Beyond my being adamant that I was at least going to make it to Envision, a festival unofficially listed on a blog I found as a regional burn, Costa Rica didn’t really have much to do with my birthday. What did feel like a birthday treat, however, was how close the little sister was to coming with until work stuff got in the way. A bummer (though we obviously made up for it) but I was still excited as I had my burner bud from last year, Venesa, and her new man coming to join.
I was leaving less than a week after One Love with the plan that those last couple days before flying back to the Bay for work (and then Costa Rica) would be for recovery and the last of my quality family time. Instead it turned into the opposite when the little brother had one of his breaks after I made an insensitively fed up comment that instantly escalated into his not only physically threatening me but appearing to get a wee bit delusional. Whoopsie.
While it caused me to have to Free Robin Fly from my family’s casa, it at least lead to my spending time with a pal I hadn’t seen enough of. I’m all for happy endings, so hey. It may not have exactly been leaving the fam on a happy note but at least we got something.
With my last day at home in San Diego for a month and a half being Valentine’s Day, I awkwardly made a video for that new special fella you read about in the last post (which I’m painfully including for you *blush*) from the OB coffee shop I wrote so much of my book at, Java Jungle, before heading across the street to eat at my last San Diego taco shop for a while, Mike’s Taco Club (yummy sauces), before heading off to the airport.
Managing to get in a bit of fun in the Bay between hours driving for Lyft by making it to a burner party and with the pals in the area you’ve read about, it dawned on me from the moment a week later when dropping the family work car off to sister (and realizing that the cost of grabbing my own Lyft to SFO was worth it) that I was finally starting to understand this new life just a wee bit. A thought that was immediately followed with others about being unsure about whether it was really getting that much easier or if it was just that Central America was a little more in my comfort zone. Either way, I knew that those first moments of familiarity within my travels were a huge step. I’d have an answer to the rest soon enough when, by the end of the trip, I was to be amazed by how I would end up making it through three weeks in a country as expensive as California and went to a festival there on somewhere around a grand.
Once waiting to board the red eye flight on the not-too-bad Copa Airlines for my first leg to Panama, the majority of other passengers being Spanish speakers made it excitingly obvious, though still in California, that I was on my way. Once on the plane and soon in flight, my not quite equipped enough preparations to combat being cold when trying to sleep (as the blankets I’d assumed would be given out were not), I was reminded of how many unexpected moments come with travel and how much I was going to have to switch back into go with the flow mode. Good practice for my impatient-ass and a tiny bit less uncomfortable than it could have been since I at least managed to get the emergency row. It also didn’t hurt that I was on my way to Costa Rica and was proud of myself for finally wearing a mask the whole time along with taking the Airborne that Wendy had convinced me to, yes, be worth the buy.
By the time we got to the destination of the layover in Panama, I was so tired that I didn’t want to figure out how to take advantage of the eight hours I had in a country that I would not have likely visited otherwise. Finally having enough experience to be stern with myself about no longer senselessly missing such great travel opportunities, I did eventually kick my butt back even further into travel mode by slowing down my mind into a slower state of actually observing my surroundings, finding tools available and thinking it through. First things first, I went to the bathroom for the ‘ol Wet Wipes, deodorant and toothbrush bath along with changing the skivvies routine I find essential during travel. Whether or not it’s true, I always think travel makes me smell. Likely paranoia for the most part due (at least in part) to how repulsed I get by how bad so many others do. One of my biggest travel negatives.
After leisurely strolling around the entire airport and waiting until I had already filled out a customs declaration form at the doors to leave, I finally did my research on where to go. It wasn’t until then, practically with one foot out the door, that I realized that the few hours I had to explore would have likely cost me around $150. Too expensive for my still-tight budget, but hey. At least it was a step forward.
Heading back to what was originally to be the terminal for my next flight (until it was changed to pure across the airport), I crashed hard on the airport floor by a random man playing a violin. I mean crazy sex dreams and not waking up until practically peeing my pants hard. Not bad for a recovering insomniac.
Finally making it onto that one last flight to CR, complete with an in-flight pout-session when sleeping through the snack, I had, after 18 years of hearing surfers talk about it, finally made it to Costa Rica.