When Does the Fun Start?
On my way to quench my coffee addiction this morning (a habit on my list of things to kill before the big Costa Rica trip), I decided to stop over at the military hospital to get my second shot for Hep A and B. Ouch. (But I’d rather take 8 more of those in one arm – no, in my face – before I’d choose to subject myself to another Typhoid shot. That’s just the kind of baby I am.)
Frequent responsible and health-conscious travelers, how do you do it??
At least I got a hot pink band aid out of the deal.
(‘Scuse the image quality – that was taken with my phone.)
As the nurse drew the curtain closed and pinched my arm fat so she could administer the medicative juices, I started to consider the fact that there’s a lot of merit to just taking off one day with absolutely no initial research or preparations.
I read an online article over the weekend about a kid who did just that. He was fresh out of college and had been running a hospital shuttle bus for a few months, and then BAM! He saw an ad on Craigslist or something for a room for rent in Costa Rica and just decided to go for it.
No vaccinations, no Spanish-English dictionary, no trip insurance.
He brought just himself and a strong pair of cojones. And his brother. And his brother’s cojones, if you want to get technical. Okay and maybe he brought a toothbrush. And maybe he put that toothbrush in a backpack – but I’m guessing he didn’t try on a bunch of packs at the store and post questions on travel forums about the best way to carry his DSLR. That’s all I’m sayin’.
And I thought, how great would it be to have the guts to just go for it – don’t worry about professional courtesy of giving work notice, don’t worry about reading up on the history of the country, don’t worry about contracting potentially life-threatening blood borne pathogens – it’ll all work out in the end.
But then I realized. I may not be much of a planner – I’m not good with itineraries or playbooks or remembering which day of the week it is – but I will always be a maximizer. (It’s a word I learned during an office retreat, so it must be real. And it must always be typed in bold font.) At any rate, I will always try to make an experience the best it can possibly be.
The maximizer in me knows that if I go into a trip like this without understanding anything about the local people or the ecology of the region, I’d spend so much time while I’m there trying to figure those out while not looking like an ignorant idiot that I’d forget how to just enjoy.
So I’ll deal with the shots. And the hot pink band aid. And the questions about what I’m going to do when I get back. The works.
And I’m bringing a damn dictionary.
And I think – I really think – it’ll be worth it in the end. And maybe my shoulders will thank me for doing a little research about the pack.