Vagabonding Field Report: Road tripping through Costa Rica
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen lately?
The strangest thing had to be the view looking down at the tree tops when doing a superman over them. The superman zip lines were over a mile long through the mountains and they provided a uniquely strange – but amazing – experience.
Describe a typical day:
I rented a car and would drive from city to national park to beach. I’d go on hikes, find hot springs and surf for hours. Well, that is if you call what I was doing “surfing” since it was my first time. I was able to stand up on the board, I just wouldn’t stay standing for very long! I’d generally grab food throughout the day at small local restaurants and drink a lot of delicious Costa Rican coffee.
Describe an interesting conversation you had with a local:
I had an interesting chat with the people running the zip lines. They really enjoyed their jobs and feel like they get to play like kids all day. And unlike most touristy destinations, whose employees are quickly annoyed by tourists, they genuinely enjoyed everyone coming and having fun swinging through trees.
What do you like about where you are? Dislike?
Ha, the list of things to like is long: Beautiful beaches, amazing hikes, half mile long zip lines with breathtaking views, entertaining monkeys, great food, laid back culture.
I disliked that things were a little pricey and touristy for a Central American country. The country definitely knows the beautiful resources it has and promotes tourism much more (or effectively) than its neighbors.
Describe a challenge you faced:
I have been fortunate to never get sick on my travels. I’ve always been shocked by this, because I often eat and drink some very sketchy things. However, that streak ended in Costa Rica and I literally thought I was going to die. I have no idea what it was, but boy did I feel terrible. And to top it off, I still had to drive across the country to catch my flight a few days afterwards. I tried to recover as much as I could and then just bit the bullet and went for it. Driving through curvey mountain back roads, while feeling like death was not fun, but I made it.
What new lesson did you learn?
I learned that I too can get sick traveling. For some reason, I arrogantly came to believe that I was immune to it. But I was humbled in Costa Rica of all places – which was surprising. It was a big downer on my trip, since it took up several days, but the unexpected happens all the time when traveling and you have to embrace it – even when it sucks.