Have you ever had a vacation feel like a series of travel disappointments and planning FAILS? That was us last week.
So much of travel is about adapting to your circumstances. That goes double for living in Costa Rica, where we quickly learned not to take things like water or electricity for granted!
Grocery items also go out of stock for weeks at a time, so we’re constantly trying to figure out what we can have for dinner.
Oh, getting caught in a few downpours really taught us that weather reports are useless. At least in the “wet” season from May to November in the Nicoya region. Luckily, it usually just rains in the afternoon—so wear a swimsuit if you leave the house after 2pm!
In the span of 3 days last week…
- We drove 6 hours round-trip for a hike that lasted less than 2 hours, and cost $30 (not including the car rental, gas, and tolls!)
- We showered at the rinse-off area of a shared outdoor pool because the water in our apartment stopped working (not because we didn’t pay the bill!)
- We cooked our dinner without water, and then had to leave the dishes in the sink over 2 days.
- I hitchhiked my way to an early morning yoga class in Nosara because the roads were too flooded to walk.
What I learned…
- I don’t need to wash my hands nearly as much than I thought I do.
- All fears about getting into a stranger’s car goes away when you’re knee-deep in muddy water.
- We can’t control things like the weather or hiking conditions, but we can control how we feel about it.
As Jake had to remind me, a successful trip doesn’t depend on the amazing things we’ve seen, done, or can go home and blog about. Take our hike to Rincon de la Vieja. It was a huge disappointment. We drove for hours to get there and the drive had more to see than the <2 hour hike. The trail was paved too, so it felt more like a botanical garden than national park!
No story came out of the trip except that it was a bust. But as Jake pointed out, this was the first time since we settled in Tamarindo that I’d gotten that excited about doing something! And shouldn’t that be a good enough reason to try something new?
The takeaway is…
I learned that I don’t always need to come home with an “epic” tale about training with world-champion MMA fighters, or surfing with giant sea turtles. A trip isn’t “worth it” based on what stories or photos came out of it. I won’t always be the most interesting person in the room, and not everything I do will be worth blogging about.
But being part of the blogging community has taught me that listening can be even more rewarding than sharing or doing. So…
What’s your Most Disappointing Travel Experience?
Let us know in the comment section—don’t forget to post a link back to your blog if you have one!