Hopefully the title explains this well enough. I just wrote as I went, so take it as it is.
Pure backpackers boarded my second plane. They all had overwhelming duffles and cumbersome knapsacks, thermoses hanging off of dusty Jansports and those heavy duty athletic sandals good for hiking and climbing over rocks. They were tan, not the beach kind of tan, red and leathery, but a healthy brown (for white) like they spent most of their time outside in parks and on nature trails. I would imagine that they smelled like earth. They had laid back buns and pony tails and white corn rows and boho skirts and billowing harem pants and guitars to strum around bonfires and those colorful hipster string necklaces you grab from a small country's local markets. All smiling and chattering down the length of the aircraft. "I like your hair," one said to me as she slowly passed my coarse twists.
These flights have been superb lately. Super smooth with very little jitters on my end. Is it just that these are better pilots? Windless days? Maturity? Or just that I've been so booked with travel that my psyche has no chance but to calm down and boss up. And the ambience of all this solo travel has been nice too. For a long time, I couldn't even fathom tackling an airport all by lonesome. No one's shoulder to bury my eyes into during takeoff and turbulence. No one to occupy my attention at the gates pre zone 4 boarding. Hell, no one to be accountable for or to be accountable for me at the destination. It's cool though. Alarmingly, I don't feel nervous right now. Mexico was a good prep and the strangers I've been interacting with make me feel at ease. The sweet Asian girl sitting next to me—I could pick up her positive energy from the get go—just randomly offered me a stick of Juicy Fruit. We haven't actually spoken the entire flight and I literally hate Juicy Fruit, but I accepted and now I'm chewing this insanely large wad of gum, waiting for the flavor to fade out. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for random acts of kindness. I didn't want to kill the moment.
I am seriously winging it at this point. I'm on hour two of a five-hour local bus ride to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, winding through lush green foliage on foggy mountain tops. My ears keep popping and my skin feels sticky. I'm so tired and hot that I can barely keep my eyes open to take it all in. It's suddenly raining down outside and my umbrella is in my suitcase. Oh, and my suitcase is somewhere lost in the San Jose airport by now. It never made it to the baggage claim area and I had to leave without it to catch this bus. There's only one every two or so hours.
I wake up a little bit later, and the greens around me are thick. I'm driving into the jungle basically. This is going to be an interesting two weeks of solitude. Outside doesn't even look like it even rained. We just stopped at a rest stop in Limon. Hopefully this empanadas will hold me over until I get settled in. Oh yea, and 'til I get my luggage. (Post empanada: it was quite delicious). Back on the hot, damp bus we all pile on, onward to Puerto Viejo.