Nomadic Matt and Gap Adventures have announced a contest, in which they are giving away a two week Costa Rica trip to the person who can best answer this question: “Why do you want this trip, and what do you hope to get out of it? … Just tell us why you deserve this lovely prize.” Contest Link
Strangely enough, this trip begins the same month I intend to leave on my 1+ year journey around the world. The coincidence seemed too much too ignore, so I couldn’t resist throwing my name in the hat.
Answering the Question: Why Do I Want this Trip?
I want this trip for the same reason I’m traveling around the world: I want to see as much of it as I can, while we’re both still here, and to learn how to move through it while leaving the smallest possible trail.
We live in an interesting era: modern air travel has made it possible for nearly anyone to travel the world. What was once reserved solely for the uber-rich is now available to a poor boy like me.
At the same time, however, this increased accessibility and global communications networks are rapidly diluting our cultural differences – languages are dying and cultural traditions are degenerating into mere stage shows for tourists. On my first trip abroad, I checked into a hotel in Madras, India, only to hear Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” pouring out of my neighbor’s room at full volume. I love Willie – don’t get me wrong – but that’s not one of his best tunes.
The impact on the environment is even more pronounced. We are burning through resources at an unbelievable rate. We are not killing the planet — we are killing ourselves. I want to visit, learn from, and pay tribute to those who are trying to slow and, hopefully, reverse this trend.
Making My Case: Why Should I Win This Trip?
1. I’m Fat and Out of Shape
One thing I’m hoping to do with my journey around the world is to motivate everyday people to get out and explore this incredible planet of ours. You don’t have to be rich, famous, or athletic – you just have to commit to doing it. Most travelers will leave me far behind while hiking trails on the sides of the Arenal Volcano – I move at the speed of your average arthritic grandmother. But, while the others plow noisily ahead, I will be quietly wheezing by the side of the trail — taking photos and making notes. (Pro tip: setting up a tripod can gain you several minutes of recovery time.)
I also have a much higher chance of seeing the local wildlife up-close, as animals are more likely to approach while I’m unconscious.
2. I Don’t Speak a Lick of Spanish
After two years of study in high school, about all I can manage in Spanish is finding the beer and the bathroom (often in that order). Hopelessly inept with languages, I get by with pointing, gesticulating, and dancing about like a monkey. Again, I want everyone who reads this to know that they, too, can travel the world even if they have barely mastered their mother tongue (and are willing to dance like a monkey).
3. I Do Stupid Things
Okay, some people will see this as a negative. I don’t. I secretly revel in my seemingly endless talent for getting myself into ridiculous situations. While another blogger might stand atop a rocky outcrop, waxing poetic about the amazing view and how it makes them feel, I will probably trip and stumble into a cactus. The other blogger’s soliloquy will last but one post, but I’ll be complaining about pulling cactus spines from my butt for days. High-brow? No. Entertaining? Your call.
So that’s my pitch. I would love to travel with GAP Adventures and share my adventure with you. If you’d like to learn more about Costa Rica and sustainable tourism while being entertained with beautiful photos and offbeat commentary, please vote for me.