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 

I will never wear these again + the parachute dress

They sucked me in! I saw these babies while waking down the street and they are two for 12. I’ve wanted some Octogon sunglasses for a long time. I like the way they look on my face, and not to mention, the blue tint matched my outfit. I also bought a pair in black, but that’s besides the point right now.

Real subtle.

I should cue you guys in, I love conceptual pieces of clothings/outfits. I scored this particular dress at a thrift store for no more than 5 bucks. It reminds me of a parachute with all the ropes and zippers. It’s a charcoal blue color, which is just a few shades away from navy blue, my mortal enemy as a black-lover. However, it works well with black, so all is forgiven. Except for these bad photos, because you can’t really see the dress in all it’s glory. I’ve cinched it at the waist but it looks more parachute-y when loose.

“So what’s wrong with these sunglasses,” you’re wondering. Sorry, let me get to that part. After taking these photos I looked at these sunglasses and thought “wow, I am never going to wear these again.” And why would I have any reason to believe otherwise? These are blue and yellow, I wear tons of black and grey. They don’t exactly match the rest of my wardrobe. The title of this post could also be “Knurly buys shit they doesn’t need episode 32634 and one-half.” Does it bother you how I’ve mixed numbers and “one-half?” It should.

Back to me being vain. Since this is my parachute dress, I had to test it’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, I could not get any photos of me jumping (the photographer aka my friend was not willing to jump out of the plane with me) but here’s one of me landing safely:

Those are shorts and not my underwear, I don’t know you like that, I promise

Skydiving tested, Knurly approved.

Also, shout-out to you if you recognize this place. By the way, never pay for parking here, just cross the bridge and park on the residential streets like I do.

Finally: *really* important question guys, why do vendors with lots of sunglasses always have signs that say “no photos?” Is it because they’re selling knockoff designs or what? Do they not want want people taking a photo wearing the glasses and then not buying them? I wish to know the truth.

Anyway stay tuned for part two where I end up wearing these sunglasses again. 


Dress – Thrifted

Bralette – eBay

Shoes – Converse, Burlington Coat Factory

Sunglasses – random store whose name I cannot remember but who cares, because these sunglasses were the only thing that wasn’t overpriced there

Necklace that you can’t see – local store

Hat – also thrifted why do I even bother with these


-Knurly 

Plane Ticket/ Bank Account Issues

Sunday, April 8th: The Panic & Frustration

I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that I want to gain more travel experience. Saturday (yesterday) I was given a huge dose of experience. My card was declined, not once, but twice. Then I couldn’t get into my online banking. I called the telephone teller and sure enough, my account is locked. Also, when I saw I called the teller, I mean that I entered my account number for the robot on the other end to tell me my account is locked. Thanks for nothing, by the way.

Anyway, my bank is closed on Sundays (of course), so I have to wait until Monday. That’s a whole day  – I know, so terrible first world problems – of me refusing to let myself panic, wondering if my bank account is compromised or something. I know that is was probably tripped by me buying my plane tickets and my AirBnB rooms. However, I am  terrified.

Monday, April 9th: The Resolution

They didn’t tell me why my account was frozen. However, they gave me a new card and gave me access to my online banking. Phew – nightmare over. I’m kind of glad I was issued a new card, because now I don’t have to worry about any previous attempted purchases going through.

The Lesson 

What has this taught me, you ask? First , I need a credit card. Using my bank card for everything could leave me without a means of purchase when I go on vacation. It’ll be nice to have a backup. I know that it’s important to call your company before you leave for a vacation so they don’t automatically freeze your card. However, that’s kind of difficult to do when you don’t have a credit card.

The problem with smaller banks is they don’t always have the infrastructure to help you. I couldn’t get in contact with a real person until i went into the bank. If I was in a different country, I’d have to wait for opening hours to call the branch and who knows if they’d be able to help me over the phone. Not to mention, what if I have an issue Satuday after they close and can’t do anything until Monday? That’s a long time to be cut off when you’re in another country. Pending these concerns, I’m going to have to contact my bank (ha!) and make sure that my trip to Costa Rica will not be a problem. ESPECIALLY because at my bank, they don’t unfreeze cards they only issue new ones. Can you imagine me being stuck in another country for two weeks, unable to access my bank account, having to rely on only a credit card? It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

If you have any tips or suggestions, please let me know! Have you ever been cut off from your money in a foreign country? How did you manage? 

-Knurly