My Worst Travel Experience to Costa Rica

I finally made it…to the yoga and surf retreat in beautiful Costa Rica! This is the sunset that I enjoyed once I finally arrived…but getting here…to this moment…was not even remotely close to being flawless…

I only arrived this afternoon and I am thoroughly exhausted. It was quite the feat to get here and it is easily one of the worst travel experiences I have ever had. I had to take 3 flights to get to Santa Teresa and I had plenty of time in between flights so that I could have a very chill and laid back experience. My flight from YVR was to leave at 2pm, then arriving at LAX with a 6.50 hour layover and then the flight to San Jose, Costa Rica leaving at midnight.  I would arrive at San Jose early in the AM and then catch a domestic flight a few hours later to Santa Teresa.

But this is not what happened. I always make the effort to enjoy the journey…as a means to better manage my anxiety. I arrived several hours early for my flight…enjoyed a glass of wine as I usually do…and then boarded my plane. After about an hour we were told that a mechanical issue has popped up so they are waiting for maintenance to check on this. In the meantime, the snowstorm is picking up and the plane has been de-iced with a neon green chemical of some sorts. Every time we got an update we were told that it would be another 15-20 minutes and they are sorting out ‘paperwork’. Then were told that another mechanical issue popped up and had to wait for maintenance again. So it has now been 3 hours that we were stuck on the plane and then we are told that we can de-plane while they fix the problem. Back to the terminal we go where we waited another hour. Again…everything will take 15-20 minutes and more paperwork. Surprisingly, everyone had remained fairly calm during all of this…despite the fact that we did not get any compensation for the delay.

Back on the plane we go…oh we must get de-iced again…and then we wait another hour on the plane. Due to the snowstorm, one runway has been closed and so we are waiting our turn. Finally…5 HOURS LATER…we depart for LAX. I am hungry and exhausted…and on my period which made everything worse.

My body was tense and in a heightened state.

We arrive at LAX. What was supposed to be a 6.5 hour layover is now less than 2. I hurry to the gate where there are two options for food. I stood at one place for 10 minutes and did not get seated. I went to other place and was told they are closing soon so I would have to make my way over to the other side which is a fast food type option.

With tears welling up in my eyes…I placed my order…the kind lady asked me if I was ok. I just wanted to eat and I was exhausted…wishing that I was not by myself and craving a hug from someone that I love…

I finish my less than stellar chicken teriyaki and make my way to the gate.

Oh no…I’m nauseous…this is not ok…I ran to the bathroom…and was sick…several times…

My panic is starting to set in…what is happening?

My flight is set to leave in less than an hour…how can I get on this plane…what am I going to do?

This flight also ended up being delayed…which was a God send…my sickness was short lived…I took an anti-nausea pill and managed well on the fight. I tried to explain to myself why I got sick…when my body exerts more energy than it has…I always end up getting sick…and today was no exception.

I did not sleep well on this overnight flight…and finally landed in San Jose to board my 30 minute domestic fight to Santa Teresa…oh God..the plane is so tiny…and I am hating myself for not buying another pair of sea bands to get me through this.


But I survived…not moving a muscle and keeping my vision clear. Following this was a one hour car journey over very rough terrain…where my Spanish speaking driver and I tried to communicate with broken English and Spanish between us.

I made it.

I am here.

It is beautiful.

**Dislaimer…please pardon any grammatical errors in this post. It is due to exhaustion and a new IPad mini keyboard…which is…a little hard to adjust to…


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