Show Notes

E14- “Beyond Langauge” 

I met Gaby while I was volunteering in a hostel in Costa Rica.  Born and raised in San Jose, Gaby thought she was going to go down the traditional path of education right into a career. However, her choice to work in a hostel, just to get some dinero on the side, has unintentionally challenged the way she thinks about her future.

 She has formed a new perspective on homeland by seeing it through the eyes of people who are experiencing it for the first time. She has become endlessly inspired by the travelers who wander in and out of her hostel who are far from home and perceive her normal to be vastly different. She strikes up a conversation with everyone, whether it is asking them questions about their explorations or native soil, guiding them to the bus station to their next destination, or cluing them in on where to get the best cup of coffee in San Jose. We would spend hours during the quiet afternoons of the hostel having little music jams while doing the daily chores. She would create a warm and welcoming space for every weary traveler who walked through the doors of Hostel Beku.

This seemingly innocuous job choice has forced her to question everything about what she was doing with her life. She has been given a hidden perspective of the ways travelers live and move on a day to day basis and has inspired her to get out of her comfort zone.   And with the help of her American beau, whom she met through pure random and romantic chance, she now has the motivation and ability to go and reach some of the places that once seemed untouchable.

Since I last spoke with Gaby she has been living up to her dreams. She quit her job and has been flying to and fro between America, Costa Rica and now parts of Europe where she’s always wanted to experience. I emailed her asking how she has enjoyed it and she says

Well to me is not traveling just for traveling, this a dream that I have had forever and it’s changing me as a person and teaching me so many different things about the world and myself. My expectations are living up to my dreams, especially the smallest and most simple moments give me the feeling I was looking for, walking down the streets of Rome and touching the walls with your fingers and taking it all in. I love it.

She currently has no plans for the future and is happy living her life day by day, or whenever the next fly benefits kick in.

In this episode, we discuss

  • How she met her American boyfriend
  • How she is able to maintain a long distance relationship
  • The cultural differences between dating someone from America
  • What she went to school for
  • What working at the hostel has taught her
  • Why she wants to travel
  • What it is like to date someone from another country
  • How she gets fly benefits
  • How she learned English
  • What life is like growing up in Costa Rica

E13- “What’s Meant for You Won’t Pass You By”

Sara and I also met at the hostel in San Jose, Costa Rica where she was working at a program that teaches English to locals.  Sara says exactly what’s on her mind and has a specific pep about her that is emulated by the bounce in her curly red hair.

Although far from Scotland, Costa Rica was not her first rodeo. As a well-traveled woman, she is attuned to the complexities and subtleties of new places and is thrilled by how vastly different locations in the world can share so many similarities, exposing the elegant simplicity of our earth. This love of learning combined with a travel competition she has with her brothers keeps her on the move. She strives for a genuine travel experience and is not interested in seeing a new terrain through a window, she wants to get her feet on the ground, breath the air, and chat up anyone that comes her way. Here is her story.

In this podcast episode, we discuss

  • What it is like to work abroad
  • What it is like to teach English abroad
  • Why she took a CELTA Course to teach English
  • What it is like to live in Costa Rica
  • What it is like to live abroad  
  • What it is like to live in a different culture
  • What it is like to have a travel competition with her brothers
  • What it is like and what she has learned to have traveled to 40+ countries
  • What are the similarities and differences between humans she has found by traveling to 40+countries
  • What it is like to travel through the Middle East as a solo female traveler
  • What it is like to be a solo female traveler
  • What it is like to travel far from home


If you are interested in teaching English aborad and are from the UK, here is the program Sara did so she can teach English anywhere in the world!


E12- “The Dive Master”

Since we parted in Costa Rica she has continued to bounce around the world, going from teaching in New Zealand to being a Divemaster on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, where she was residing when we had this conversation.

It reminds me of the planet the Little Prince lives on, taking only 15 minutes to walk around the entire floating piece of land, gently bobbing in the middle of the sea. She has become enamored with the discoveries of the underwater world, one that mirrors the great depth she finding within herself.

In this episode, we discuss

  • How she chose to live in Costa Rica
  • Why she left London to travel the world
  • Why she abandoned a publishing career to start her own business
  • What friendship is like when you are away
  • How families handle long distance travel
  • Defining moments of friendship
  • How it is like to make friends abroad
  • How to live abroad for years
  • How she got turned onto diving
  • How she finds community abroad
  • What it is like to explore the ocean
  • How it is like to have your own online business
  • What it is like to live out of the conventional life
  • What it is like to live around the world
  • What it is like to work around the world
  • What it is like to be location independent
  • What it is like to teach English abroad
  • What it is like to be a solo female traveler



Episode 11 “Life Without Laughter Is Not Worth Living”

Caryn and I bumped paths while still working in a hostel in Costa Rica. She is hard to miss between her immeasurable height, voice, and personality to match. As boisterous as her presence is, she is attracted to the relaxed, Caribbean sway that is hard to come by in frigid Minnesota. I bring her on initially to tell a regional American joke that I had never heard before. This is a little snapshot of the energy and playfulness that is bouncing out of her and I will let it speak for itself.

