My name is Tracy Johnson. I am the "I" behind Green Nica, and this is my story.
When I was 16 years old, I got the chance to leave the US for the first time. My high school Spanish teacher organized a 5-week trip to Mexico where we lived in a homestay and then traveled for a week around the country. That was when it all started, that was where my love for travel was born.
This love was bolstered during a study abroad semester in Madrid during my university years. Seeing Europe, experiencing adventure after adventure, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, having a blast. I was officially hooked and that’s when I knew what I wanted out of life, a constant adventure. A year later, I made the decision to leave New York after university, ignore my job offer and move to Australia to seek out the adventure that I wanted my life to be.
That was in 2006, almost 10 years ago, and I’ve never looked back. Since then, I’ve lived in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Honduras, Mexico, Spain, Egypt, Sweden, Uruguay, Sweden again, Spain for a third time, Norway and finally ended up in Nicaragua.
I’ve worked as a waitress, a dive instructor, a dance teacher, a hostel manager, business development manager and a travel consultant.
I have dived the world, seen Komodo dragons, crossed the Atlantic in the world’s largest sailboat and made more friends and memories than I can count. I’ve become fluent in both Spanish and Swedish and even managed to gain Swedish citizenship and a Master’s in Tourism Business Management along the way. I have lived many lives all wrapped up in one amazing adventure.
After years of living in some of the world’s top tourism destinations, I came to the realization that tourism can be one of the most important tools in the world for economic development. Unfortunately, I also saw firsthand the devastation that tourism can reap on a country, its culture and its environment. I had seen tourism done well and tourism done horribly. And, I knew I wanted to be part of the fight to make tourism a sustainable industry that spread cultural awareness not exploitation and promoted conservation over destruction. I spent 2 years in Stockholm working for the Swedish Ecotourism Society helping promote sustainable tourism in Sweden and knew I wanted to take my experiences and the knowledge I had gained and use them to spread the word: to fight for a world in which tourism and tourists give back as much as they take.
After a 9 month trip in 2013 including South Africa, the Seychelles, India, Nepal, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia, I made my way to Barcelona with my boyfriend and travel partner Mikko. It was there that I eventually got my Master’s and got a job working in Business Development and Travel Consulting for a travel agency. That put the final piece of the puzzle in place, and was where the idea for Green Nica was born.
Leaving sunny Barcelona just as summer hit, we made the move to the Lofoten Islands above the arctic circle in Norway to save money for our move to Nicaragua. And…here I am.
I chose Nicaragua because of it’s rich cultural, natural and historical heritage as well as it’s position as an up-and-coming tourist destination. I wanted to do my part to help see that tourism in Nicaragua was developed in the right way, but giving a voice to the many outstanding tourism initiatives taking place all over the country.
This is why I started Green Nica and why I invite you to learn how you too can be a responsible tourist and enrich the world in which you travel as much as it enriches you.