Reflections

Whenever I head to the tropics and someone hears I got a little rain, they groan, “awww.” But I love it! The smell of rain and the feel of humidity make me so happy. It’s hard to capture that slice of nature in a photograph, but I liked this picture. Being cold makes me feel so tired, but warm tropical waterfall makes me feel so alive and safe. This photo looks like it could have been taken on a chilly day, but instead we were blanketed by hot, humid air. I took this during an early morning walk in Playa Guiones, a fun surf town a few hours south of Coco.

No Judgements on a Stormy Day

No cranky clouds could keep us off that boat!

On my first day of vacation in Costa Rica, visiting for the first time in the 15 months after I left the good life to follow my career dreams in Las Vegas, my friends had gotten the entire group together for a day on Lisa and Mau’s fishing boat at North Pacific Tours. It was all set up to be a perfect day… The weather, however, was not in a party mood. Nothing can stop this group though! We laughed during the entire wet, cold trip out to our favorite beach, Playa Juevos. Being with the old crew gave me a lot to think about – I have such amazing friends in Las Vegas, but we don’t have this same sort of light friendship, where we can laugh all day at nothing, and everyone feels themselves. Maybe it’s just that we’re all so busy there that we don’t get to spend the same amount of quality time together as I did during my year in Costa Rica, where I saw my friends literally every single day.

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This is why I travel

This is why I travel.

After a full day laughing with friends on Lisa and Mau’s boat, drinking, snacking, swimming, weathering a rainstorm, hiking alone on an island, exploring the cave on Playa Juevos… Then this magical sunset as we headed home. With not another soul in sight for as far as we could see, we took in these bright colors, changing from pinks to yellow and orange from horizon to shore. We were all in awe! 

Shown here: Guanacaste’s famous Monkey’s Head Rock, outside of Coco, Costa Rica.

 

Travel vs vacation

Nothing beats the sunsets — and happy hours — at Pacifico.

I am taking a vacation.

It is weird for me to have five glorious days off of work yet not be planning a Big Trip. I don’t have to research all of the sites or look into visa issues. Packing ahead? Nah – I’ll just throw a few things into a bag tomorrow night.

Finally, I am off on a trip that will rejuvenate me – I won’t need a vacation after the vacation. I often say that Big Travel revives and reenergizes me. Most of the time, it does. But lately, I’ve been run-down, trying to fit everything in. Work has been too hard, and I’m getting up when it’s still dark out just to catch up or work on my blog. My gym membership is a thing of the past, as is getting more than a few hours of sleep. On the weekends, I want to get all of my errands done – and then do nothing. I am just too tired and need to rest up to start all over again Monday morning.

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Jesus Year (Turning 33)

One of my favorite aspects of being so active in this crazy online travel world is meeting people like me — and especially connecting with people who are living parallel lives. First, there was Abbey Hesser, of A Chick with Baggage, who not just shared my name as she gallivanted through her travels, but had been living in my exact building in Santa Monica, California as she planned her long-term travel. Yes, we’d been living mere feet from each other while fantasizing about setting out, planning our trips, throwing caution to the wind — and then met on-line months afterward.

My most recent connection has been with Jenny Sundel, of Jesus Year Project (SHOWN LEFT). I talk often of leaving a job and then living as an expat for a year in Costa Rica. Jenny left her job a year later — and went off to Paris to live as an expat for a year. But there’s more: She’s the very person who took the job I left behind! When she asked me to write a guest post on what I learned while living as an expat at the age of 33, my “Jesus Year,” of course I said yes!

Please check it out!

33 Jesus Year Revelations

Meet Liz, of Travelogged

When I moved back to the U.S. from Costa Rica, I was so worried that I wouldn’t have a place in the online travel community anymore. I’d found a job (or, it’d actually found me!), and I couldn’t take time off for six long months, the downside to returning to corporate life. One of the online travel pioneers who was a true inspiration to me was an old friend of mine, Liz, of @travelogged. Little known fact: Liz and I met no less than 12 years ago, when we were completing our masters in journalism at Columbia University. The recession eventually led to the loss of both of our jobs but, no surprise to me, Liz retaliated much more swiftly than I did, as you’ll learn from her interview below. After I returned from a month-long trip to Borneo, she asked me to write about it on her blog. Unemployed, slightly depressed, and stuck in the “old journalism” mentality, I had no idea what she was talking about. Fast forward two years, and look at me now!

As I just learned at the TBU travel bloggers conference, Liz and I are both “joggers,” journos who blog. Love us!

I hope you find her as inspiring as I do.

 

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