Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Photos!!

Central America has come to an end...

Looking back on my travel experiences from the last three months I am amazed at how much I have changed. Those first few days when I was scared, confused, and lonely seem so long ago. I have had some great experiences here (and some bad ones as well), and the memories from my first travels will be with me forever.

I left Puerto Viejo Thursday morning, though not before heading down to the beach for one final dip. As I swam in the warm, clear, water of the Caribbean I could not get over the fact that in one weeks time I was going to be in Nepal, having spent three days in London as well. So, that means; The Caribbean, London, and Nepal all in one week. I still have not quite wrapped my mind around that. This is one hell of a journey...

More photos have been posted to my Picasa account.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I have not been writing much lately mainly because I have had nothing new to report. After an exhausting couple of weeks I ended up in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. It is a bit touristy, and I am continually frustrated when I say something in Spanish only to be given a reply in English. My Spanish is really falling apart right now...nonetheless, I have been relaxing and recharging my batteries. I have been here for almost a week now, and have spent most of my time either reading in a hammock or getting exercise and relaxing on a beach. It is beautiful here, and while the rest of Costa Rica is dealing with torrential downpours, I am enjoying sunny skies, white sand beaches, good books, good music, and drinks with little umbrellas in them. OK, maybe no drinks with umbrellas, but everything else.

I am getting a bit bored now, and am REALLY REALLY excited to be starting another leg of my journey in just a few days. I will head back to San Jose for the weekend, and Sunday night I begin my five day journey to Nepal. When I first purchased this ticket I though that I was being incredibly clever giving myself a two and a half days in London, but now it just seems like it will be a nightmare! Oooops!

I get to Nepal next Thursday, and with a little luck will be starting the Annapurna circuit by the following Wednesday. For those of you who do not know this is a 21 day trek through the Himalayas, which will probably be the most hardcore thing I have ever done. Four months ago I would not have worried about it, but as my fitness level has steadily declined, my anxiety has steadily increased! However, I am hoping that this last week of moderate exercise and rest will go along way towards getting me ready for it.

Since it is hot and sunny right now I think I will wrap this up, grab my book, and head for the beach. Cheers to all of you back in rainy ass Seattle, I will be thinking of you when I order that drink with the umbrella, and dive into a picture perfect blue sea. Enjoy work suckers!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

WOW! So much has happened since I last sat down to write that I really don't even know where to begin. I had a pretty rough week, but am in a better place (both mentally and physically). This is probably going to turn into an incoherent rambling monologue, but here it goes...

I have definitely had the lowest points of my trip over the past week and a half. Facing adversity, I was able to resolve a tough situation, and handled myself surprisingly well. Nonetheless, the sheer emotional drain that it caused has made me feel wrecked. I am sooo tired right now. I have been on buses everyday since last Wednesday without a break, and I have one more to go today. I will then arrive on a Caribbean beach in Costa Rica! I am not going to move from that beach for a minimum of five days!! OK...back to what I was talking about before (told you this was going to be a rambling monologue! Chalk it up to a. a minor hangover, and b. no coffee). The point is, I have had a stressful time, but I worked through it and am in a better place now, and am feeling great about traveling again. Indeed, I can't even wait for that bus this afternoon, after all it is talking me to a Caribbean beach!!!!!!!

I think that the thing that keeps recharging my battery, and keeps me going is not the desire to see new places (though of course that is a huge part of traveling), but to meet new people. I now almost take it for granted that I am going to see something pretty spectacular on almost a daily basis, but meeting new people and sharing memories with them is something I will never take for granted. The underlying theme of this trip so far has become the kindness of strangers. In an attempt to prepare myself for all the things that were going to come my way (which of course you can't) I read a book entitled The Kindness of Strangers shortly before departing on my journey. I am amazed at how spot on the book has been. Many of the wonderful experiences I have had involves strangers, whether it be another traveler that I shared a meal with, a local who did something nice for me simply to be helpful.

As an aside, this happens with amazing frequency. For example, and this is just one of many, a Costa Rican guy that I asked for directions took me to a bus stop, waited with me and chatted, then paid for both our tickets when the bus came. He took me to where I needed to go, we said goodbye, and then he just walked off. I don't if he was going somewhere nearby or not. Truly, he is just one of the countless amazing people I have met.

