Costa Rica Here I Come!
Ok….I’m not gonna lie. I AM NERVOUS!!! It’s my very first solo dolo trip to a country that’s first language is not English. I’m excited and terrified all at the same time. Usually when I travel, I like to take advantage of all inclusive resorts. This way I know once I get there, I’m good. Even if I run out of money, at least I know I’ll still be fed. This time around I wanted to challenge myself. I want to force myself to get to know the country, the food, and its people. So I booked a beautiful resort called Splendor Tamarindo in Guanacaste Costa Rica. Sidenote: I’m a bit of a travel snob. I really really like new luxurious hotels. I did my research about solo travellers and a lot of them say you'll get more value for your dollar if you stay at a hostel. But the way I see it, I gotta take baby steps. So luxurious new hotel here I come!
I never take connecting flights. I just like to get there. I actually don't even remember booking a connecting flight to be honest. But I guess with my excitement to be out, I didn't even bother to check. My first flight was to Miami. I generally have zero fears of flying. Quite frankly, I'm usually asleep before takeoff. But on this flight to Miami..Lord the turbulence!!!!! Like at one point the plane dipped, so my butt cheeks actually left the seat. Items were flying out the kitchen, grown men screamed out in fear. But you know what's crazy? I was unbothered. I knew that I was going to be okay. Why so confident? That day that I was on the plane, was the one year anniversary of my sweet Grandma's death. I knew she was with me. I wanted to turn to the other passengers and assure them that everything would be ok, but how do you explain to strangers that your guardian angel was in control? That there was no way that Grandma was gonna share her anniversary with me..hmmm ok, that might have sounded a little morbid but I think you guys get the picture. Bottom line, Grandma was holding me down that day.
As if the turbulence wasn't bad enough; I swear that I was gonna have the plane land for a medical emergency. When I first got on the plane , I was seated next to an elderly couple. The woman was in the middle seat and the man at the window seat. I said good morning, and they nodded back at me. I see they weren't a couple of many words. So as we're in the air, I notice the woman kinda dozing off. But it wasn't a regular doze off, it was like she was blacking out; her head would kind of nod around for a bit before landing on her husband's shoulder. In my head, I'm thinking please don't let this woman's head roll over onto my shoulder. So when the snacks came around, after eating, she started to moan. And it wasn't the pleasurable moaning that we all know and love if you know what I mean. You know when you're acting like everything is normal but on the insides you're freaking out?? Yeah well that was me!!! By this time, I had to put my headphones on, cause I wasn't gonna make this whole flight while listening to this awful moaning. So after a few minutes I realized there was no movement next me and no more moans. I turned to look, and I swear to you the woman was dead! Her lifeless body was just lying there. So I immediately yelled 'sir' to get her husband's attention. He immediately starts to beat on her chest (I swear I'm not making this up!) As I started to unbuckle my seatbelt to get help (to get help and never to return to that seat until the plane landed)....he started to say to me in his broken English 'no no...she's ok...see she's fine'. Apparently, this is common for this couple. I don't know what medical issue she has but apparently you just need to beat on her chest for a bit to bring her back to life! I have never in all of my life wanted a flight to be over like I did this one!
For those who don't travel often, the best way to find out about a destination is to ask locals. There is only so much that you can get off the internet. Nothing beats talking to someone who lives it daily. After I scooped up my suitcase and located my taxi driver, I began my 1.5 hour drive to Tamarindo. My driver spoke maybe 10 words of English, which was a lot more than the 3 Spanish words that I knew (Sidenote: Download Rosetta Stone when I return to Canada). There's just something about the human spirit though. It's totally possible to communicate when you really have no idea what the words mean. Sometimes you just gotta guess, or pretend you know! You know when you ask them to repeat themselves about 3 times, then you finally realize that you're never gonna understand what they're saying so you just rigorously nod and say 'si si' when really you have no idea what you're agreeing to. That was pretty much 75% of our conversation.
After the usual 'Where are you from? How long are you staying?' questions, we got into the nitty gritty..... "Sooooo Senhorita, do you have husband?" Yes, here it is. The staple question for all female solo travellers. I always wondered, do other women answer this question truthfully, or do you automatically describe your big burly husband waiting for you back home?? I never know how to answer this question because if you say you're single, you most certainly get the follow up "you look for husband here? You find good man here". However, if you say you're married, you could be missing out on meeting someone special. Quite frankly for my single people; Who says Mr or Mrs Right is in your city? How do I know he isn't in Costa Rica? I never wanna totally close myself off to opportunities.
And for my plus size beauties, I kinda think it's important to find out if the men really appreciate you wherever you go. I never have any worries going to the Caribbean because they love their women fluffy! But this time I'm in Central America, who knows what they're into. So I asked if they like their women plump, and he says 'oh yes Senhorita, you go to club and find husband"...Yasssss! Sweeties, let me know if you want the chicken or steak at my wedding!
I just felt at home there. I had only been on Costa Rican soil for 2 hours and it just felt like a good fit. When I asked the driver what kind of music they listen to here (I tried to salsa in my seat so he'd understand what I was asking him.) He responded 'Oooh yes music....this is our music' and turns on the radio to Baby Cham 'Vitamin S' ... Oh yes, I'm definitely at home here!