Travel Diaries | Costa Rica: Encounters of the awkward kind

This storytime is accompanied by a drinking game: take a shot every time I said awkward. Disclaimer: don’t do that. Unless you want to…at your own risk. 

Every traveler knows that hostels are a great place to meet other people. Even if you’re a nervous a-social being hiding away in a private room (like myself), you can’t escape the social nature of the hostel. However, what happens when you combine two socially inept introverts (cough…like myself and my boyfriend) with a couple of clearly social stoners? A really awkward story, that’s what.

All it needs is a couple hammocks…

My boyfriend had cooked us dinner (thanks babe) and I was cleaning up the shared kitchen. Out of nowhere, this young lady asks me “did you cook in here?” – or something of the sort. That’s not important. I tell her yes, my boyfriend made us dinner…blah blah blah, not important. We’re just going to call her…Jane. Jane is from the states, like I am, so naturally we start talking. I tell her we were in Monteverde, and as it turns out, that’s where her and her boyfriend are heading to next. She wants recommendations on cheap things to do. Turns out our private rooms were right next to each other. I went into my room to get my Monteverde map.

We’re sitting on the bench in front of her room and her boyfriend comes out. We’re going to call him…Nolan. Still no problem, super nice seeming people, very chill, kind of stoners, but to each their own. Anyway, Jane says shes gotta go take a shower and returns to her room My boyfriend and I decide to sit outside on our bench. About fifteen to thirty minutes later, Nolan comes outside the room and sees us sitting on our bench. He says “Oh…You guys totally heard us didn’t you?” Hahaha. We said no, and to be honest, we didn’t hear them having sex. But it was still awkward.

He asks if we’d be up to go out to eat. My boyfriend, being the great conversationalist that he is says something like: “We already ate, but we’re totally up to watch you eat.” Eep. Awkward. 

GREAT choice of words, babe. What he MEANT to say was “we’re down for anything.” Needless to say, thing’s did progress very well afterwards. We continue to sit on our bench until the two came out, showered and changed, and made a b-line past us towards the courtyard exist…and didn’t say annnyyythhhinnggg to us.

Ouch, owwie. Awkward. To make things even worse, they kept coming and going in and out of the courtyard, which, mind you, is fairly small (I think they were trying to acquire weed from someone outside). It was weird, because there was no communication from them if they wanted to hang out, or not. I don’t exactly know when they left, because my boyfriend and I were so tired we passed out around 8-9. Anyway, the next day at breakfast we completely avoided them but they also avoided us. It was awkward. There were some…glances. My boyfriend and I decided to get out of there and when we came back later, they had left. Phewww.

The moral of the story is I’m 21 and still socially inept. But that’s ok, because the internet has taught me to post these stories online.

What the most awkward encounter you’ve had while traveling? I’m positive this is not the most awkward thing that will happen to me.

-Knurly 

Travel Diary | I went to La Fortuna waterfall and all I got was this postcard…

Hello wonderful readers! Yes, it may be at least three weeks since I returned from my trip to Costa Rica…but forgive my absence, and I’ll spare you the excuses. It’s time for one of many travel diaries and Costa-Rica related content. 

If you are not aware, La Fortuna waterfall is a popular tourist attraction where visitors can visit the incredible 75 foot cataract and swim in its chilly river. We (myself, and my boyfriend) had not planned on visiting the waterfall, but we had a free day and our shuttle pass (more on that in a later post) would provide us with transportation to the site. There was only one tiny detail that we were unsure about; we had no idea whether or not our belonging would be safe while we swam. As a result, we made the bone-headed decision to not bring our cellphones, cameras, or our wallets. Instead, we brought our pre-installed cameras (or…eyes…whatever the kids are calling them) and enough cash to enter the park.

Before you stop reading – are you still reading? Good. I took the opportunity to disconnect myself from my phone. While traveling, I find it incredibly easy to constantly be holding my phone or camera in front of my face. However, it is better to try and live in the experience rather than record the experience. I thought I’d be doing myself a favor. I was completely wrong.

Wikipedia

I don’t think when people suggest forgoing photos and “living in the moment” they think about how the human mind works. Frankly, it’s easier for me to remember an experience when I’m looking at photos of said experience, rather than trying to pull the thoughts out of my brain. When I’m ninety, am I going to remember the waterfall more or less than everything else that I experienced? Probably not. What I will do is sit around in my levitating wheelchair and reflect on photos of my youth. All I’m going to remember about that damn waterfall is that I didn’t take any photos!

What can be done about the ever-existing struggle between taking photos/videos, and living in the moment? It’s not impossible to find a balance. I’d say the best advice I could give you is to live through an experience first, and then take photos when you’re done.  How many times have you been with a group of people and the second something  occurs, everyone whips out their phone? Maybe take some time to see with your eyes, and then pull the camera. If you’re in a certain location, maybe set aside a specific amount of time to take photos. But don’t forget to take photos! Especially photos of you in the location. I can google La Fortuna Waterfall and see what the cataract looks like, but I can’t go back and take photos of myself there. I have many regrets.

So in short, I went to La Fortuna Waterfall and all I got was this postcard…

-Knurly 

What’s the plan?

I envy people who can see a clear path to their career goals. They know what they want to do, what they need to major in, and what types of jobs and internships they need to obtain. However, my selected career – sorry, dream, doesn’t have such defined limits. Often I find myself hopelessly lost in college, highly unsure if my major will pay off or if it’s simply a giant waste of time.

However, today I’ve finally put together a plan. After getting a 78% on an exam (and crying for an hour, because it’s the lowest grade I’ve ever gotten on any college exam…ever), I decided I needed to re-prioritize for my health and sanity. Cut to a day later, during a couples massage for my two year anniversary: I am finally relaxed enough to start thinking more clearly. What do I really want?

I think the obvious answer is: I don’t want to work in an office! I want to either be self-employed and/or work from home. I’d be willing to settle on going into an office once a week or once a month. It’s 2018 and I’m going into a business-tech field. I should be able to pull that off. There’s also my absolute dream of becoming a successful novelist. Working from home would be a huge advantage if I want to write on the side.

The National Gallery says that Goya recycled this canvas. Whatever was underneath wasn’t worth saving.

It’s amazing, I was lost for months years, trying to find my plan. And yet, it all came together within twenty-four hours. I think I was meant to have a breakdown yesterday, because I got right back up and put everything back together in a new way. It’s like art. I can paint and paint on a canvas but sometimes covering it all up and starting over produces a better result. Of course the layers are still there underneath, and they may peak through, but that’s part of it’s character.

In conclusion, I’ve learned nothing because my teacher emailed the class today saying she is allowing us to retake one of our exams! Hurrah!

Anyway, can you guess what my next post is about? There’s a hint in the post.

Until next time,

Knurly