During yesterday's weekly Tuesday night mountain bike ride, a couple of us were talking about one of the club member's recent trip to NZ. Lisa spent two months on her own in the land of the Kiwi, hiking, and biking, and rafting. You can read the awesome account of her trip here. Anyway, Eric and I decided to discuss the elephant in the room; the fact that I've been "between projects" for six weeks now and that there's no reason why I don't start doing trips like that.
There are two reasons, actually. The first is that I never know how long it will be before I'm asked to get started on something. There have been times when I expected a two week break and woke to the sound of the UPS man ringing my doorbell. Another game to start on. This, of course, could be handled easily however by simply coming home early if I had to. The second reason why I haven't done any big trips like that during my time off is because of Kristin. There is the fact that Kristin has a career with a lot of responsibility and limited vacation time getting in the way. And there is also the fact that I wouldn't want to travel without her. With the risk of being overly sentimental, she truly is my best friend and I really don't have any interest in, say, travelling through New Zealand without her. I'd miss her like mad after two days.
So this presents a bit of a quandary for me. For starters, I really want to start laying some bricks for an eventual career as a travel writer later in life. And even if that doesn't come about, I don't want to be 40 years old, stuck behind some desk, kicking myself for not doing more when I had the opportunity. Most people do not encounter such periods of paid-vacation that I currently enjoy (I make up for it with 90-hour weeks throughout the fall months) and it really is a waste to not do more with it. Kristin fully understands this and thinks that while she'll be jealous if I go anywhere without her, it's just too good of a situation to not take advantage of.
So I'm going to.
Ten of us are travelling to Costa Rica the day after Easter for a friend's wedding, but after a long talk about this last night, I decided to change my airline ticket to depart on the 12th instead of the 17th. It's only an extra five days, but it will give me a taste of what it's like to travel solo in a foreign, non-English-speaking country. And although I will undoubtedly miss Kristin and wish she were with me, knowing that she'll be arriving alongside many of my best friends just a few days later will be comforting.
So, I'll arrive in Liberia, CR around noon on April 12th. I'm going to rent a small SUV -- hopefully the same Daihatsu truck I rented last time -- and I'm going to drive... someplace. I'm not making plans. I have a few ideas of places where I want to go, but I refuse to make an itinerary. The following week will be spent in an all-inclusive resort spot, the types of places I don't like to go anywhere near, so I have five days to camp on beaches, hike through the jungle, drive alongside some of the world's most notorious motorists, and just lie in a hammock and read a book. No plans. Little money. And no cell phone. The only must is that I'm back in Liberia by noon on the 17th.