Yes, I went to Costa Rica with my boyfriend in the middle of a global pandemic. Is it responsible? Probably not. Was it worth it? 100%.
I know what you’re about to say. That’s dumb to travel internationally right now. Ok, but hear me out. More Costa Ricans have died in the United States of covid than in Costa Rica. Do you know how absolutely ridiculous that is?
The Costa Rica have 42,000 active cases while America has 14,200,000 cases. That’s a lot of zeroes. Granted, America is a drastically larger country, but if you do the math (although I’m shit at math) and you’ll find that less than 0.01% of Costa Ricans have the virus, while .04% of Americans have the virus. You have a nearly five times less likely of a chance of contacting the virus in Costa Rica than you do in good old United States.
Ok, with that out of the way: the first thing you notice about Costa Rica is the heat. I take pride in my lack of sweating (when I work out I typically just get ghostly pale and look as though I haven’t eaten in 2 weeks, which I’m not sure is a fantastic alternative to sweating like a normal person). No joke, almost every running and rowing coach I’ve ever had has told me I look like I have some sort of coloration disorder after I work out. However, this time around, I was sweating. I was flushed, even. I was internally joyful that apparently I can actually sweat instead of looking like I’ve been constipated for the past month. Or just saw It for the first time. Or was watching It for the first time while constipated while diagnosed with a coloration disorder.
All things considered, the 85 degree weather was nice. So were the people. The people in Costa Rica are guaranteed some of the most friendly and outgoing you’ll ever meet. Sure, a lot of them rip off tourists for a living, but other than doing things such as charging $20 for a muffin and a bottle of water in their airports (I am still bitter) and forcing you to hand over $10 to “watch your car” (hint: if you don’t pay them the money to protect the car, it will most likely get keyed by the car watcher himself), most of the people I met were fantastic.
Among my favorites was the tour guide on a catamaran sailing tour. There was a plate of cookies out so I took one. It was fantastic so I snarfed it down.
“Mucho good cookie sir,” I said, grinning and theatrically waving the cookie in the air.
“Ah, you like the cookie, no?” he said happily.
At dinner as I was shoveling chicken and beans onto my plate (no rice…god forbid I get bLoAted) he yelled in front of literally all 25 passengers, “Here cookie monster! Take the cookies!” He jovially dumped 4 cookies onto my plate and all the *under the influence* young couples as well as I, the cookie monster myself, thought this was hilarious. You could tell the tour guide was proud of himself for coming up with that one too, he was really cracking himself up over there.
I ended up feeding the cookies to my boyfriend, who proceeded to get self conscious about “having a belly that looks like I just ate 5 cookies.” I’m telling you, carbo bloat is a very real thing. Gentlemen, it does not discriminate from you, so get off your high horse of telling us our boobs are inadequate and our hair is frizzy and our lashes suck (this is not aimed to my boyfriend, just the male gender in general) while you’re sitting around burping and failing to do things like brush your teeth or trim your toenails or nose hairs.
Not to roast my wonderful boyfriend, but this was another issue that arose during the trip. I don’t think men do to well in hot and humid climates, considering the amount of general sweatiness and nastiness that happens to the male body when they are subjected to heat and humidity. There is usually a lot of forehead and hand sweat happening as well as shorts triangles (if you know, you know) so just a warning to all you ladies: tropical trips are not exactly the most romantic when it involves profuse full body sweating of your mans. I personally would think more along the lines of Antarctica to ensure less bodily fluids.
Either way, I got to go to Costa Rica with my boyfriend at age 17. If you ask me, that’s pretty damn lucky. I felt like a jetsetter, minus the fact I bought my ticket with money saved up from a month worth of dishwashing at Panera Bread. Either way, me being myself, I had to take approximately 203923 pictures and videos to put on my Instagram to make it look like watching Orange is the New Black in my bed with my dog and boyfriend or working closing shifts washing soup vats are not in fact the only fun ways I spend my free time.
I brought my nicest clothes (i.e. my boho wardrobe originating from the sketchier corners of Amazon) including lots of tie dye crop tops and drawstring shorts with ethnic-looking prints. To be fair, the basic thing never really worked for me, as in I feel boring when I dress boring. The edgy hipster thing never really worked out either given the fact that mom jeans and platform docs are upsettingly expensive. This unfortunate fashion journey concludes in me just kind of doing my own thing. For all I know, girls my age look at me and think, oh, give it 10 years and she’ll be a cat lady.’
I could never be a cat lady. Cats are all selfish bastards. You ever noticed how cats look at you in a way that seems to translate into ‘if I were bigger I would eat you in your sleep?”
Nah, not a fan of the cats. The dogs, on the other hand…
The National Animal Health Service in Costa Rica estimates the country has about a million stray dogs out on the streets. A million. That’s a number that is constantly multiplying considering next to NONE of these dogs are spayed or neutered. Most people can’t afford it. The sad thing is, these strays are mostly house pets that people couldn’t afford to take care of. It’s not like they’re hostile or wild or anything. They’re all bony, long-legged little mutts that will walk right up to you and wait to get petted. To be completely fair, Costa Rica doesn’t seem like a terrible place to be a stray dog. It’s warm and lush and most of the restaurants are open air so they can wander in and get dropped a fry or two.
All in all, the trip was fantastic. My Panera money was exceptionally well spent. The beaches were nice and the ocean water was practically lukewarm. There was also a lot of sea snails and hermit crabs on the beach which I very much appreciated, given I had the opportunity to pick them up and wave them in my boyfriend’s face obnoxiously. I would sell my things and move to Costa Rica any day.