Musings on writing and travel…

Festival in San Jose, Costa Rica

The Acknowledgement and Apology

I always tell people that realistic expectations and clear communications will solve 90% of an individual or groups problems. Well this story needs to begin with an apology, first to my readers, and secondly to myself. I failed to follow my own advice as it pertains to my writing.

When I first set out to write about travel, I had the greatest of intentions of publishing a story at least twice a month. Well, here we are seven months into this journey and I have completed six stories. While the stories are abundant in my mind, getting them in print has been much more difficult than I anticipated. So, my apologies.

The upside is that I have been traveling and exploring which only deepens the well of experience from which future stories will be born. I look forward to sharing these past and future experiences with you as I continue to drink from the cup of world travel.

The Corona-Virus and the Fear to Travel

Ugh…double ugh.

All it takes is a quick glance at the latest headlines to know that all of the talking heads and media outlets are doing a fantastic job reporting the spread of Covid-19 also known as Coronavirus. And while this illness is devastating, please don’t allow it to create fear in you and prohibit you from experiencing an adventure through travel. Hear is my unsolicited advice. Keep traveling. But, be smart and intentional in your selection of places to go by researching your destination, don’t just take the advice of today’s headlines. Follow good hygiene practices. Wash your hands. Chances are, you will be fine. Rant over.

Upcoming Adventures

I will be returning to Costa Rica and this time I have the privilege of introducing the country I love to my daughters. I am so excited for this trip that will take place in March 2020. We have a huge surprise for them, and I will be writing about that in an upcoming story. So stay tuned. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @puravidajurnys for photo content and short stories about places I have been and places I am going.

Wrapping it Up with a BIG Thank You

Those closest to me know that I love the written word and I like expressing it for others to read and enjoy. So to those individuals who keep encouraging me to get my stories out there, thank you. You all keep me motivated and inspired to tell of my adventures.

So until next time… Pura Vida!

¡Salud!

Migration – The Stitch that Holds the Fabric of Cultural Diversity Together.

Recently, I found myself traveling to one of my favorite American cities, San Antonio, Texas. While I have had the pleasure of visiting San Antonio and the myriad of other cities in the region many times before, it was during this visit that I saw this beautiful city much differently.

Boasting a population of 1.5 million people, San Antonio has much to be proud of, this thriving metropolis that just brushes the southern edge of Texas Hill Country is the seventh most populous city in the US and second in Texas. Founded in 1718 as a Spanish Colony and Mission, the fabric of this city was and still is created from many different nationalities, cultures and languages.

And it is here, where the story really begins. You see, the immigrants and migrants that helped build this city so long ago have left an indelible mark for us. Visitors can see this influence in the naming of streets, food, architecture and much more. But guess, what? Immigrants and migrants alike are still helping to shape the city today and on any given day, you will hear many different languages and be exposed to many different cultures. From street markets to taquerias to bakeries, the vibe of San Antonio is decidedly influenced by the many generations of many different people from different places that call this city home. While walking through the Central Market in San Antonio I recalled what one of my geography professors once said about the phrase melting pot as it refers to immigration/migration and a people becoming the “same”. He said, thinking about the US (or any other place for that matter) as a melting pot was all wrong. Rather, we are more like a stew pot. You see in a stew, all of the individual ingredients work together, in concert to create and complete the dish.

Right now, in many parts of the world there seems to be a war on immigration. It is important to remember that the majority of those immigrating are doing so to find better opportunities. Is the potential there for bad people to come into a country through immigration, sure. But, there is also the potential that I will win the lottery, or be struck by lightening. My ask is this, remember that rarely is anyone from where they are, but that at one time, all of us were immigrants or migrants, going from one place to another, usually in search of a better opportunity. I too, will be migrating one day. As many of you know, it is the dream of my wife and I to live abroad in Costa Rica and points beyond. We choose to do this because we recognize that there is a richness in diversity. There is value in other cultures. There is life beyond the norm of where we are from.

The push and pull for one to migrate is powerful and the reasons can be financial, cultural, social, or simply for love. All of us come from somewhere and are going someplace.

Collecting Experiences Through Travel

I thought I would write a post today about why I travel. As you read this, I would love for you to consider why you travel, or don’t and comment. I am always curious about what motivates or holds people back when it comes to travel, whether it is international or domestic within your home country.


For me, travel has always been about the excitement of something new and different. What secrets are contained around the next corner, in the new place? You see, as a person whose curiosity knows very few boundaries, I have always been drawn to adventure. When I am looking for a place to explore, I want to hear the stories and find the secrets that are held there. It could be as I explore a street market (be watching for a story on street markets) or sample new foods, or share a beer with a local. (Tip: If you want to find a key to unlock the mysteries of a place, find a local tavern and buy someone a pint. You will be surprised at what you learn about the place, the person, and perhaps yourself.) 

Street Food in Prague, CR
Sampling the above….Yum!

Humans have a propensity to accumulate things, myself included. I know a lot of people who collect a lot of things. From antiques to cars, I even know someone who collects shoes.  But, several years ago (I was probably watching one of my favorite travel shows, most likely Anthony Bourdain) I decided that I wanted to accumulate new experiences through travel. I want to collect all things culture and I want to try all the food, especially street food. I want to meet new people and see the world through their eyes, walk their streets, taste their food, and drink their beer. This is why I travel. I can look back on my photos and I am immediately transported back to the place and can recall the wonderful memories. 


It is for this reason that I have dedicated myself to travel someplace new at least once a year. But Jeff, travel is expensive. Yes, it can be, but like anything else, if you have a plan and are intentional about it, travel can be attainable. For example, I am an avid #airbnb traveler. Rarely do I stay in hotels anymore. If you haven’t used Airbnb, I highly suggest giving it a try. It has proven very reliable for me. For flights, there are so many options now to find affordable domestic and international flights. I always begin my search at #googleflights, it is easy to see prices on their flight calendar. Also, Google Flights allows the individual to watch flights and will notify when there are fare changes. Another flight searching option is  #scottscheapflights. I have used both the paid and free option on Scott’s Cheap Flights and find it very much worthwhile (and affordable) if you are looking for international air travel give it a try and let me know if it works well for you.  A new one that I am going to be looking at is #nextvacay. NextVacay’s slogan is “We’ll find the cheapest flights in the world, so you can have the trip of a lifetime.” Sounds pretty good to me.


Do you have a go-to method for booking travel, if so I would love to hear about it? Please share in the comment section below. Also, click the subscribe button to stay up to date with the latest story.


Remember, travel is a key that will unlock many treasures. It will remind you that the world is a much smaller place where we have more in common with others than you may realize.


Go Explore!

Cheers,

Jeff