Coco and Las Vegas: A Breakdown

Am I really leaving my beloved Coco to move back to Las Vegas? Yes, yes, I know… It’s beginning to sink in. I started to write a funny little item about how different my Central American pueblo is from the wild Sin City I called home for three years before luring me back after two more. But now that I’m traveling through Turkey and Bulgaria with @DTravelsRound, it’s all too obvious that you can find connections and similarities anywhere you look. We all know it’s a small world out there, but after hanging out with people from Australia, Scotland, Sweden, Italy, France, Russia, Denmark and more, I’m feeling sentimental. Even through my utopian travel haze, I know that Coco and Las Vegas are as different as night and day. But I worked extra hard to find connections and will keep in that spirit as I finish my trip and then make my Big Move. There is something like all of us in everyone we meet and everywhere we go. Enjoy it!

1. When you get off a plane in Las Vegas or Coco, you’re the only one going “home.” You still answer to, “Have a great vacation” with a big fake smile and say, “thank you!”

2. Dating options are slim.

3. I am often awake at four am in both cities. In Coco, it’s because I fell asleep at 8:30, three hours after the sun went down, and maybe some loud monkeys woke me up. In Vegas, if I’m awake at four, it’s because I’m coming home from Tao.

4. Black Eyed Peas’ “It’s going to be a good night” seems to be playing on continual loop. “And then we’ll do it again…” (If you know me, you know exactly the shimmy I’m now doing.)

5. You find yourself trying to vain to connect with people passing through town. In Vegas, it’s the “weekend warriors” catching your eye; in Coco, you get anything from backpackers or surfers to snowbirds. For the most part, you will never see these people again.

6. Both places have lots and lots of sand. If only Las Vegas also had the Pacific Ocean…

7. Your married friends stay put and seem to be shocked that everyone else is so transient. Be wary of any single person you meet – they post a flight risk and could leave as soon as you start to really get to know them.

8. Both locales are home to scorpions, but I’m looking forward to seeing less of them in Las Vegas.

9. Bluntly: too many people in both towns have substance abuse problems. Las Vegans suffer because the boozy culture is an integral part of their lives; in Coco, many drink because they don’t have jobs to begin with.

10. When I lived in both places, I got asked all time when I’m “coming home.” Where is that again?

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. It’s too funny that you already noticed all of this. At least you’re in a cheap hub where lots of people will want to visit to shoot machine guns – can you do that in Coco?

  2. Welcome back to the States! I’m always amazed when I travel that not only are places similar, but people. It’s so funny to be sitting in some random country having the same conversation you’ve had with your friends at home, only with people you just met.

    People everywhere are the same…only their locations, accents & experiences are different!

    Love the blog!

  3. This is great, Abby. I know you’ll make the best of it and fall right back into the Vegas routine you left…just don’t work too hard, k?

  4. Haha, great post!!! Btw, LOVE Tao! In NYC & Vegas. Can’t wait to come and visit you. 🙂

    PS You’re still keeping your blog yes?

  5. Andi, I can’t WAIT for you to come visit!! And yes, I’m keeping the blog. Someone already deemed me the princess of the neon jungle. Perfect!

  6. Kristin, That’s my biggest fear! I know I’m going back a different person, but falling into workaholic mode can be so easy… I detect some blog posts about it in my future!

  7. Hey, Bo! So glad to met you!! Isn’t it wild how similar we all are in the end? After all of these years of traveling, it still amazes me. Of course, I often have more in common with travelers from across the world than some people in my own backyard!

  8. Oh, Ayngelina. You can NOT do that in Coco! Haha. Vegas, oh, boy…

  9. Good luck to you on your transition! Look forward to reading all about it, especially how you’ll merge the old and new Abby.

  10. I’m a fan of Tao, too 🙂 I’m glad you’re coming back but sad b/c now I can’t visit you in Coco! Maybe we’ll have to take a trip there sometime…

  11. I’m a fan of Tao, too 🙂 I’m glad you’re coming back but sad b/c now I can’t visit you in Coco! Maybe we’ll have to take a trip there sometime…

  12. Vegas here I come! Cute, fun post… just like its writer! xoxo

  13. If only Vegas had a beach … not counting LLV or Lake Meade. Great comparisons! 🙂 xx

  14. It’s amazing, isn’t it? Different cultures and languages and continents and lifestyles, and yet people really are the same everywhere. Our shared humanity seems so obvious while traveling. That’s one big reason I encourage others to go somewhere new: to see that we’re all part of the same family.

    I wonder how many travelers are seeing parallels like you did. Do you suppose we subconsciously choose these 2nd homes because they’re similar in ways? I was having the same experiences with my sometimes-home in Mexico.

    Congrats on the newest chapter of your adventure, Abby. Stay true to yourself and have a blast!


  15. Well said, Lauren! I actually have wondered if I subconsciously chose Costa Rica because it’s similar to other places I’ve lived… Even if it wasn’t so obvious in the beginning. Yes, we’re all part of the same family… so true. I just love traveling and want to encourage others to do more of it! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  16. Cara Abrahams says:

    Vegas welcomes you back with open arms!
    your married friend Cara

  17. Megan Menzel says:

    singing…”and then we will do it again, let’s do it, let’s do it”. Can’t wait to visit!

  18. Buying cocktail dress for Vegas this week.

    The transient thing would be really hard for me. Many people who come visit Austin end up moving here so it is usually more of a “see you later” when our visit comes to an end.

  19. Yay Erica, I can’t wait to meet you!

    Megan, you know that’s my favorite line: And then we’ll do it again… Keeps me going sometimes haha.

  20. “they both say ‘have a great vacation’ ” – definitely my favorite line.

    I bet the action in Vegas is a shock to return to. I guess if you really feel overwhelmed, you could just go to Sam’s Town…I think the regulars there are probably even more similar to the locals in Coco

  21. I love this post! It’s funny how two places that are so different have so much in common.

  22. Natalie T. says:

    Ah, the ever elusive question of “where is home?” Great summary and comparisons to two very different towns. You give it perspective.

  23. Great post! It’s clear how well you adapt to your surroundings. And, given your nature, I bet that even in transient cities like Coco and LV, you still manage to make life-long friendships. Welcome Home!

  24. Very observant! I never would have thought of all of these similarities between two places that seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum.

  25. OK, I would have never pulled all these similaries out of my head. Well done.

  26. And it all went well after all, as you’re enjoying LV like crazy!

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