Last year I was going through a mental crisis.
And the I deal with that kind of stress in one of two ways: watch marathons of “The Housewives of Beverly Hills” or indulge in retail therapy.
But not the conventional kind.
Instead of buying handbags and shoes — essentials to good retail therapy sessions — I shop at places like Office Depot and Executive Chef.
And, on a whim, I bought a four-night stay at Hotel Vista de Olas in Costa Rica on LivingSocial.
I have never been to Costa Rica, much less Central America. And I really didn’t have any immediate plans to travel there. Sure, there’s great surf. And yes, the beaches are picture-perfect.
But Costa Rica? Using a group buy?
Oh, yes, I did.
OK, so I was a bit stressed out when I purchased it. But it’s not a bad deal. Four nights includes a three-course cooking class with a professional chef, a bartending class and a six-course meal with a private chef — all for less than $700. (And that includes all transportation. I just need to cough up the cash for airfare.)
This spontaneous decision has become part of my plan for 2012: I’m going to DO things, not wait around or put it off until later. I drive past restaurants and read travel stories and say, “Maybe next time.”
Well, next time has come. It’s called 2012.
In addition to Costa Rica, I’m heading to Chigasaki, Japan, then Okinawa (since I’ll be there). And I’ll probably visit Derek again in Madison, Wisc. I figure if I’ve got the time — and a credit card — I should just go. I don’t have kids — unless you count my dogs — and I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t spend extravagantly and, despite Friday blogs, I eat in a lot.
So why not live a little, right?
If you’ve been to Costa Rica or Okinawa, I’d love your advice. Places to eat, things to do, breaks to surf. And for everyone else, dish your travel plans for 2012. Maybe someone will know a great little hole-in-the-wall place to eat or dive bar with incredibly local music that will make your trip all the more memorable.
wow! is that even safe??? Watching marathons of “Housewives of Beverly Hills”, i mean. Episode after Episode of The SOPRANOS does it for me. You are quite the daredevil. I yield to your adventurous spontaneity….Costa Rica?…wow! i’d rather be riding a mule on Molokai myself,however. But no one really asked me…..
love okinawa (as I have family there), similar to Hawaii. I would recommend visiting the outer islands like Taketomi-jima, Iriomote-jima, they are similar to the outer islands of Hawaii (not many high-rise buildings, lots of nature)
Executive Chef? So this means that the Cat Blogs, Cat Chats, Cat Chows, and Cat Cooks? Sounds like a Cool Cat!! 😉
As far as 2012 travel plans, what can I say? As with most everyone else I know, it all boils down to how much is in the account at the Bank of Me, Myself, and I. 😛
At some point, I’d like to make it back to Europe. I’d now also consider going to Singapore, now that I’ve met two people there. I’ve come to know the two of them through another blogger, Alan Okami, of KoAloha Ukulele. These two women recently completed a 9 month ’round the world tour, which started in Hawai`i early last year. One of them (Pam) is a radio dj there. The other, Ning (MagicBabe Ning), is a famous illusionist who will be doing an illusion, a mass mind reading, this coming Friday, Jan 6th. You can see a promo video here:
Honolulu in February or March. Haiti in September or August. And if lucky Rio in December. But it all depends on a few things.
Guud morning Cat!
You go girl!
You only live once!
Are you going to surf in Costa Rica?
I’ve never been there myself, but from Househunters International on HGTV, it seems like the beaches and surfing are a big attraction there.
Awesome. I think that’s the coolest inpulse buy I’ve ever heard of. You’re so right about putting things off. I do it too and it has got to stop. There may never be a next time.
Sounds like a winner. Don’t forget to check out the Mayan history while there.
Good for you! I have never regretted a travel adventure; I feel like I learn so much about life through those experiences. That was a great impulse buy and I look forward to hearing about your travels.
Would love to do Costa Rica someday!
Visited Costa Rica once 21 years ago. Loved it. Stayed in San Jose. Best nearby beach was Jacob (pronounced a-KO’). The original capital city of Cartago was a crumbling city, more similar to the rest of Central America, but I liked that also. Can’t help with surfing. Watching your recent vid of X-mas day is the closest I’ve ever come to being on a board.
I just booked a trip for my son and me to Hong Kong in June. He got to pick the destination, in connection with his upcoming 8th grade graduation. He found the flights and picked the hotel, and he is learning some Cantonese now. His sister picked Paris a year and a half ago for her 8th grade graduation trip, and she and my wife had quite an adventure. There was a time they were hinting at staying there for good, but they relented and came home.
I spent a month in costa rica 11 years ago getting my first yoga teacher training credential.
It was great, but rustic, bare bones, the toughest challenge I ever faced….just the jungle, the heat, the humidity, the remoteness, the nonstop yoga….I felt like I was on Survivor 🙂
Awesome plan! Tokyo sounds like fun. We will be in Maui in mid/late Feb. More than likely Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Austin and New Orleans as well. Happy travels! Plotting international travel currently, just not sure where as of yet. Love the attitude to just go for it and explore spontaneously.
P.S. thanks for the Maui recs.
We’ve spent a few Christmas vacations in Costa Rica in rental homes so I wouldn’t be too much help other to say that the country is absolutely beautiful and accessable. One thing to be aware of is that Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica so be very selective where you stay if you decide to spend a few nights in San Jose.