If you thought this was a multi-step process, you were mistaken. However, everything involved in getting step 1 done was a tremendous amount of work. Most of which I napped through and put off by way of an apparent Netflix addiction until the absolute last minute.
On the plus side, I’m fairly well-rested and have some excellent movie recommendations. On the negative side, enough things didn’t get done before I left that I can only humbly accept the silver medal, and not the gold, at this year’s Procrastinators Awards Ceremony (location TBD). While my heart was totally into putting everything off until the last minute, I failed to actually do some of the things I was putting off. A gold medalist completes the tasks. It’s a fine line between pushing things to the limit and pushing things over.
Even the night before I left, I had high hopes of getting stuff done. I had a plan! And then I went out with some friends. Then I watched a movie or two. Then I went to sleep. Then I woke up with a start because I wasn’t supposed to go to sleep at all! I had a timeline which I totally messed up! And then there was a lot of rushing. A lot of laughing. And then I left.
Ginger appreciates my skills in procrastination as she is quite the little procrastinator herself! We were both really committed to doing a photoshoot before I left. It was a necessity. I can’t take all the blame for it not happening. We both talked about it with all kinds of seriousness. “Yeah, maybe next Thursday.” “How about we do Saturday?” ” Alright, I leave on Friday, so it’ll have to be this week.” “OK, 8:30am sharp, the morning I leave then. That’s our last chance. Definitely.”
“Alright, let’s take some quick photos as you drop me off at departures!”
Obviously, the shoot didn’t happen. I’ll miss Ginger the most.
So my flight left at 12:40pm. All of my worldly possessions in one suitcase, one surfboard bag, one carry-on, and one laptop bag. I arrived at the gate just as boarding started.
And here, I would like to offer some advice. When embarking on an adventure by yourself to a foreign land where you don’t speak the language, don’t plan ahead to figure out how to get to where you’re going. For example, my destination in Costa Rica was a little house on the Pacific coast, two hours away from the airport. I knew I was going to take a bus but had no idea where the bus station was. And there are multiple bus stations as well in San Jose, each one going to different parts of the country.
I ended up taking a taxi to the Coca Cola bus stop, and, having missed the 3pm bus out to Jaco, had to wait for the 6pm bus. And I needed cash apparently. Who knew?
So with my four overstuffed and very heavy bags, I began to navigate the streets to the closest bank. And I wish I could have taken a photo of what this exactly looked like so you could see the complete absurdity of what I was doing. Standing on the corner about a block north of where the taxi dropped me, a beautiful young woman named Wendy appeared out of nowhere and asked (in perfect English):
“Do you need help?”
I most certainly did. Wendy wheeled my smaller bag ahead while I followed behind. My surfboard bag is slung over my shoulder, pointing every which way and I’m trying not to do that thing where I knock small children over in front of me and push unsuspecting men into traffic behind me. The laptop bag is also slung over my shoulder, and I’m doing a fairly miraculous job of keeping the gargantuan suitcase on its wheels and not turning it over onto its back like a helpless turtle. Slowly, we navigated through dense market streets (vendors everywhere on the sidewalks), over curbs and across streets. Wendy went with me to the bank, back to the bus station, and to a small restaurant to get something to eat. She took about twenty minutes out of her day to help a perfect stranger. And then she left. I wanted to take a photo of Wendy to remember her. And to remember this moment in a place where I knew not a person. But I didn’t. So writing it down will have to suffice.
At about ten minutes til 6, we boarded the bus. And I gave up my front row seat to a father with a child and stood (and sat) in the aisle with about ten other passengers for the next two hours, arriving in Jaco just as it was starting to rain. The place I’m staying at is in Herradura but since it was dark and rainy by the time we got here, I decided to just stay at a hotel in Jaco overnight and get up there in the morning instead. Which is now. So….
This concludes step 1 of this new adventure. I’m in Costa Rica.