Puerto Viejo 2: Women vs Nature

Our time in Puerto Viejo sped by!

One morning, Sharone, the world-famous eater, overslept for breakfast. Rather than miss out on a morsel of food, she threw on her rain poncho (it poured most of our trip) and ran to the patio. She’d forgotten her pants, but really, we were the only ones there. Ah, the privacy of Costa Rica.

Back in my cabin, poor Maren proved to be a light sleeper – at least in the jungle. One morning, she shook me awake at four am. If only I could explain the absolute hilarity and dead-pan wit that is Maren, but the words “Abby, wake up, what is that?” somehow conveyed, “Abby, wake up and celebrate our last moments of life because we’re about to be eaten alive by wild boars.” Hysterically laughing in the pre-dawn darkness, I told her it was only the howler monkeys and went back to sleep.

One evening, Maren received a frantic text message from Samarah and Sharone in the other cabin. “SCORPION!” It’s still my biggest fear after four months of living in Costa Rica, but we went running to their aide. We burst through the door to find a spider, motionless, in the middle of the floor. I started laughing. “It’s just a spider!” They told me to look more closely. Sure enough, there were disgusting pincers growing out of his head area. “I’ll be damned,” I exclaimed. “It’s a spider/scorpion hybrid.” I was disgusted, but intrigued. I moved closer. The girls screamed. “And it’s dead,” I said, before peering even closer. The cabina’s owner came to take it away in a bucket.

Let’s take it back a year and a half: I’m sitting in my spanking-new Las Vegas condo, relaxing in my spacious living room, about to click on my enormous TV, when I notice the eyes. There’s a giant, flesh-eating monster of some sort in my apartment. I’m alone. I scream, run out and call my mom. No answer. I call my brother in San Diego. I get him, but he’s clueless. He eventually gets my mom on the phone. From Albuquerque, she somehow helps me remove the monster with a broom and three hours of coaching. I would swear to this day that that grasshopper could’ve eaten me alive. I was a neurotic fool back then, all buck twenty of me always draped in designer dresses when I wasn’t a stress case workaholic hunched over my laptop. I really did think I had everything: a high-powered job, a million friends, access to the hottest parties, local celebrity status. Such meaningless fun came at a price: I never slept, my emotions were always right on the edge of freaking out, I was always worrying about something, my back ached.  If you’d told me then that I would be the one marching up to a spider/scorpion in a remote cabin in Costa Rica, I would’ve told you you were crazy. I would’ve said the same thing six months prior, heck, even the month before, after I’d already moved down here. I was changing so rapidly that I didn’t know how I’d be from one day to the next.

Cheers to changing your life!!

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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. Abby: I am sooooo proud of you. You are a changed woman and all for the better.

  2. Who are you?!?!?!?!?

    You received a message that said “SCORPION!” and then proceeded to go to where the message came from? You must have just decided to start writing fiction and never told me.

  3. This is amazing. Having worked in the celebrity industry myself, I can picture your life to a tee. While I would LOVE to do what you’re doing, I can’t…now. About to get married, have jobs (that I actually love) in California, and travel enough as it is. Also, I really don’t think I could EVER get over my bug phobia. I’m paranoid enough spending a month in Africa in March! And that’s temporary!

  4. You just get more and more interesting now don’t you.

    What a turn around from celebrity girl to rocking out costa rica. I have to say from what I can tell the new you has to be the better person.

  5. Spider/scorpion hybrid? Sounds like a new discovery. Perhaps you missed your true life’s calling – entomology!

    I encountered a big hairy spider, and a scorpion, on different occasions in my rooms in India, and the spider had to be worse. I think it’s the hair.

    But you do get calmer about the encounters. Proud of ya!

  6. You need a Contact me button on here!! I am waiting for the next entry about our bus rides and your night in Turrialba, which included walking into someone’s room that wasn’t ours!


  1. […] heck these cuddly-looking guys sound — and if they could really wake the whole neighborhood! My friend Maren found out the hard way that yes, they can, and they can even sound wild and dangerous when echoing […]

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