What’s your favorite Costa Rican drive?

Today I’m hitting the road and looking forward to my all-time favorite drive in Costa Rica: the route from Cañas to Bijagua. This route, which narrowly edges out the drive up to the top of Irazú because it’s so smooth and easy, barrels through extraordinarily scenic rolling pastures with Volcán Miravalles off to the left and Volcán Tenorio to the right. I once hit it right at the golden hour before sunset and drove along in a kind of trance.

Driving in Costa Rica gets a deservedly bad rap, but there are some spectacular and very manageable stretches of road, all the more enjoyable once you’ve gotten used to the crowded chaos and potholed travesties that reign supreme all too often. What’s your favorite Costa Rican drive or bus ride?

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! Each month in 2020 has a monthly theme, and February’s is marriage equality, so scroll back through the month to see several posts highlighting people and organizations working on behalf of this issue in Costa Rica. 

Head for the highlands

Another place to visit while the sun is shining: Zarcero and the mountain roads that wind through its surroundings. A drive from San José (or coming the other way, from La Fortuna and the Zona Norte) to this highland region is spectacularly beautiful, and it’s nice to do it when you’re less likely to battle torrential roads next to a cliff face.

Zarcero is famous for its topiary garden, a great place for kids to explore and stretch their legs after sitting in the car. For eats, my family loves El Rancho de Ceci, about 10 minutes after the gardens when you’re driving from San José.

Do you love this region? Where do you like to stop, eat or stay?

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! You can also find me churning out small, square poems on any topic under the sun (here on the site, on Instagram or Twitter). 

Where will the Roaring Twenties take you?

I don’t know about you, but planning travel in the coming year can feel overwhelming. At 40, I’ve learned to some degree how quickly a year can slip by, and how firmly the tasks and pleasures of daily life can hold on to us. That’s why, as we face not just a new year but a new decade, I’m letting myself dream a little bigger and think about the places I might not get to in 2020, but do hope to see by 2030.

Where do you hope to travel in the Twenties? (And how long do you think it will take you to stop envisioning flappers every time you hear that word?)

Do you hope to visit Costa Rica for the first time? Are there new corners of Costa Rica you hope to explore – cities and towns whose parks you yearn to sit in to watch the world go by, or national parks you need to tick off your list, or hidden beaches you hope to discover? Or is this the decade you hope to set foot on a new continent, to hop into a sailboat, to expand your bird list or chase Michelin stars?

By 2030, my daughter will be 16 (gulp). I would love to reach that milestone having taken her to every national park and every canton in her country. However, I think it will be even more important for her to have gotten to know her own city, really know it – many facets of it, many walks of life.

I hope to take her to the country where I was born, and, while there, to take my tennis-loving husband to a match in the town where I was born: Wimbledon.

I hope we have taken a road trip in the country where I grew up, because the US does a road trip like noplace else. Any road will do.

I hope we have eaten our way through Spain.

Where are you going?

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! You can also find me churning out small, square poems on any topic under the sun (here on the site, on Instagram or Twitter).