By: Tim Notier
The border between Nicaragua and Honduras took a little longer than average, along with a dose of some of the hottest temperatures we had come by so far. All we needed was just a little patience, and I was continuously thankful that Marisa is fluent in Spanish.
When we cross borders throughout the Americas, the form always asks for my nationality. I have to ask myself: “What am I?" We are in the Americas, so American doesn't really specify where I am from. I think it is kind of ignorant to hijack an entire continent and say, “You know, I'm from the America where we play football with our hands."
So, I put down USA... but that's not right either. No one says, “I am England" or “I am South Africa." It is English, South African, Asian, or Irish and so on. I thought about writing down USAish or USAian, because I didn't want to write “A Citizen of the United States of America," but figured that would add to the confusion.
About ten years ago, I had a friend who said he visited Nicaragua while studying abroad at a university in Costa Rica. He only crossed the border into Nicaragua for a day or two, but when he told me this, I thought he must have either been the bravest, or stupidest, person in the world. Visions of communist jungle guerrillas trafficking cocaine flashed through my mind: men wearing green uniforms and fully equipped with both Kalashnikovs and machetes. I wondered why my friend would go to such a place and I remember thinking, “Good for you, but I wouldn’t go there.”
Of course, if I could go back in time and tell myself that not even a decade later I would be traversing this country by motorcycle for over a month, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. And Nicaragua turned out to be nothing like my imagined doomsday exaggerations. It is actually an incredible place full of friendly people, breathtaking views, and the most dangerous thing we encountered while there were its fire-breathing volcanoes.
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