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Costa Rica

Suffocating in Costa Rican Tunnel
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Suffocating in Costa Rican Tunnel

On our way back home from Manuel Antonio National Park, we got stuck in a traffic jam caused by a landslide. So, we wound up in a never-ending tunnel for almost an hour. ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Lydian – Day 51 – Okay… I’ve Had Enough of the Whole “Little Bugs Are Crawling All Over Me” Now.

I’m serious. I’ve had it. As I write this I feel like I have various bugs of all different shapes and sizes crawling on me. My mom got bitten by a creepy-crawly yesterday (Ick!). They all hate me, and they all want to kill me, and they refuse to go away. I want to go home to my bug free environment, and that’s just what I’m going to do in seven days.Yesterday night, I came across a bunch of ants that were ...
Fred, the Expat Costa Rican Landlord — By Jennifer Shipp
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Fred, the Expat Costa Rican Landlord — By Jennifer Shipp

Fred is our landlord here in Atenas, Costa Rica. I won’t give out his real name because I’m not interested in hurting him, but I have to describe this man, not because he is unique but because he is  a character I keep running into in my life.Fred is an expatriate from the United States. He flew airplanes for an airline that went out of business in the 1980’s. He told us his life story as he was driving ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Lydian – Day 41 – The Grocery Trip

Yesterday, we decided to walk to the store, right before it began raining! Of course, my mom decided not to flag down any taxis earlier in the walk, like I suggested, so we became drenched. Note to all you people coming to Costa Rica, bring an umbrella, or buy a good one while you’re here. You won’t be a very happy person if you don’t do one of these things. Either way, back to the story. We were walking ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Jennifer-Day 41- Nowhere vs. Somewhere Cool

Today, I am tired. The weekend is coming and I feel like I need to come up with something exciting to do. Last weekend we stayed home and nurtured our colds, but this weekend, I think we’ll be on the mend.So, what do we do? We talked about going to Nicaragua. I have a rough plan for how this could be accomplished, but as I already mentioned. I am very tired today. I don’t think I’m faking it. I think I’m ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Lydian – Day 28 – The New House

So we moved to the house. Things are a okay. Tonight me and my mom are going to go to belly dance class in town at Su Espacio in Atenas… It seems like a nice place as far as I can tell. This morning, regarding the topic of exercise, we ran up and down the street, which is MUCH easier said than done. There’s a GIANT hill outside that we ran up and down about five or six times, and then there was another hill ...
Central AmericaCosta RicaNorth America

Lydian – Day 25 – Two Day Countdown to Comfy Chairs

So. In two days, we’re moving to a new location. I cannot wait. No longer will I be required to listen to the mournful yowling and yipping of the neighbor's dog. No longer will I be required to watch bad children’s programs of TV with the neighbors. No longer will the lawn chair I call my own be of great matter. No longer will these things be. And, at least after you walk down the hill from this new ...
The Earthquake — By Lydian Shipp
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The Earthquake — By Lydian Shipp

So, at about…. 8:42 or so, there was an earthquake here in Costa Rica. We’re currently located just outside of Alajuela, a city located just outside of Costa Rica's capital, San Jose. The earthquake's magnitude was originally a 7.9, but now the Internet is saying it’s a 7.6. It was somewhere around there. So far we’ve heard some helicopters flying overhead and some ambulances going by, but it’s hard to tell ...
Jennifer-Day 21-More Things to Do in Alajuela Costa Rica
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Jennifer-Day 21-More Things to Do in Alajuela Costa Rica

Last night we went to our second private Latin dance class and our first group Latin dance class in Alajuela. Randall, our private instructor does a great job, in my opinion. He speaks English quite well, which makes the classes less painful for us and he’s very patient. Though he teaches at the Merecumbre studio, he also teaches privately at people’s homes and is willing to travel.Below is the contact ...
Lydian – Day 20 – It’s Almost Been a Month
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Lydian – Day 20 – It’s Almost Been a Month

Last night was our first dance class in Costa Rica together as a family. It was a private dance class consisting of basic Merengue and Salsa dance steps, and surprisingly, I enjoyed it, though I didn’t think that I would. I was exhausted and sweating afterwards, much like my parents, and did suppose that when we went home now that I would finally be able to enjoy the “comfort” of my chair. Instead, we went ...
Alajuelan Monkeys — By Jennifer Shipp
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Alajuelan Monkeys — By Jennifer Shipp

