Being the type who says 'how high?' when somebody yells 'JUMP!', I couldn't turn down an opportunity to fly down to Nicaragua to accompany my friend Emilie, who was leading tours for 3 months hiking volcanoes with Quetzaltrekkers. Emilie and I have road-tripped from Miami to Atlanta then to Charleston and ending in NYC, painted murals in Honduras, and biked through the 5 boroughs of New York City in a day (coming soon). It only made sense that I booked a flight from NYC to Managua, met her in the town of Leon, to begin the venture up Volcán Telica.
Normally, the term 'outdoors' to me meant hanging out in Sheeps Meadow, Central Park with a bottle of wine and some cigarettes, NOT entering 95 degree weather for a two day treck that included riding a horse for 2 hours, throwing on a 30 lb backpack and proceeding to climb the rest of the 1,061 m (3,481 ft) volcano by foot. You only live once, right? (YOLO!) But it's true... you can take the girl out of the city, trade in her Jeffrey Campbell lace-ups for some unflattering hiking boots and make her ass climb up a volcano. I figured out how to steer my horse (which was my first ever time doing so), threw 4 liters of water, a sleeping bag and mat, granola, ramen and a bottle of whiskey into my pack and struggled, yes struggled, up and down the volcano. For first time hikers like myself, I will say the company of a friend to push you along the way really is the key to reaching the top. It was one of the best experiences I ever had.