A friend of mine was volunteering with Quetzaltrekkers Nicaragua which gave me the opportunity to book a flight from NYC to Managua, travel to the town of Leon and take a bus with the Quetzaltrekkers hike leaders to a small rural village close to Volcán Telica to begin a 2 day hike.
Normally, the term 'outdoors' to me meant hanging out in Sheeps Meadow, Central Park with a bottle of wine and a frisbee, 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 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 lace-up heels for some unflattering hiking boots and make her 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 ever so proudly up and down the volcano. Locals help you streer your horse and later leave you to treck on foot, being lead entirely by your Quetzaltrekkers hike leaders. Lunch is served mid day and later relax by sundown at a campsite at the top of 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.