In Granada I received an unexpected text message. Shane - who followed his older brother (and my college roommate) Kellen’s path through Occidental, the Rainbow Fairy House (my senior year residence; a sort of miniature fraternity house with an anti-fraternity ethos) and eventually my inner circle - wrote, “Are you still in Nicaragua? I’m here.”
So I found myself crashing a weekend retreat with 10 hypochondriac med students and Shane - also a med-student but nothing of a hypochondriac - at a German enclave in the Nicaraguan cloud forest.
Shane’s cameo in this adventure was coincidental, but felt somehow scripted. He and his now wife Kerri were the first of my friends to jump headfirst into adventure travel. His emails from southeast Asia a decade ago planted the first seeds of this trip. Later, Wylie proved it could be done solo, movies like Motorcycle Diaries, 180˚ South, and Into the Wild fueled the fire, and life in LA kicked me out the door. But Shane got the gears turning, so I was especially happy to bounce into him.
It was a quick weekend, highlighted by a couple nights of party games in our rented house, and a beautiful hike. It felt like an escape from my South American itinerary, but was another memorable stop.