You may have noticed that IF-OH has been silent of late. That’s because I’ve been preparing for a new trip: Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I’ve developed a method for my travels that truly honors the “itinerant” part of Itinerant Foodies. This method heavily involves the use of Google Docs and wikitravel. Basically, I write a middle school report on the country I’m visiting. My many anxieties are somewhat quelled when I fight them with knowledge. So I research every possible thing there is to know about a place in hopes that a) I don’t miss something good while I’m there, b) I don’t get stuck someplace awful and c) I don’t die. Vacations with Jill are so fun!
Bethany (of Tanzania and Philippines fame) will be joining me on this new adventure, and I’m hoping that her complete understanding of “island time” will balance out my we-need-to-be-there-four-days-early-to-catch-the-bus mentality. We’ve been working for months on the trip, interviewing friends who have been before, scouring the backpacking message boards and trying to learn some last-minute Spanish. (Thanks to two years of Spanish in 1995 and 1996, the burden of language is on my shoulders for this trip. In the past, I’ve had the luxury of Bethany pre-learning the local dialect prior to my arrival. There will be a lot of grunting and pointing, I fear.)
Speaking of fears, I’ve decided to compile a picture gallery of ways I may die during this trip. Just to give you some insight into my mind. You’re welcome.
1. The Plane Ride
I’ve never died in a plane crash before, but there’s always room for firsts.
2. Hiking A Volcano
Not so worried about the erupting part. It’s more the extreme heat, passing out because I don’t have enough water and also, why did I think I was athletic enough to attempt a six-hour hike anyway? (P.S. Have no idea which volcano this is.)
3. Surfing Lessons
I seriously doubt that I will be able to get to the point of standing up on a surf board. I will likely drown because I fall down in two inches of water with the surf board on top of me and I am too weak to push it off. Then I will be devoured by bull sharks.
4. Bull Sharks
Did you know that there are bull sharks off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua? Did you know that they like to eat people? I didn’t, until I started doing research. This is one of those cases where diligently reading everything I can does not lead to me feeling safer.
5. Yoga Injury
If it can happen, it will happen to me. Namaste.
6. Mountain Roads
It’s amazing that I did not die on the mountainous roads of the Philippines. Which means it’s inevitable that I’ll meet my demise on the hills of Costa Rica. Though probably not in a Toyota and most likely not in a puddle. We’re definitely going to fly over some poorly built railing on a steep hillside in chicken bus of some sort.
7. Zip Lining in Costa Rica
Last year, I went to Zoombezi Bay. A waterpark. For children. As soon as I got over the whole “walking around in a swimsuit in public” thing, I decided it was time to try a water slide. For children. I got to the top, looked down the slide and froze. (This wasn’t those scary body slides we’re talking about; I was terrified of a slow-coasting raft ride.) I then walked down all the steps, past all the children and made it to the bottom to meet my brave slide-riding friends. They then joined me as I went straight to the bar for (expensive) liquid courage. If Costa Rica has a beer station on one of those tree platforms, I’ll be absolutely fine.
8. Missing My Flight
I’m not sure how I think that I’ll die if I miss my flight on the way back home, but this is my most consistent travel fear. Some one is going to find my body at SJO, sunburnt and lifeless. They’ll look at me and shake their heads in sadness. “Poor dear, she missed her flight. If only she’d known more Spanish, if only she’d shown up twelve hours early.” (Photo credit here. Because this one looks professional.)
There’s some good news here, though. There is one way that I will not die on this trip. It’s the one thing that’s kept me safe in all my travels. Like Maya’s watch that lands planes, I have a secret weapon against all bad things.
This fanny pack, my friends, will be on me at all times. Surfing, sleeping, ziplining, whatever. And it will keep me safe. And fashionable. And I will survive this trip and come back and write about the food, the coffee and the adventures. And I’ll forget that I ever thought I was going to die. And all will be good. I’ll see you on the other side (of this trip).
P.S. If you’re thinking about breaking into my house while I’m gone, please note that I have hundreds of roommates who have thousands of friends who are ALWAYS there. So, suck it.