What a difference a year makes

My former hometown of Coco had the nerve to grow while I was gone! I lived in the small town in Costa Rica for a year, and then it took me 15 long months to find my way back. In my mind, Coco will always be a quaint little fishing village with a rough little beach and a barrio outside of town where chickens and roosters roam free.  (Ok, the barrio‘s still there, but none of my friends still live near the chickens.)

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Public speaking anxiety, I will conquer you

On Fox 5 talking about our big event next month.

Not exactly the most gripping topic — but since public speaking anxiety is as crippling as it is to me, I bet there are others out there as well. In fact, last time I wrote about this (click here), a lot of you jumped out to say hello. And now is a natural time for an update!

Despite my own sometimes devastating public speaking anxiety, I jumped at the change to speak at Vegas’ Meet, Plan, Go. Part of the reason was the company: JoAnna of Kaleidoscopic Wanderings was putting on the event, and Diana of DTravelsRound was going to be my fellow speaker. No one could believe I had agreed to do this, but encouraging people with major interest in travel to get out there and do it? I was game.

Then my worst nightmare happened.

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A quick, painful look back

I spend so much of my life looking forward (where should I go next? How do I get there? I wish…), but sometimes it is really special to take a look back, even to the bad times. On the surface, I lost everything during the 12 months I lived in this apartment, but even as I thought my life was OVER, all kinds of things were brewing in my little home, not only in my own life but in the lives of at least two of my neighbors, one of them a fellow travel blogger, another now in the international news for all the wrong reasons….

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Why solo travel is not for me

©iStockphoto.com/anouchka

I’m still walking on air after an inspiring night that came courtesy of Meet, Plan, Go and one of my guiding lights in Las Vegas, JoAnna Haugen, who herself learned a LOT by organizing the Vegas version of this national event. One of the most important ideas that I feel the audience soaked up like a sponge was that in the world of travel, there’s something for everyone. One person doesn’t like hostels, another is on a tight budget. Me? I can live in a very tight space or stay in a very modest room. But it has to have air conditioning. And… I do not enjoy solo travel.

There, I said it. I am not a solo traveler. I do not like solo travel.

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Remembering September 11th

September 11, New York

©iStockphoto.com/delihayat

September 11th changed the course of my entire life.

At first, it was too much to take in, although writing helped. Then, it seemed better to not think about it.

For years.

I don’t want to organize my thoughts, really. I just turned on the TV and saw it. I see the towers on fire, and it is a wound, an open wound. I feel like someone is about to come at me with a knife; it is scarier than anything I could think of happening to me. I will not turn on the TV again today, although I have the newspaper to read and will be thinking of it all day.

A reporter at the local paper here in Las Vegas recently asked me exactly how I learned about it, as if someone delivered the news of September 11th in an instant. It wasn’t that simple. Watching TV as I got ready for work, I started off thinking that someone’s plane had somehow, a freak accident, hit a building.

Then, slower than I can comprehend now, everything dove into darkness.

My morning, September 11th 2001:

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Committing to Beating My Fear of Commitment

commitment phobias

©iStockphoto.com/robynmac

Time is a funny thing, and my fear of commitment and I obsess over it. 

I once thought that the eight months I spent stuck in LA, unemployed, waiting for my expensive lease to finish so I could flee that city that was never, ever good to me, were the longest of my life. I spent whole days watching the clock, waiting. In time, a solution would come.

It eventually did, the second I threw everything into storage and boarded a flight to Costa Rica, for what Ithought would be a month or three.

There, time seemed to pass even more slowly than it did during my awful year in Los Angeles – but it was different. In the sleepy heat of the tropics, I was always busy, but time didn’t seem to fly by like it always did when I was in NYC or Las Vegas working the hours of a CEO yet barely scraping by. Yoga, running with the dogs, working four hours a day (not 12!), studying, watching the sunset with friends…

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