On Packing: the Wet Season
Hola amigos! Welcome to my summer blog, documenting my month-long adventure in San Jose, Costa Rica.
After many hours of reading various lists, blogs, and how-to guides with names like “Costa Rica in 10 steps,” I finally managed to finish packing for a month in the tropics. A month can be a strange length of time to pack for—is it short? Is it long? How many socks do you pack?— and I am a notorious over-packer, so my goal this trip was to keep my belongings light and easy to keep track of.
My experience with climate is limited to the harsh winters and humid summers of Oak Park, Illinois—there is no wet season. There are definitely no monkeys. Air-conditioning is a luxury we take for granted. The closest we get to tropical weather is late May, when the thunderstorms are heavy, turning everything green. Even this is no match for the daily rain showers and high humidity of San Jose. This being said, here are four items I am packing that I hope will make my time in Costa Rica fun, friendly, and averse to the elements:
1. A light raincoat and heavy-duty rain boots. In a city that depends significantly on pedestrian traffic, I can imagine that I will often get caught in an afternoon storm or two, commuting between classes or meals. Everyone knows that sitting still in wet clothes is the worst, and I don’t want to have to sit out on an adventure because I don’t have the rain clothes.
2. A “speak like a Costa-Rican” phrasebook, divided into various subsections that help the average American tourist communicate efficiently. Although I will be taking Spanish classes in Costa Rica, I know the learning will be gradual, and a phrasebook with questions like, “Where am I?” and “Is there meat in this?” will help me feel more comfortable as I am getting used to the city.
3. Although I packed light, it’s important to me to bring objects and stories from home, for myself and to share with people I meet. For this, I brought photos of my family, of my boyfriend and friends, and of the house I grew up in.
4. Four disposable cameras. I don’t want to be held back by anything in my photography either—with humidity and rain storms hitting the country routinely, it will probably be hard to keep a camera dry and still take pictures with it. I don’t want to worry about my digital camera breaking, and the solution for me was quick: disposable cameras to take on longer trips or out in the rain, in addition to my digital camera for clear weather.
I am so excited to see what San Jose has in store for me. See you on the other side!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I'm Dorothy Moore, a recently-declared Geography and Education Studies major at Macalester College. I am originally from Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, so I am most comfortable in cities with public transportation, bike routes, and corner coffee shops. My favorite words are wanderlust (love of travel) and fervent (having great intensity of spirit) and I try to live with them as guiding principles. I love to read and write, and I am always looking for a new story to tell. I don't know where I'm headed, but for now, I'm happy just exploring.</span></p>