In this podcast episode, we discuss
-What it is like to live in Minnesota
-Why she travels to Costa Rica
-What the Pura Vida life provides her
-Her favorite food in Costa Rica
-What are Lina and Oli jokes?
-Where did Lina and Oli jokes originate?
-Why are these jokes so damn weird?

Lena and Ole jokes became popularized around the 1940’s in the Northern Midwestern states of America. They are born from the Norwegian and Swedish immigrants who landed in the US, playfully making fun of their cultural misunderstandings in their new homes and cooling tensions between the immigrants and locals. I loved that I had to go all the way to Costa Rica to discover these jokes that are coveted by an entire group of people who share my nationality.

By meeting Caryn you can understand how these innocuous, teetering between raunchy and wholesome jokes have molded her springy light on life, I didn’t get to spend too much time with her, yet her laugh is still vibrating within me.


Episode 10 ” A Year Filled with Sun”

I met Tina, from Finland, while making breakfast for the travelers at hostel Beku in Costa Rica.

My main job while volunteering at the hostel was to make breakfast for all of the guests and other volunteers, which was nice to be creative and cook in the quiet puts vida mornings- alone with my thoughts as I sliced pineapple and mixed generic pancake mix in water.

A slender girl about my age, always wearing tights and a loose fitting prismatic tee shirt would typically be the first to come in and make tea. She was cute with bobbed brown hair and eyelashes that fluttered off of her eyes like that naturally framed and darkened her eyes without mascara. Now I usually hate talking in the mornings, but with her conversations came naturally.

When I’m in the place I live in, I’m typically an introvert and desire silence, but I would force myself to wake up and interact with this girl.

“What are you doing up so early? I hate being up at this hour.”

“ I have started doing yoga, it helps my back.”

Of course, you do, I thought to myself. Every white girl comes to Costa Rica to yoga.

But it was nice to have some company as I whipped up the pineapple juice off the counter and added cinnamon to the pancake batter.

“Where are you from?” I asked unable to specifically identify her accent.

“Finland.” She replied

After emerging from my introverted turtle shell I said, “Omg, you are far from home!” and couldn’t stop asking her questions about her homelife.

She was the first person I had ever met from Finland, and I was fascinated with why she chose and what it was like to be in an environment so far from one that completely contradicted her home life.

Tina needed to find a place that was a 180 from her 9 months of snow, before becoming complacent with her beautifully simplistic life above the arctic circle. She decided to go and explore a climate and people on the other end of the world away from her reindeer eating folks men. Flying in with a come what may attitude, Tina has not been disappointed with the challenges she has faced and exposure to new perspectives that have blossomed within her in a warmer world without snow. This trip has generated great reflection and better understanding about who she is fundamentally, and how she wants to construct the scaffolding of her future.  

In this podcast episode, we discuss

  • What it is like to live above the arctic circle.
  • The psychological and social aspects of being in darkness.
  • Why she chose to travel to Costa Rica.
  • What she has learned about herself while traveling.
  • What life in Finland is like.
  • What it is like to live in a world dominated by snow.
  • How to socialize with Finnish people.
  • How to cook reindeer.
  • The self-growth she has experience from travel.
  • How to tell really bad jokes in Finish- spoiler alert- they hate talking.


Episode 9 “Searching for Self”

This interview chose to stay nameless so we will call him David. I met David while visiting Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. He was working as a yoga instructor at a beautiful hostel overlooking the edge of the lake.

I haggardly arrived late at night after a 3-hour whiplash of a ride through the Guatemalan mountains and then nearly missing the last boat out to the lake. I unexpectedly walked into a rambunctious game of trivia, employees vs guests, which I thought I would skip out of. But I somehow got roped onto the employee team, and David’s kinetic energy picked me right back up as we ruthlessly played against the other teams.

I was immediately taken aback by his next level trivia and memory skills. Ostensibly, David comes off with this bouncy, warm energy, like he’s running on 14 cups of coffee. However, meditation and yoga seem to be the perfect activity to channel and ground his ebullience. David has had quite the journey traveling the world, which is lead by his desire to deepen his yoga practice.

I think the part that made me feel so comfortable so quickly with David was the fact that he also didn’t really know what he was doing, and I felt comfortable enough to speak very openly about my lack of direction with him.

In our interview, he talks about how he has always had an aversion to office jobs, like entering the conventional work force would be his modern day Sisyphus, it being a means to an end. To push up the proverbial rock would have crushed the creativity inside of him.

He searched for different forms of creativity and expression but began to take a toll on his body

So he said fuck it.

I participated in a few of his outside classes, his lesson seemed to absorb the sceneries elements, through motion, we channeled the energy of the volcanos around us, while he simultaneously pushed us to find inner stillness as calm and deep as the lake. As a socially silly person, he takes his yoga classes very seriously.