Did you know that I considered getting my Master’s Degree instead of taking this life changing, amazing trip? It was school or gaining a practical education.
Things were starting to look so bleak within the Radio/TV/Film industry for me I seriously thought about going back to get a “real” degree. Maybe something that I wouldn’t hate too much. Something that wouldn’t get me laughed at during interviews (thanks jackass at Facebook).
I am so glad that I didn’t. I have learned so much over these past 178 days that I wouldn’t ever want to give up.
Welcome to the Travel School of Practical Application!
Your classes for the upcoming semester:
- Sure textbooks can give you a good feeling about what you may be getting into when you’re speaking Spanish to a native but nothing prepares you for bargaining for tomatoes in a mercado. I’m now fluent enough to proudly display BILINGUAL on any resume.
- First hand experience with not only hiking up Paricutin, Santa Maria, and Chicabal, but learning what kind of volcanoes you are climbing (cinder cone, lava dome, etc.) along with the flora and fauna of the area.
- First hand experiences with earthquakes!
- Learn and experience the physics of air expansion, pressure, and sound waves under water while scuba diving. Also, become familiar with different types of fish, coral, sharks and learning the wonders of bioluminescence.
- Division and Multiplication:
- Brush up on your rusty math by learning a million different currencies and how to divide by 2(Belize), 7(Guatemala), 12(Mexico), 20(Honduras), 22(Nicaragua), and 508(Costa Rica).
- World History: Learn what was NOT included in your history books! Apparently, as an American, QUITE A BIT was left out.
- I learned from a fellow traveler that the British got Belize from Guatemala in a really shady way. Did you know they got the land in exchange for a railroad to the main port? They got the land and never built it. Interesting!
- A history lesson was given to us by a scuba instructor from Belgium. I had no clue that they conquered the Congo/Zaire by marching in and cutting off everyone’s hands.
- Did you know that the Mayans were wiped extinct in Tikal because they caused deforestation 150 square kilometers around the ruins? They had NOTHING. No trees. No water. All floods. And everything grew back over 1000 years.
- Central American Business:
- All you want is a nice fruit in Guatemala? Sorry, all the big, gorgeous fruits are exported from some of the most fertile lands int he world. No veggie for you!
- Want a nice cup of coffee in Costa Rica? Sorry, all the best beans are shipped to the US for connoisseurs in small coffee shops or Starbucks. No coffee for you!
- Want a banana from the Banana Republic (Honduras)? Sorry, all of them have also been exported. The saddest bananas I have ever seen were in Utila.
- Did you know that Nicaragua intentionally adds 10% inflation to their economy every year?
- Learn how to make tortillas and chirmol from your house mom in Guatemala! Not to mention, if you want to get your fix while abroad, learn to make your own salsa. Nothing is spicy south of the border of Mexico.
- Strapped on cash and tired of traditional spaghetti sauce? Learn to make white wine sauces and rouxs to make your culinary life more exciting! I know it has saved my sanity with the amount of pasta we have had to eat in Costa Rica.
- Hike, bike, climb, surf, swim, snorkel, and scuba dive into a more physically fit you!
Learn all this and more when spreading your wings and leaving the confines of your home. It has been worth every penny of our savings and every moment of our time. I feel like I have grown tenfold while out on this trip and the future makes me excited knowing that I’m learning something new every day.