Send me to Costa Rica.

January 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm (Good Things, kate, News, Shameless Self Promotion, travel) (, , , , , , , , , , )

In grade 10, I missed a class trip to Costa Rica and was left forever resentful. I can’t even remember why I missed it now, I’m sure it was partially to do with parents convincing themselves that I would surely be attacked by a group of vicious monkeys, go riplining into a tree, and/or plummet over a waterfall in my dinghy. However, gravity, among other forces have always lured me South. It’s warm, it’s different, full of the unknown and truths to be learned, stuff I wouldn’t be able to fathom unless I went there for myself. Most importantly, there is stuff that needs to be done, stuff we can actually do. I’m talkin’ beneficial, life changing action for both ourselves and the people of Costa Rica in different but equally satisfying ways. Tons of fortunate people take vacations every year to places like Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica, and still many never get a chance to leave their resorts and truly experience the country itself, or meet the people and understand their culture and the way they live. There is a misconception that associates these countries with elaborate buffets, sun and pools, fully stocked bars and pineapples carved to look like exotic fish.


Then I discovered a travel blog run by lad called Nomadic Matt, who seems to share this way of thinking about travelling. He travels to learn and gain experiences and make differences. He brings back invaluable memories and potentially life changing stories to share, instead of just a nice tan.

...Or a not-so-nice tan


Nomadic Matt has decided to give his following the chance to see what he’s seen, and is running a contest alongside the admirable travel and tourism company, G.A.P. Adventures. I want this trip because I want to experience and share the beauty of the real Costa Rica, it’s culture and people. Sometimes when on vacation, we’re left with the impression that these countries are limited to their beautiful resorts and beaches, but there is so much more to see. I can’t stand being locked in a resort knowing that all that new and unique culture is just outside the gates. I want to go on a trip that doesn’t mask anything, even though I probably won’t get attacked by monkeys r go over a waterfall, at least make it a possibility.
It’s the real, raw experiences that far outweigh relaxing on a beach. As nice as it is to do nothing, it feels way better to do something, which is exactly what I hope to get out of this trip. I would want to return with knowledge about locals, how they live, how they eat, what they do, the culture, the climate – everything and/or anything! It’s not just the country and people you would be learning about, I think this trip would teach me a lot about myself as well. Everyone has their limits but few have actually reached what they are. I think we are capable of things we don’t even know we can do until faced with that situation. Being thrust into a completely new environment forces us to become open minded. I want to do it, talk about it, document it, and maybe inspire someone else to gain a similar experience. The more parts of the world we see and experience firsthand, the better understanding we’ll have of each other.

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Write what you know?

March 26, 2009 at 2:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

OK so I’m entering the Press53 short story writing contest, and when I sat down to begin I realized the tip from 9/10 writers is to “write what you know”. Now, correct me if i’m wrong (but not really), but wouldn’t writing what you knew make your work non-fiction? Since you’re writing something from experience. Also what about Star Trek, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, and so on. If Tolkien was mid-Hobbit and then realized “oh shit I don’t know any Orcs or Hobbits in real life, I probably shouldn’t be writing about them,” then he’d be less rich and we’d all have hours of life back. Isn’t the point of fiction to get a chance to explore the things you don’t know?
I just remembered where I was going with this, I sat down determined to write what I know. I ended up with a story set in the 1970’s, told from the perspective of a 6 year old boy… Wow I wasn’t even close.
I tried again and got 2 soldiers camped in the desert. I give up. I don’t want to write what I know. Press53 will be the judge!
PS. Socrates said the only thing you know for sure is that you know nothing! Therefore it isn’t even possible to write what you know. Not knowing is the first step towards knowing, you know??orc

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