Meeting so many great people has truly changed my life. I have always been a trusting person, and so when people talk to me about their overwhelming fear of being robbed, beaten, raped, etc. I try to simply share my experiences. Yes, bad things happen and not everyone is a good person, but if you open your heart and choose to believe in the decency of mankind it is amazing just how many acts of random kindness you will experience (hopefully on both the receiving ANNNNDD the giving end). As I write this I am sitting in the living room of an American couple living in San Jose. We met on the bus yesterday, and they invited me to stay at their place. They prepared an amazing meal, and we drank beer and chatted (In Spanish only, as a Tica friend of theirs was here and insisted that we speak only in Spanish, though, her English was perfect.) into the wee hours of the morning. Yet another in the constantly growing library of random acts of kindness. As before, I would really like to encourage everyone who reads this to stop for a minute and think about how they are treating the people in their lives. Are you acting with kindness in your heart?? I try everyday, and as a result I have had amazing experiences that no one else will ever have (i.e. they are MINE!!). Indeed the experiences I have had are changing my life. All because people act with kindness in their hearts...

Friday, October 5, 2007


Most days are good. Some are not. And yet I usually just take the good with the bad and keep on going. Today is different. Today, October 5th, 2007, is the first time when I have actually just wanted to quit traveling. This is not a good sign as it is currently only 7:28 a.m. and I have only been up for an hour and a half. Nonetheless, this is exactly the mood I am in as I start my day. I went to bed pretty grumpy last night, but with hopes that a good night's sleep would cheer me up.

Instead, I awoke, showered and then began packing laundry only to discover that I had lost a pair of underwear. "How?" you ask does losing a pair of underwear put me in such an awful mood that my first instinct was to go get on a plane? Well...that story really begins three days ago with the amazing rebirth of my iPod (which had not worked for about 6 weeks), and the subsequent loss of my iPod charger all in a 24 hour period. After leaving my iPod charger in Leon, I have since lost my flashlight (no idea where), and now a pair of underwear (again no idea where. I was wearing them when I got to Granada and now they are gone.). The fact that losing a pair of underwear could be so detrimental to my state of well being might also have something to do with the fact that these are not simply underwear. They are one of three pairs that I had (now I have two), each pair costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 dollars. Losing one of my most expensive and most prized possesions (they are sooooo comfy) has really caused my already dampened spirits to become more soaked than damp. What now???? I don't know...I will head to class, study Spanish, eat lunch, and all the while I will be missing my underwear. Despite the fact that I have a wonderful family, partner, and friends none of them ever gave me the same support that these underwear provided.

R.I.P. Black Pair

Monday, October 1, 2007


So I am pretty awful at organizing photos and today is actually the first time in like 5 weeks that I have been able to upload anything. Below is the link to my Picasa account. Enjoy!

Eight Weeks Already?????

Wow!! Hard to believe that it has been eight weeks now. The time is really flying by. At this rate my trip will be over before I know it!

And now for your enjoyment I am going to go on another rant. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY??? I have been abstaining from reading the news much (unless it is local), but as I sat at breakfast this morning reading an article in the local Leon paper about the Bush administrations plans for a war with Iran I just about lost my shit. SERIOUSLY??? We are going to go through this again. HAS EVERYONE LOST THEIR FUCKING MINDS??? Hmmm...Here's an idea everyone hates us, we fucked up Iraq to no end, why don't we just go start another war. That's the solution! Let's send more kids to kill and be killed. Nothing like destroying a few million lives so that we can say we are being "tough on terror." WAKE UP ASSHOLES you are creating the terror.

I hope my over enthusiastic use of obscene language conveys my fear, anger, and utter bewilderment that this could actually be happening again. A wise man once told me "There is enough pain and suffering in this world. I don't need to be responsible for any more." If only the powers that be would adopt this same philosophy. Perhaps they could do some good. Rather, they choose to create a climate of fear, racism, and violence. Needless to say this climate will do nothing but cause greater pain and suffering for everyone.