It’s not all fun and games
We’re just days away from our next research trip to update the Waterproof Travel Map to its Fourth edition (ISBN 097637334-3) and Costa Rica Guide into its eighteenth year of dispensing advice. All of our friends have begun the requisite teasing about how we’re “packing to spend another month and a half on the beach in paradise” while claiming to “work.”
While there are some serious fringe benefits (Osa/Corcovado) associated with traveling around Costa Rica for work we want to dispel the myth that it’s all an extended vacation with adventure tours, luxury resorts, and relaxing on the beach with cool drinks.
We work hard when we’re traveling. Sure, we accept the occasional complimentary suite at a luxury resort but believe us when we tell you that’s not how we roll; we’d rather be out climbing volcanoes and sleeping in huts. It’s also a lot of work checking out every room type and all the amenities, meeting with management to hear why their property is the best, and striking up casual conversations with guests to fish for candid opinions.
If you’ve ever driven a couple hundred kilometers across Costa Rica you know it’s not always fun. A typical day for us may include ten hours in the car with the gps enabled notebook computer stopping at every hotel, lodge, resort, restaurant, tour and roadside attraction to chat, renew our acquaintance or make our introductions and take a look around. The whole time we’re lugging fifteen kilo gear bags because we follow our own advice to “never leave anything in a parked car.”
At the end of the day a Luxury Resort is the exception rather than the rule and we typically stay in modest cabinas or nondescript in-town hotels and grab a quick bite at the closest soda before falling into bed.
But, you might think, “what about the activities, those have to be fun right?” A lot of the time they are, but think for a minute about multiplying that once in a lifetime zipline through the cloud forest canopy by the 121 zipline locations in Costa Rica – can you say “too much of a good thing.”
Don’t get me wrong, we’re not complaining – we love our job, this is just a minor reality check for our friends.