Costa Rica coco sunset

I raise my hand at the bartender, “Una mas por favor,” I say with confidence, as if it hasn’t been a while since I’ve practiced Spanish (talking Spanish at my local taqueria in L.A. probably doesn’t count). He effortlessly pops the top off a Modelo beer and sets it in front of me. All around me I’m satisfied by the sound of only Spanish, though I’m only recognizing about one out of every ten words. But this isn’t my destination. No, this is Mexico City Airport, where I’m…

Costa Rica sunset

Per my customary Sunday night routine in Playa del Coco I belly up to the bar of one of my local watering holes to take in my one American indulgence since I landed in Costa Rica: Wings and NFL football. Sitting beside me is a guy who I haven’t seen in town (the town is only five blocks long) but who immediately strikes up conversation. “Well what brings you to Costa Rica?” he asks. “A bit of work and play,” I respond, though I quickly regret not giving…

Seal Beach Southern California

It was three years ago this month that both my best trip and best decision to date saw its final moments on a beach in Costa Rica. Seven months prior, in my “home” of the Carolinas, following several years of struggle that came to a head with a divorce, I sold and gave away everything that couldn’t fit into a backpack, quit my job to start my own business as a freelance writer, and set out to travel the world. Life had lost its luster. In honesty, I…

It was one year ago this week, that I remember sitting in the living room of my sister’s house, as my mother and I did something together that we hadn’t done since I lived at home: watch the Carolina Panthers play football. While we had shared this moment many times before, there was something more nostalgic about this time. Whether it was me being older and more mature, the nature of the trip (having decided only days before to travel back east to surprise my mom for Thanksgiving),…

“It’s already left,” the conductor replied out of the window to me when I asked if this was the 11:15 train. I looked above me at the clock that read 11:14, then down at my ticket that read 11:15, and back up at the conductor, who smirked as the train slowly started moving. Just then, I heard a loud click above me as the clock turned to 11:15. It was a familiar scene, as not even 12 hours prior had found me running into a South London TUBE…

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, then you know I have a little thing for sunsets. Alright, maybe a big thing for sunsets. So what if every other photo I post is about sunsets? While the saying, “Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seem them all,” can be applied to Westerns, I don’t think it can be applied to sunsets. Every time I travel to a new destination, I’m eager to see the first sunset, as if I’m seeing the sunset for the first time, as…

It’s Friday, which can only mean one thing. Okay, maybe it means a few things, since today is in fact World Sauntering Day (no, seriously). But for our purposes, it’s Friday Photos, or rather #FriFotos, a weekly event held on Twitter when people from around the world share photos about a specific topic using the #FriFotos hashtag (founded by Jonathan Epstein). You can often find me sharing photos with the #FriFotos hashtag, and I’ve even hosted it a couple times. This week’s topic has a special place for…

Before I jump into what this is, let me begin with what this isn’t. This isn’t about if and how I make a full-time living as a travel blogger. It’s not about how I traveled the world for free. It’s not about how every day, whether work or not, is a vacation, because it isn’t. The lifestyle I set up for myself as I began to travel is one that I chose to do and one that once I had a goal, I wasn’t going to stop until…

It was a year and a half ago and one year after the “incident” that I was sitting on a Costa Rica beach watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen when it hit me. Like a summer thunderstorm that appears from nowhere to “rain” on a clear, summer afternoon, the emotions overwhelmed me, as I experienced a sense of adventure, wonder, and beauty that I hadn’t felt since my childhood. I had never felt so accomplished. No promotion, award, title, or acknowledgement could hold…

Life’s one defining moment. It seems almost as elusive as love. What exactly is one’s defining moment in life? And does it only come around once or are there multiple defining moments that await us over the course of our life? Maybe you know a little something about what I’m talking about. For the athlete, it’s often winning a championship. For an actor or musician, it’s winning a major award. But what about for us commoners? Those defining moments of life may not be so easy to recognize….