Costa Rica is an unusual animal in Central America, being one of the few countries in that part of the world to boast a relatively conflict free history.
Certainly they were annexed by Spain and went through a civil war, but the government was declared a democracy in 1869 — at an earlier stage than many countries that still haven’t been declared as such.
I found modern Costa Rica to be a milieu of intense nature and laid back locals. I woke up to howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, large insects scaling my walls and frogs chortling.
When a Costa Rican utters ‘Pura Vida” it’s not a flippant term tossed at your feet. Pura Vida means “pure life” — and Costa Ricans really believe in this — encompassing the good life. One of family, love and a deep connection to their environment.
There’s a high number of farmers selling Costa Rican products like coffee, bananas and cacao (chocolate).
This philosophy explains the government’s unwavering stance on eco-preservation, which makes Costa Rica one of the big players in eco-tourism.
It’s no surprise that I LOVE Spain. I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, bounced like a kid while touring Alhambra in Granada and pinched myself as I watched flamenco dancing in Seville. I get asked about Ibiza all the time and have no answers since I haven’t been there, but I also hesitant to answer because of its party reputation. So I’m letting my guest writer Jeska Believes give you the lowdown on Ibiza. Is it still a place of raves and club dancing?
Spain’s infamous party island, Ibiza, may be known for hangovers, fake tans, and wild backpackers, but these days the Balearic Island off the coast of Spain is luring more refined travelers to its shore. With a newly-improved marina drawing super-yachts to the island, and plenty of fine dining and luxury accommodations to choose from, this top-class Mediterranean getaway spot can provide a memorable escape for any age group.
Wild. That’s what I called myself in 2010 when I filled my cranberry red backpack to the brim, a one-way ticket to India burning in my hand.
I am a restless soul that can’t be caged. A dragon longing to spread her wings, spew fire on the earth, to leave my mark — show I was here and existed… Burn trails; guzzle life until my belly is overfull; howl at the moon cresting against a starry night.
But I’m also a solo woman. One who received quizzical stares at an airport in Shanghai, the border officer interrogating me on why I was alone.
Or when I walked on the side of the highway near Savarsai, India, being the only female foreigner within a 300 mile radius, to be stopped by a young couple asking me questions. Why aren’t you married? You are by yourself?
Why? Why? Why?
I wrote about Egypt in 2012 and stated that I wanted to travel there. I have to, absolutely have to, see the pyramids.
I remember defending Egypt, despite some warnings about female travelers going there.
It still remains on my bucket list with hopes I’ll be there in the next couple of years. (My other dream is to see Tehran).
Is tourism heading back to normalcy with the election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi? Yes, I think so — slowly but surely. Again, my feelings on travel rest on what I experience, not what I’m told.
As for Egypt, these are some of the things I long to experience. Now to craft my potential itinerary on them!
Piro Beach was empty, but not silent.
The darkness swallowed body and mind, until Manuel instructed us to turn on our headlamps. Our heaving breath was drowned out by the strong surf, roaring and crashing against the shore. The sand, in contrast, was soft and silky, sifting through my toes easily.
Minutes before my feet were encased in rubber boots that scraped and pinched my big toes, but now free, I wiggled them, digging in the sand further. We all had to wear these boots, because when something is worth the journey, you walk miles to get there.
We weaved through mucky paths and thick bush, crossed a river that weighed down my boots because water seeped in with alarming speed, only to navigate a muddy embankment, my boots squeaking from water and friction. Looming trees and engorged vines enveloped us, along with the dark.
I applaud you all. Every single answer to the Versalette Giveaway was a joy to read, but sadly I can only select one winner.
Each tale had me laughing, crying or applauding. One woman hoped she could wear it as her boyfriend proposed to her somewhere exotic. Another one said she’d wear it to the next TBEX in Spain and rave about the person who gifted her with it.
Trust me, it was really hard to decide. I’d give one to all of you if I could!
So, who is the lucky gal?