When my husband Kevin and I were dating in college, he studied abroad in Costa Rica for five weeks so he could learn Spanish via language immersion. One day, I opened up my email and read, “When I’m finished with my classes, why don’t you fly down here so we can travel the country together?” How totally romantic!
But so last minute. He was talking about a date two weeks away and I had an expired passport!
I made it happen – but barely – because my passport literally arrived in the mail the day before I left. My plane landed in San Jose where my very tanned Spanish-speaking boyfriend met me.
We traveled for nine days together staying in beach towns, zip lining through the rain forest, and eating fresh papaya and drinking mango juice for breakfast. Traveling with my personal translator, we avoided touristy areas so we could experience Costa Rica culture up close and personal.
Being half Filipino, I am often mistaken for being Hispanic so locals would sometimes just randomly start speaking Spanish to me. When they did, I would get this embarrassed I’m-sorry-I’m-your-typical-spoiled- American-who-only-speaks-English look on my face. Then I would politely say, “No hablo espanol” and then quickly point at Kevin – “El Gringo” (you know, Spanish for “The Gringo”).
Despite me running out of money (stupid, stupid) and not being able to pay the departure tax at the airport, it was a trip of a lifetime. We even said things like, “We should retire here. Our grandkids could come visit us and learn Spanish!”
Kevin and I have been together 12 years this past November 4, the anniversary of when we started dating, and since then we have rappelled down a waterfall in Mexico, scuba dived among massive sunken World War II ships in the Philippines, and watched the Running of the Bulls in Spain.
We both love to travel internationally and experience the sights, sounds and tastes of different cultures. For that reason, for his anniversary gift I decided to give Kevin a framed Pyramid World Map Vintage Style Poster Print and Map Tacks/Pins to mark every place we’ve traveled together.
That way when we’re super old, we can look at that map and remember every single one of our world adventures together. And how it all started with his spontaneous request in an email!
Life is either a great adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller