Liberia, CR: His Name was Sage.
Before we got on the bus to Liberia, I suggested the possibility of heading to Nicaragua for the time being, until I could get home. Luis was worried. He said Nica was not like Costa Rica and wasn’t safe for a girl like me. He left me with his phone number and the worried face of a father. I blessed him and reassured him I would call if I needed to. It was a mysterious bond for such a short period time of knowing each other.
Upon arrival I noticed him, as Adaobi and I stood at the garden of El Hospedaje Dodero. I had a short window of time, none of which included the time to be timid. I would be on my own in less than 24 hours and needed to make friends.
His name was Sage, a friendly Canadian with strong opinions. He was hanging back in the garden, smoking a cigarette. The hostel manager nudged me, and informed me Sage was heading to Nicaragua in the morning. I introduced myself and felt out his vibe for the remainder of the night.
I learned two things that night. Sage didn’t speak Spanish and was just beginning his solo trip. I proposed teaming up. I offered to navigate us to the border and help him with Spanish. He ended up being the perfect companion.
Adaobi left on to her own journey with happy goodbyes, Sage’s contact information, and a stern look of “kill her and I will kill you”. I felt good. It felt right.
The next morning we awoke and trekked on. After a few wrong turns we found the correct bus to la frontera and took turns napping until arrival. We crossed the dusty border smoothly and made our way past windmilled roads to San Juan del Sur, a small surf town. What we thought would be a hectic morning, was easy and calming. Maybe it was because we had each other.