Friday, May 21, 2010

Wish You Were Here

This is what I woke up to this morning:

Not a bad view, huh? Ocean views are definitely nice, but how often can you say you’ve booked a room with a volcano view?

Right now, I’m in Costa Rica, near the Arenal Volcano, on a press trip with a group of travel journalists from North and South America. We’re staying at The Springs Resort & Spa, which—I can assure you—will be added to my updated list of favorite hotels ever.

It’s absolutely stunning—natural hot springs can be found throughout the resort; the food is excellent (I highly recommend the ceviche); and the views, well, they’re simply breathtaking. Not only that, I’ve got hot water, a hair dryer, a telephone, a clock and complimentary hair conditioner.

Normally, I’d take the above items for granted but I was, in some instances, taken by surprise a few times on this trip. You see, the majority of the hotels I’ve stayed in prior to this one haven’t always included those amenities. In fact, one in particular reminded me of my European hostelling adventures back in college—albeit this one included lots of dead bugs. (Please see below for the photographic evidence.)

Nevertheless, I remained an optimist and, thankfully, it looks like that sunny outlook has finally been rewarded.

But although this place is really spectacular, it’s not exactly perfect. Even though I’m here, I really wish I could spend today someplace else, with someone else, instead. I’m not saying that my fellow journalists are incorrigible or unbearable—it’s quite the opposite, actually. But, truth be told, I’d rather be waking up to this volcano with my best friend by my side, or watching him blow out the candles on his birthday cake back at home.

If there’s one thing that’s not ideal about being a travel writer, it’s that you don’t always get to spend these kinds of moments with your closest friends and family. Sure, I can whip out my camera and show off my pictures, but it’s just not the same as sharing that actual moment with someone you truly care about.

Even though I can’t be with Eliot today, I know that in just a few days, I’ll see him once again. He’ll be the first to hear about my quetzal sightings; about the zipline rappelling course where I was put into a very compromising position with one of the guides (I still don’t understand why they told me I wasn’t heavy enough to go down by myself); and about the hot springs waterslide that made me feel like a little kid all over again. I can’t wait.

Until then, I’ll just keep wishing.

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