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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Nygren

Feeling Two Things At Once and Pack Extra Undies!

Hey there, whoever you are reading / finding this. Thanks for being here.

Once again, I’ve let the practice of writing and sharing fall to the wayside… this time for over a year and a half! Whoops.

As travel, movement, and little hiccups have seemed to become my norm, I lost sight of how special it feels to write and share along the way. I pledge to re-dedicate to sharing words and musings more consistently as writing provides a cleansing landscape to process and proceed. And maybe someone out there will connect with that. Dope!

Today I write to you from the hotel room 1018 in Guatemala City. I have not left my bed in over 10 hours and the only things I’ve eaten are 4 rolls of bread, 3 new antibiotics, and a Pedialyte. As you can infer, my stomach and intestinal system is fighting something mysteriously aggressive; which seems to be the new souvenir I pick up in each country without even wanting it! At least it fits in my bag…

Yet, I sit nestled between polarizing emotions. I feel rattled and frustrated and simultaneously happy and grateful. It’s conflicting to feel so much at once! Yet, it's one of the coolest parts of the human experience, too.

For nearly two years now (what??) I have been traveling ~solo~. This harbors many reactions and feelings for people, but in many ways, I can’t imagine traveling any other way. There have of course been terrific highs, and terrifying lows. From losing my hearing for 9 days in Nicaragua, to now losing several times in a game of poop or fart, to running out of a multi-person dorm room to puke throughout the night, the glamor of travel is sometimes a bit tarnished for me.

Yet, today I feel inspired by the kindness and generosity of people. No matter how low I feel, how intensely I get knocked down, or how isolated I think I am, people show up.

They show up in person. They show up in messages. They show up in rallying to gather people they know nearby who can help me. They show up so much my heart feels like it may explode. From the shuttle driver who soothed me with calming words and drove me to the hospital, to the woman at the hotel who gave me a bottle of water because “you look sick,”to a friend I haven’t talked to too much from college who has offered to drive me to a different city, to all the people who sent messages… the web of love around me feels like it’s made of golden, glowing thread. It spans across several continents and is ever growing. I have received support from family, Boulder beauties, teammates (and coach!) from Amherst Field Hockey, guests I met when working in Fuerteventura, people I met once in my travels, even my best friend’s sweet partner. It makes me well up just listing this out.

Each time I’ve fallen ill, it’s taken great courage for me to speak up about having a need. Yet the moment I do, the Universe and its glorious people respond with so much positive reinforcement it’s a wonder we all don’t practice more frequent radical honesty!

Here’s to hugging the ones you love a little tighter, to cherishing your microbiome, and to always making space in your bag for extra underwear. I mean it.

Enjoy some photos from my last month in this beautiful, inspiring country. Featuring an abundance of flowers, food, and friends!! I’ll see you again in November.

Guatemala <3

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