Travel Stories Week 54
Verses by a Voyager
What's your favourite place you have visited?
I have been fortunate to travel throughout the world since I was young with my family and as a solo traveler. Now I am fortunate to travel with my family, husband, three kids and sometimes our high-spirited chocolate lab, Cocoa. I have seen many different things and done a lot of different types of travel, history, adventure, nature, and for work. Although I have a deep appreciation for visiting historical sites and seeing art through the ages, I must say that for me nature takes precedence over other types of travel. Therefore, my favorite place I have visited by far is Costa Rica.
I first went to Costa Rica in my late teens with my parents and sister. I was amazed by the diverse ecosystem, the Costa Rican approach to life with their emphasis on education and preservation of land. They don’t have an army and their daily approach to every day living is “Pura Vida, pure life. No stress or fuss. Not surprisingly they have been named one of the happiest countries in the world. They have preserved over 25% of their country to protective parks. Costa Rica is beautiful. I have been back 2 more times and cannot wait to return. There are so many places to discover both inland and on the coast. There is great river rafting, bird watching, cloud and rain forest discovery, a plethora of wildlife to see, hiking, snorkeling and surfing.
Funny thing is I am deathly scared of spiders and there are a ton of spiders hiding out in Costa Rica. It’s difficult to love a place that has so many 8-legged creatures. One sight of rather large creatures in Costa Rica will put me into a screaming, panic attack, resulting in a ridiculous display of me running for my life while pushing all others out of my way.
What’s the best thing you have seen while travelling?
Watching my kids connect and appreciate different cultures through travel, is probably the best thing I have seen while traveling. Travel is the best gift I can give them. It helps them to grow, learn, and understand there is a big world to be discovered. I love watching them learn through different cuisine, language learning even if it is just a couple of words here or there. I see them grow and learn to appreciate not only what they have, but what others can offer. I want them to realize that not everyone is the same and to embrace differences.
What’s your best travel story?
It’s very hard to pinpoint a best travel story when every experience has something so wonderful. That said, one of my most memorable stories is when we were in Belize and ventured with a guide (mandatory) to the Achtun Tunichil Muknil Cave. The ATM cave, located in the jungles of Belize, is a Mayan archeological site where many Mayan sacrifices were made to their gods during times of drought and need. The entire site is remains exactly how it was discovered by archeologists.
What makes this such a great story though is that to get to the actual site of Mayan sacrifice and artifacts, one must swim through three rivers and hike 45 minutes to get to the mouth of the cave. This is just the start of the adventure. Once you arrive at the cave, you must swim through the majority of the cave, squeeze through tight spaces, scramble up rocks, and climb up a narrow ladder held loosely by rope. This tour is not for those with fear of enclosed spaces or those that are not in somewhat decent shape.
I went with my kids, husband, sister and her kids, and my parents who at the time were in their mid-seventies. It was such an accomplishment and adventure for all of us. The kids loved the mystery shrouding the cave, I felt like I was living out an Indiana Jones fantasy, and my parents were so excited that they still had it in them to take on this endeavor. There are only a handful of guides certified to lead the expedition, ours was knowledgeable and helpful. We still all talk about our cave adventure as if it is was the most adventurous thing we have ever done. It pretty much was and was awesome. Sadly no cameras are allowed in the cave, but we will forever have our memories.
Tell us about your blog
I started my family, friendly travel blog in 2018 as a way to inspire others to travel with kids at a young age. Life is short and there is no greater gift to give kids than the gift of travel.
I had heard too many parents saying their kids were too young to travel, they wouldn't appreciate it, or they wouldn't adjust well. These are all misconceptions. Kids do just fine and travel actually helps them to become more well adjusted and appreciative. Who knows they may even try new foods!
I have loved blogging, but it was a huge learning experience for me. I had no idea just how much went into writing and promoting a blog. It is not at all easy, but the more I learn the more I appreciate blogging.
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