Costa Rica really has only two distinct seasons: the dry season, which goes from December to April, and the wet season the rest of the year. Hmmm, that’s sounding awfully familiar. In fact, I read in my Moon Handbook that “rain is a fact of life in Costa Rica” (596) so I guess we won’t be drying off too much while there unless the weather gods smile down upon us (pretty, please?!?). We are hitting Costa Rica at the front end of the rainy season, and it’s looking pretty stormy out there in Alajuela, our first stop. The difference with us here in Washington is that it’ll be in the 80s there. This makes it a bit difficult to know how to pack.
After many years of traveling, I’ve finally beginning to understand the fine art of traveling light. I haven’t had too many times when I wished I were carrying more stuff but many times when I’ve wished the opposite, so my method for packing light is to start a few days ahead. I lay out my clothes, and I don’t bring anything that can’t be worn in at least two or three different combinations. I also think about the fact that when traveling, I often like to wear the same thing again and again, and whittle things down that way as well. And I finally try to keep in mind that ultimately, if there’s something that I absolutely need, that I’ll mostly likely be able to buy it abroad, as long as it’s not medications or things of that nature.
This time around, because we’ll be moving every 3-4 days or so, I decided to go with a convertible rucksack/backpack that will fit all of my clothes, toiletries, and non-essential items as well as a daypack with essentials like snacks and water and breakable things like an e-reader and camera. I think I did okay since I can zip both bags up easily and pick them both up without groaning. So here’s a breakdown of what I’m bringing:
Essentials (in a money belt):
Copy of passport (both on hand and emailed to myself)
Moon handbook Costa Rica by Christopher Baker (2004)
2 pairs of pants
1 pair of shorts
4 tank tops
1 long sleeve shirt
1 thin sweatshirt
vitamins/cold medicine/first aid kit
I think I’m set–hope so because we’re leaving tonight. Here’s to a buen viaje!
I’m busy checking my final preparations at my house – Scribe and I meet up soon to begin our voyage together. My luggage list looks similar to Scribe’s, I’m relieved to see. And I didn’t have to sit on my rolling suitcase to zip it close. My biggest whittling project was my art supplies. My watercolor palette is charged with fresh paint and my pencils are sharpened.
My list also includes insect repellant. I’m carrying the 2011 version of the Moon handbook and a Spanish phrase book since I haven’t been there before. I’ve read there are 12 habitat zones identified in Costa Rica, ranging from sea level mangrove swamps to alpine paramo – with that variety, consider how many creatures call it home.
Volcanoes and monkeys, here we come!