Share on Pinterest

My sunburnt arm pressed into the wooden deck. My head, propped up with a balled up, wet, pink elephant-print sarong I'd purchased in Thailand. My eyes were closed and I breathed in and out with the waves. It was uncomfortable to say the least, but I was just trying to block out the nausea. The sun was setting on my fourth day of what was meant to be a five day sailing trip: we had officially hit open water that afternoon. For the first few hours I did doing nothing but sit, staring at the horizon. "Everything is going to be...

You can't go to Panama without visiting the Panama Canal. I'm pretty sure they check that when you exit at immigration. Pretty sure. (Though, I wouldn't know, because I didn't really go through immigration when I left.) The Panama Canal was forged through the country in order to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The French started it, those damned Americans finished it, and now it's all under Panamaiac control. No one I met seemed too impressed with their visit to the canal. Though, I tend to meet a lot of backpackers who just seem to care about drinking....

I didn't exactly intend to spend an entire week in Panama City. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice city, probably the nicest capital in Central America. But I probably only needed 3, maybe 4 nights tops. But, alas, I was trying to book a boat to Colombia and all the ones I wanted to take kept getting full. So I booked one that left a week after I arrived and settled at that. I didn't do much there besides wander around, eat a lot of ice cream, drink in the hostel bar, and cough. But it wasn't a bad...

After a week of falling into more and more trouble in Bocas del Toro, I needed a detox. Sometimes I retreat to a new city with an intention of just relaxing. I did the first time I went to Chiang Mai after Vang Vieng. I did it the second time I went to Chiang Mai after India. I tried to do it in Little Corn after San Juan del Sur. And I did it in Boquete after Bocas. It was a nice place to chill out. Mountains. Trees. Nature. All that shit. I wished I could do some better hikes, but...

1. I am not drinking tonight. I arrived in Bocas del Toro on the Fourth of July. In the morning, in Puerto Viejo, I watched Joey Chestnut break his hot dog eating record with the help of a vpn, a borrowed cable login, and espn.com, and I found myself missing home. Though, which home that was I'm not sure. And I realized that the two places in the world I wished I could be, no longer ever would be. I wished I was at Coney Island, which will never be the same because in this past year two of my favorite...

I hadn't planned on going to Jaco, Costa Rica. But in Little Corn I befriended a girl who lived there and invited me to stay with her for a few days when she got back. By day we'd hike up the hill or walk on the beach. By night we'd catch a movie, drink some ladies night drinks, or make hummus or chickpea burgers from scratch. It was a nice little break from hostel life that made me miss having access to those comforts of home: a kitchen (many hostels have them, but it's a pain to really cook in...

I'd never ridden a horse before. Maybe, possibly, one of those ponies that goes around a pole at a carnival when I was a child. Possibly. But probably not. Such is life. Most backpackers come to Monteverde to do the zipline or the bungee jump or possibly both. But as I've tried so very hard to establish here: I'm not extreme. And I don't like heights. And I especially don't like falling from heights. So as much as people keep calling me Supergirl, I have no desire to actually fly through the air like a bird, a plane, or a speeding...

I've established already that "thrill seeking" isn't exactly part of my vocabulary. So, while everyone else seemed to go to Monteverde, Costa Rica, to zipline or bungee jump, I preferred to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. So, instead of flying through the trees at top speeds, I chose to take my time, hiking the Cloud Forest Reserve for a good five hours. Half the time, it rained, and the other half the wind blew the raindrop reserves from the trees. I was mostly alone, choosing to go slower, or veer off another direction anytime I saw someone...

Don't go to Little Corn. Because years ago the locals didn't even need money. Because years ago the men catching lobsters would hand them off for free. Don't go to Little Corn. Because it's the kind of place you need a flashlight to see your way back after 6pm. Don't go to Little Corn. Because there are no streets, no cars, no motorcycles, no golf carts. Don't go to Little Corn. Because there is only power half of the day. Less when it storms. Don't go to Little Corn. Because the bars are almost entirely filled with locals. Don't go to Little Corn. Because a local rasta might repeatedly tell you...