It was no secret that Central America was rough for us, between chicken buses, dusty border crossings, bug bites, and subpar food. But, we stuck it out. Until we arrived in Dominical Costa Rica.
Decision Making in Dominical Costa Rica
When we lived in Chicago, we made all of our important decisions over Cadillac margaritas and queso fundido at Mi Tierra on Belmont. The sad thing was that the pitcher was enormous, came with 4 shots of Grand Marnier on the side, and we never actually ordered a meal – just molten cheese, chorizo, and some warm tortillas (that’s at least three food groups, and along with the lime in margarita, we hit four!). We would drink too much, too quick, and make life changing decisions, such as, should I change law firms (decision: yes), or should we quit our jobs to travel the world (decision: yes).
Decisions Under Duress
Now that we were on our way to being unemployed hippies in love with the world, we found ourselves making important life decisions in an entirely different way – overlooking a tropical jungle, a few minutes from a beach in Domincal Costa Rica, and entirely sober.
There were a few times during our trip through Central America where we both wanted to quit and hop a flight anywhere other than Central America. Generally, these feelings came over us like a wave when we were tired, stressed, dirty from chicken buses, or vomitting from bad milk. I did not want to make that kind of decision in haste, under duress, or under the influence. I did not want to flee.
When we arrived in Costa Rica, although a lot more expensive than other areas of Central America, and slightly out of our usual budget, we started to enjoy ourselves. Things seemed easier. Chicken buses were a thing of the past (although buses without air conditioning were still the norm). We found places to stay where we cooked all our own meals, and rented an apartment with monkeys. We started eating the tropical, fresh fruit that we associated with Central America but which was virtually nonexistent in other countries, outside of grapes and apples (boring).
Decisions Under Advisement
When we arrived in Dominical Costa Rica, a tiny, dirt road surfing village, and landed an eco-accommodation at Bamboo Yoga Play, we felt at ease for the first time in weeks. It was as if a little bit of Asia had been imported into Costa Rica – lush tropical landscape behind us, outdoor living, yoga, buddhas, and Asian inspired artwork.
But, why were we satisfied with a little bit of Asia in Costa Rica, when really what we wanted was to be surrounded by Asia, to be in the heart of it. Asia is our passion.
We knew that Asia was our final destination from the start, but we had the wanderlust running through our veins. After realizing that Central America was just not cutting it for us, could we continue through South America, traveling for another 4 months before making our way to Asia?
The decision was a resounding NO! We could not wait. We have seen a lot in the last 6 months, added a lot of countries to our “been to” list, and received a mess of passport stamps, but the wanderlust came to an end…or has it?
What I found most interesting, though, was that our decision was not made in a stressful situation, or under the influence of Cadillac margaritas. We were practicing yoga at least once a day. Swimming in the Pacific on a beautiful, clean beach. We ate more fresh fruit than is normal (a healthy colon is a happy colon). And, we were detoxing – no booze, not even beer. It seems appropriate that the decision was made at a place with “bamboo” in the title. And, for that, we have to thank Domincal Costa Rica.
We made the decision to get our butts to Asia and we booked a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Done and Done.
Our New Wanderlust
But, DOES this mean our wanderlust is over? I don’t think so, it was merely transported to the region we love. We booked a one way ticket to Kuala Lumpur. We booked a flight to Myanmar/Burma for 4 weeks. I was accepted into a yoga teacher training in Bali. Thus, from Burma we head to Bali, where we are hoping to stay for 3 months. After that, we still need to make our way to Vietnam, we want to spend some more time exploring Thailand, and we promised our friend Priya we would head to India as soon as possible. Oh, and we still need to hit the Philippines!
So, our wanderlust was not satiated, it was just refocused. I am honestly excited about making our travel plans for the first time in months. We are heading home. Right after Cuba, and Panama.