“A wise traveler never despises his own country.” Carlo Goldoni

The countdown is on with only a little more than a month left before Ross, Mango and I are back Stateside and I’m already having mixed emotions. We were warned that this would happen, but it seems like just when you start to get acclimated, to make friends and feel a sense of contentment, it’s time to pack up and do it all over again.

I do however feel like this year has made me appreciate a lot of things (and people!) from home that I didn’t fully before. I miss Boston and New England like CRAZY, and really can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to live anywhere else. I guess I’m only remembering the good stuff though, because there must of been I reason I willingly left last January. Regardless, I’ve realized that there is a lot of good stuff to be missed.

So, a great thing about living in another country is that it allows you to fully appreciate what you have at home. Another good thing (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this a billion times already-but it seems to be the theme of my year) is that it allows you to really get to know the people and look past the stereotypes. I don’t think that in the United States there is a stereotype or stigma of Costa Rican people in particular, but there certainly is one of developing countries in general.

It also allows the people in the country to see Americans in a different light, and not just on reality TV (thanks Kardashians) or even worse, as tourists.

Some stereotypes of the American Tourist:
-We wear loud Hawaiian shirts, baggy unflattering shorts and fanny packs
-We take too many pictures of random things, all the time
-We go to ‘typical’ authentic restaurants and get angry when there isn’t a hamburger on the menu
-We don’t learn other languages. We just speak English more loudly and sloowly, as if the person we were talking to were slightly deaf and dumb, instead of a native Spanish speaker in a Spanish speaking country.
-We are drunk all the time. I get it, we work way too much and way too hard, so when we go on vacation in tropical paradise we HAVE to be completely obliterated the entire time. we EARNED this!

We have learned so much from the people here already, and I hope that we taught them that not all these stereotypes are true. For instance, Ross limits his Hawaiian shirt, baggy shorts and fanny pack ensemble to only a few times a week, and I try to be sober on Mondays.

Since I couldn’t pick just one travel quote today here are a few more I like:

“People don’t take trips – trips take people.”

John Steinbeck

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”

Clifton Fadiman

And this one really hit home for me:

“I should like to spend the whole of my life in traveling abroad, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home.”
William Hazlitt

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