Day 14: A travel hack that saves space AND gives back

rubber boots Costa Rica

When I asked an array of Costa Rican travel experts for their best advice last year, my favorite tip was a way to save precious suitcase space while also supporting local businesses and giving useful to someone who needs it. A triple boost, if you will.

The travel hack, which I’m paraphrasing from Pip Kelly of Casitas Tenorio in Bijagua (and one of last week’s Changemakers), was as follows: unless your Costa Rican trip will include some rigorous hiking, rubber boots, or botas de hule, will probably fit the bill much better than expensive, heavy hiking boots. What’s more, they’re pretty cheap and readily available around the country. So save that room in your suitcase, buy a pair upon arrival, splash around in some puddles and muddy trails – and at the end of your trip, simply donate them to your hotel, tour operator, or a local family. They will be put to good use, because every man, woman and child in Costa Rica needs to own botas de hule. It’s an essential.

Have you done something like this when traveling, in Costa Rica or elsewhere? Are there certain items you “forget on purpose” so you can buy them locally? Are there items you plan ahead to leave behind when you head home? I love this idea and would love to hear more.

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook!

Why Rain Is Better by the Bucketful (qué baldazo)

The rainy season with you is lonely and cosy. We live in a city, and in summer it feels that way – we hear footfalls back and forth, one neighbor shouting to another, a conversation outside our gate, a honk for a friend, soccer ooooohs from Garros Bar down the hill. In the rain, though, with your dad out working at the restaurant, our house becomes a ship’s cabin in the middle of the ocean. Watching you walk around like a tiny, drunken sailor serves to heighten the effect; I’m the only one here with sea legs. As I write this, a torrential rain has been falling for six hours straight. You are finally down for the count. I patted you to sleep on your belly, watched your eyes drop shut like magic over a count of ten. Continue reading Why Rain Is Better by the Bucketful (qué baldazo)