I’m in the throes of planning my next big international trip and I’m having a hard time getting used to it being in another region of the world. As many of you know, I completed an eight-month sojourn in Asia recently, but the next is to Central America, with a possible slide south if life sends me that direction before coming back to the States.
I had gotten used to the flavors, pace, heat and humidity of SE Asia, so much that I feel a kinship of sorts with Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. These places I could easily return to with joy. As I look forward to the experiences I’m about to have in Latin America, I can’t help wondering if I’ll feel as “at home” there as I did across the Pacific.
Into this journey, I bring a Spanish-speaking history. My Pops was stationed in Venezuela while serving in the Navy and my mother and I went along. I was only twenty months old, so I spoke fluent Spanish before I spoke English. Do you think I’ve retained that ability? No way. I was a stubborn child at four and refused to be different than the other American kids when we returned to the States. However, to this day when I try to communicate in Spanish, words will magically appear that I didn’t know were there, so cross your fingers for me.
I’m studying my books on Costa Rica (the jumping off point), Panama and Ecuador. I’m planning on Nicaragua, Peru and many other countries as well. I find the process of reading the guidebooks – nearly always Lonely Planet – a bit overwhelming but fascinating and hugely fun. So I’ll continue on with the hope of being thoroughly educated when I hit the ground!
One month to go! Join me on my adventure!