In March of this year I decided to take a leap of faith and head to Central America with no more than a pack on my back and a few thousand dollars in my savings account. I had to quit my job, sell my car and get rid of most of my possessions; this alone was a big step and took a lot of courage for me.
I knew it would be hard, not to be with my family and friends for the better part of a year; however, I knew it was something I needed to do to enable myself to grow as a man. My girlfriend and I decided that after graduating from university we were not ready to grow up and join the real world, so we bought one-way tickets to Panama City; with no real itinerary or travel plans the world was at our doorstep.
Having nowhere to be and no plan to come home has made traveling the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. Over the last two months we have seen two different countries, met a whole list of new people from all over the world and seen many new things; and our adventure is just beginning.
We started our journey in Panama moving from place to place living out of our backpacks and trying to live as minimally as possible to conserve money. After three weeks of traveling, we decided to head north to Costa Rica to find a nice beach town to settle down in for some time.
For the last month we have been living and working in Santa Teresa Costa Rica. Using workaway.info we found a nice hostel where we work for four hours a day in exchange for accommodation.
Additionally I have found a job as a bar tender making about $10 per shift, comparatively not much to the United States but good for local wages. I live my life day to day with very little worries other than if I will want to surf before work or after work and what the tide and wind will be doing at that time.
It truly is our little piece of paradise. Our house, well more of a shack is small but quaint, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and a small patio area outside where we enjoy our meals. Breakfast usually consists of fresh fruit, farm fresh eggs and a delicious cup of Costa Rican Joe.
Diners are often times, fresh fish from the pescadoria with rice and beans and a nice cold Cerveza Imperial to wash it down; all costing about $5 in total. Living with such a minimalist lifestyle took some getting used to but I feel as though you learn to appreciate the simplicity of it all and realize what you really need to be happy.
Traveling is great because it opens your mind to other cultures and other ideas; it helps you experience how others live in the world and helps you to appreciate the things you normally would take for granted.
I like to think that the more you live outside of your comfort zone the better you will be able to adapt to new situations and problem solve faster. Traveling is a perfect opportunity to do that. It is all in preparation for our future, “The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd.
The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.” Albert Einstein said this and it is completely true; don’t live as a sheep when you can walk with the wolves. I have been using this experience to not only enjoy my youth but also to think, read, and plan for my future and what it is I want to do in life, because let’s be honest, what 24 year old really knows.
It has been no walk in the park for my girlfriend and I but as of lately we have been great. It was a huge strain at first to live together, cook together, work together, travel together, no real time for either of us to have our own space. Not only that but we also do not have enough time to really enjoy what we are doing and where we are living.
However, being here together has strengthened our relationship and brought us closer together than we ever have been before. Traveling alone has always been something I admire in individuals on the road, but to be able to do it as a couple, as a team is something unique that takes a certain amount of strength for a relationship.
Before leaving for this journey so many of my friends would say, “Wow I wish I had the opportunity to do what you are doing.” I would respond with well why don’t you? What is really holding you back from doing what you want to do?
For many people it is their jobs, car payments, mortgages, materialistic things that can realistically be replaced at any time. It is fear that restricts many of us from leaping off the ledge; from taking that step into the unknown. I had a car payment, but I sold it to ensure my freedom.
My only obligations to the real world are my student loan payments other than that I am free from the materialistic society that many become enslaved to. If you live as though you are dreaming then your dreams will always come true. Live for today because you never know if tomorrow will ever come.
– Evan Alvord, Nicaragua 2014