walk. Concrete is too constricting and hot for me nowadays. I choose instead the grass and soft dirt.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

I spoke on the phone with a friend after arriving back to the states. I briefly explained to her the wonderful adventures I had been on and how I felt changed by the journey.

After I had finished my reader’s digest report, I waited for her to respond. The phone was quiet for a few moments before she replied. “Wow, Hilary, what an experience. You sound like a completely different person. It’s like you’re becoming the person you were always supposed to be.” She paused and softly laughed, “I can’t wait to meet you again.”

I can’t wait to meet you either.

Photo by Lindsay G.

2 Comments

  • Reply

    Alan

    March 23, 2012

    Beautiful Hilary, I closed my eyes after reading this and could almost smell the coconut in my hair, feel the balmy trade winds blowing across my body, hear the rustle of the palms above my head, . Years ago I wandered the earth with nothing but the contents of a very small day-pack, drifting through life he sand in the tide Today I live vicariously through you while I plan my next adventure. Ali

    • Reply

      Hilary Billings

      March 26, 2012

      Thank you so much, Alan! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the post.

      Looking forward to hearing more about your own nomadic journeys one day!

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About Me

About Me

Hey fellow adventurers, my name is Hilary! After being rejected from grad school, I took off on a solo journey around the world. Now I constantly challenge myself to take on new experiences. This blog documents my journeys from Europe to Fiji, swimming with sharks and living with tribes, to becoming an accidental beauty queen and working for one of the top national media outlets. If you like what you're reading, please subscribe! Here's to the next great adventure!

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