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Back to Latin America- Time to Dance- Again

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Back to Latin America- Time to Dance- Again


I met Mira outside of the San Jose, Costa Rica airport in May of 2006. She had a big flower that she quickly stuck over my ear as she gave me a kiss on the cheek. I thought she was pretty.

I had just came over from a long stay in China to meet my brother, Erik the Pilot, and I had heard stories about this crazy gal named Mira that he was friends with. “Is Mira a piece of work?” I tentatively asked him one fine day.

“Mira is such a piece of work,” was his reply.

I thought then that I was going to like this Mira girl. As it turned out, I did. From the day that she put the big, pink flower over my ear until now we have not been able to shake each other. Sure, we have been take the occasional month or two off here and there- but that is just the way things are in the traveling world.

Going back to Latin America.

When I first began traveling, back in that fateful autumn of ‘99, Latin America was my primero destination. For the first year I did not make it farther south than Florida though, and South America was not had until the summer of 2000 when I went to Ecuador and learned the craft of the field archaeologist.

I returned to South America again in 2001 and then in 2002. Those high high Andes mountains from the north of Ecuador to the bottom depths of Patagonia became my surrogate home. I learned how to travel, how to rely on my self, and, most importantly perhaps, how to be alone. These were my formative years. This was the time that I learned that I could make a life out of traveling.

I soon set my sights east in the spring of 2003 and went to Europe for the first time. I was scrapping the bottom of the barrel then, as far as money goes, so I took a job for a lesbian couple in the back-country of County Cork as a gardener. I did not then, nor do I now, know anything about gardening. I would just walked around their beautiful estate all day long, and sometimes I would break their lawn-mower. Needless to say, I did not last long in this position of employment, but I did make enough money to get myself to the European mainland.

After a little while of bumming about, I eventually made my way to Asia. To Japan! The glory land of my new found dreams of misty mountains and the ol’ Buddha Dharma. I enrolled here in some classes through the Friends World Program of Long Island University, and quickly realized that clashes with the school’s East Asia director were eminent and unavoidable. Though I did some decent work there, and I am only now publishing some of the research that I compiled on Japanese tattooing (in Glimpse Magazine’s Spring 2008 edition).

Now that I whet my whistle a little on Asia, I stayed there off and on for the next two years. I wandered down through China and Southeast Asia to India and then returned to the old Middle Kingdom to study some Mandarin.

In the summer of ‘o6 I got the call from Erik the Pilot to meet him down in Costa Rica, and this I did. Here I met Mira, and we have now arrived back at the beginning of this story.

So it is looking like we are going back into the depths of Latin America. At first, I was not too excited about this prospect- Mira was at the reigns for this one. But now, I think that I am actually looking forward to it. There will be singing, dancing, beer, lots of beer, archaeology, and a population of people who are not hesitant about interacting with me.

Why not?

So we bought $140 flights to San Jose, Costa Rica from JFK and signed on to an archaeology project in Nicaragua. Things are now moving fast. We only have another month in Europe and then it is back to Morocco and then 10 days in the good ol’ USA before taking off to Central America for what is looking like a year of travel.

I want to go to Columbia.

I think there are holes to be dug there?

Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal
November 28, 2007

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Filed under: Central America, Costa Rica, Europe, Friends, Portugal, Travel Preparation

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap