We’re in Costa Rica after a three-week stay in the United States. In my head, I’ve divided the trip into two parts; the first part where we were hanging out in Europe (I’ll count Istanbul as Europe, even if Sarcozy has his doubts) and the second part in which we head out into the rest of the world.
I’ve imagined that part one of the trip, now finished, will be the simplest for me. I’m politically and socially very much in my comfort zone in many parts of Europe – in fact sometimes more so than in the United States.
I’ve traveled outside of Europe and North America, but less – a month in India, two weeks in South Africa, a week in Japan – and never with a toddler who occasionally still likes to chew on random objects. So, I think there will be elements of the rest of the trip that will be more challenging; less ability to blend in, less potable water, more opportunities for culture shock.
One week into Costa Rica, and many of the things that I’d imagined would be hard aren’t – honestly, the country is pretty set up for American tourists even to the degree that many small restaurants take USD, even if they don’t accept credit cards. Other things have been more challenging: trying to ward off the constant invasion of bugs (ants are my new archenemies) in our open-to-the-elements villa, work with a very spotty Internet connection, and stay cool in 90+ degree weather with limited AC.
Regardless, our goal isn’t to just stay in our comfort zone (if it were, we would have stayed in Stockholm.) So onward we go!