The distinction between traveling and tourism is an important one and it’s easy when you’re one or the other to get caught up in what’s happening on the other side. No matter what, when I travel, my experiences become the fabric of my daily life, but traveling or touring is meant to elevate me somewhat out of the patterns that are familiar to me. The fact that my experiences traveling become woven into what ...
Living in Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp
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Living in Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp

On our second big overseas trip to China, on a trip from the airport to our hotel, John and the driver of our car named “Renny” had a conversation about the purpose of our trip. Renny spoke excellent English, but there were certain things he clearly didn’t understand and John was trying to simplify things down for Renny so that he could understand. On that trip, we were still clarifying our travel goals. ...
Look at that Guy Carrying All Those Yoga Mats — By Jennifer Shipp
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Look at that Guy Carrying All Those Yoga Mats — By Jennifer Shipp

In Costa Rica, information about safety is rather scanty and seems to consist primarily of lighthearted warnings in travel guidebooks. It would be impossible to write a guidebook for a location like Costa Rica that consisted entirely of warnings because no one would buy it or be interested in going to the place unless they were a humanitarian worker or a journalist. So the warnings are lighthearted and ...
Walking the Streets in Alajuela, Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp
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Walking the Streets in Alajuela, Costa Rica — By Jennifer Shipp

I missed a few days of writing because we’ve been either busy or really exhausted from being busy. Finding our way in and out of Alajuela for our classes takes quite a bit of energy right now. We’re still working with how to make our way home from the classes safely. If we take the bus from downtown Alajuela (which cost the three of us about $1.60 USD), we have to walk about 30 minutes up the street with ...
What Happens at the 2 Week Mark of a Long Trip… — By Lydian Shipp
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What Happens at the 2 Week Mark of a Long Trip… — By Lydian Shipp

So today at lunch, something rather strange struck me. I was homesick. Here I am in Costa Rica, taking classes I’ve never taken before in my life, learning Spanish through my mistakes, and enjoying the beautiful plants, and I’m homesick. Before we came here, right after we booked the tickets, we were given an offer online of travel insurance. This travel insurance is where if you decide to leave later, come ...
The Dalai Lama and Vlad the Impaler Inform Our Approach to Dealing with Alajuelan Ants — By Jennifer Shipp
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The Dalai Lama and Vlad the Impaler Inform Our Approach to Dealing with Alajuelan Ants — By Jennifer Shipp

So I was curious about our Costa Rican ants and I decided to do some research. Talk of them occupies a fairly significant portion of our day because these little creatures are constantly forging new paths into our home. They are very dedicated to their cause (to gain access to our food) and there are many different kinds of them. After John killed several trails of them making their way across our floors, ...
Yoga, Alajuela-Style — By Jennifer Shipp
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Yoga, Alajuela-Style — By Jennifer Shipp

In Costa Rica, yoga is a big deal. Apparently, because Costa Rica is a mecca for surfing, yoga has taken hold. The connection between these two sports only makes sense after seeing a few photos of people doing yoga on surf boards on the sand. Apparently, surfers do yoga to get better at surfing, which is what has brought the practice to Costa Rica, even in the Central Valley, which is where we’ll be ...
Finding the Alajuela Yoga Studio — By Jennifer Shipp
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Finding the Alajuela Yoga Studio — By Jennifer Shipp

Seven days after we arrived here in Alajuela, Costa Rica, I finally tracked down a place to take classes. Taking classes in a new place is one of the very best ways to get to know people and feel like we’re actually a part of something, and, in this case really living in Costa Rica. Whenever we would move in the states, I would always enroll Lydian in new dance and gymnastics classes, which seemed to ...
First Yoga Class for All — By Lydian Shipp
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First Yoga Class for All — By Lydian Shipp

Today we decided to pursue calling the Mind Body Zone again. We called two times, and left messages both times. Finally, close to the end of the day, the place called us back. They were going to be open tonight and nine o’clock Saturday morning, when their next class was going to be. When we decided that if Francisco (Our driver person that picked us up from the airport when we first got here) could drive ...
Of Food and Classes — By Lydian Shipp
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Of Food and Classes — By Lydian Shipp

Today was an overall normal day. I did my homework, and my parents worked. At the end of the day, my mom found a place in Alajuela that apparently had belly dance classes, breakdance classes, Latin dance classes, Spanish classes, and a bunch of other stuff too. I was pretty excited to see this place, I mean, it was the first place we had found that had classes of any kind.So off we went to find this ...
Bruised Banana