A Travellerspoint blog


The beginning of our journey

rain 15 °C
View Blissfully Wanderlost on ebmarnp's travel map.


This represents all of our luggage for the next 6.5 months! I'm not sure how I managed to consolidate down to so very little - I know Kevin has been looking at my pile of clothes, makeup, cross-stitching, books, etc. and shaking his head frequently. After a lot of soul searching and a little crying I reduced it down to the bare minimum (and no, I didn't get rid of all of my makeup! At least not yet...) It's amazing process trying to differentiate between what you feel like you will NOT SURVIVE without (this includes such things as my injections as well as 101 hotel-sized shampoos and lotions) and things that you MIGHT SURVIVE without (including my cross-stitching :( and my Spanish lesson books). I'm hopeful that leaving my crafts at home doesn't lead to my demise, but it just may, and if so I will point the finger at Kevin!

So here we are on a bus, traveling from Manchester, NH to Boston. The flight leaves later this afternoon, connects through Houston, and then on to San Jose, Costa Rica. We should be arriving around 9pm central time, as long as Continental decides to fly on time.

As this is the last free internet we will have until we return home, I wanted to relay some small insights I have had:

  1. Frequently people have said we are "brave," "courageous," "special" (is this a compliment?) and "insane" for doing what we are doing. I think our trip should be the norm! It doesn't take much to dream, be inspired, and then commit to the goal of traveling and exploring. Per Nike, Just do it!
  2. This event has had many iterations and was very close to being cancelled. I am so grateful for whatever it took to get everything together, whether it was the stars aligning correctly or our positive energy or perhaps it was the Burger Cookies we had in Maryland... there were so many things that could have gone wrong which didn't, which makes this endeavor even sweeter.
  3. I am also so amazed by the outpouring of love we both received from friends and family, who are cheering us on and wishing us luck. Our "So we left our jobs and are leaving the country" party in August will help to remind me not to fall in love and get lost forever in South and Central America; that there are friends and family awaiting our return. Not that I wouldn't come home, of course not Mom and Dad!!! Uncle Sam would be hunting me down through the jungles of Guatemala if we didn't return... and who am I kidding so would my parents :)

It looks like the bus is just outside of Boston so we are closing in on Logan. Adios, and see you in Costa Rica!

Posted by ebmarnp 07:14 Archived in USA Tagged bus Comments (5)

One final challenge

Reaching the beach

semi-overcast 20 °C

Antes de nuestra salida para vivir en el extranjero, hemos de cumplir una gran meta final. Vamos a participar en la carrera Reach the Beach con el equipo de Chester College of New England...

Oh, sorry. I'm been watching too much Univision and, I suppose like all bilingual people, my brain has started once again to think, speak, write, and even dream in both languages. (And thus the phenomenon of native Spanish speakers who are fluent in English who speak with others like them in both languages, using whichever word or phrase comes to them first. "Mira chica, ayer fui al supermarket para comprar some lobsters y then mi novio me llamo y told me to olvidarlo todo..." But enough of this discussion for now; I'll return to it in another entry.)

But first, let me salivate a little bit.


Que rico!

So, right. Reach the Beach. Reach the Beach is the longest relay race in the country, comprising 36 different sections over the course of more than 200 miles, from Cannon Mountain to Hampton Beach. Hundreds of teams, consisting of usually 12 runners, compete in this physically and mentally exhausting race. This will be my third time running with the Chester College of New England team and Liz's first.

We got "called up from the minors" by Captain Byron, the veteran runner and Dean of Students at Chester, about five weeks ago. Since that day we have trained hard to prepare ourselves for the three legs of 3-9 miles each, which are separated by hours of driving, cheering on our teammates, drinking Gatorade, eating powerbars, and trying to sneak in a few minutes of fitful sleep here and there over the race's 24+ hours.

So that's how we'll be spending our last weekend in New Hampshire: driving and running the state's roads, admiring the early foliage, stinking up the Chester College van, and massaging our crampy calf muscles.

Reach the beach indeed. Can't wait til we reach the other one.


(Not pictured: the beer in my hand.)

Posted by kevindhodges 08:04 Archived in USA Tagged beaches exercise Comments (1)

A Few of My Favorite Things

Or, All the great New Hampshire stuff we'll miss

sunny 19 °C

When preparing to leave New England for seven months, one of the last things one thinks of is all the wonderfully quirky cultural tidbits that have convinced us to make the Live Free or Die state our permanent dwelling place.

To wit:

  • Milly's pumpkin beer in a rimmed glass


  • Apple-picking, apple pie, apple crisp, and mulled apple cider


  • Running along the Goffstown Rail Trail and swimming in Namaske Lake, just outside our back and front door, respectively


  • Sunday blues jam at the Village Trestle


  • The first snowfall and snowshoeing up Mt. Uncanoonuc


  • The unique zaniness of New Hampshire's presidential primary


After the flurry of securing passports, booking tickets, reading travel guides, and setting up automatic bill pay, one can finally contemplate the special bites.tm

  • "Special bites" is a term that Stuart Ritter and I made up on the top of Pedernal mountain in New Mexico while in Boy Scouts, probably around the summer of 1993. We were sharing a batch of re-hydrated chili out of a pouch. This brand of chili was, oddly-enough, meatless. (A fact I found distressing; Stuart it seemed, didn't realize that chili is, ipso facto, a meat dish.) We decided to add small chunks of his superb home-made beef jerky. Thus, bites that contained said meat were termed "special bites."

Posted by kevindhodges 08:37 Archived in USA Tagged memories Comments (4)

What's up with English?

I mean, really.

semi-overcast 20 °C

Lo these many years I've wondered about the English language. Questions have come to mind like, "Why is you so hard, English?" "Why must I take a subject called you every year until I graduate high school?" and "Why can we just all speak Esperanto and get it over with?"

But the biggest bone I have to pick with the English language is the strange nature of some of its words.

I'm talking about that curious phenomenon whereby you speak, write or see a word several times in a short period of time and the word becomes gibberish. You swear it's misspelled. You've never seen it before. It becomes loathsome to you.

Latest example: embassy.

It must be French. Yeah, that's the problem.

Posted by kevindhodges 10:14 Archived in USA Tagged language Comments (2)

Packing Lists and Accommodations in San Jose

It's about to get real

rain 15 °C

Today we made packing lists while waiting for Liz's car to get fixed at the Kia dealership (she had a clogged AC duct which was causing water to pour into the passenger side floor and the more it has rained, the more sopping wet the right side of the car was--yuck!).

We are trying to fit everything into two large day packs and a smaller carry-on so we will never have to check any luggage on our flights. Our deliberations have gone like this:

Do we really need towels?
I guess you're right. But we don't need toothpaste because they have that in other countries.
It's called pasta de dientes.
Sounds like something you can get at the Olive Garden.
Let's bring some just in case.

After a late night epiphany I realized I won't need these guys:


I just can't imagine carrying dress shoes in my backpack for the once a month occurrence when I might need them. So it's gonna be casual all the way.

And we booked our first two nights in San Jose, Costa Rica at the fabulously funky Galileo Hostel.

Posted by kevindhodges 13:31 Archived in USA Tagged san jose accommodations planning Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 7) Page [1] 2 » Next