WHAT DO YOU PLAN ON LEAVING BEHIND?
I flew into Costa Rica on April 11th, 2006. It was later in the evening that I arrived and a day that I’ll likely not forget. Not for strange events or life-altering epiphanies. Rather a sense, though I’d traveled extensively before, that this was the first time I actually went anywhere. I took the connection in Miami (MIA) from Toronto (YYZ) to the now all-too-familiar San Jose (SJO). (Unbeknownst to me at that time, airport codes would later become part of a nomenclature for my business operations) What made this journey memorable was not repacking my bags twice at the check in counter, not noting the gradual yet obvious change in weather with a short stop in Miami, but the unusual sensation that came over me flying into the Central Valley of Costa Rica for the first time and looking down upon the twinkling orange lights that lined the roads, towns and cities. In some arrogant, silently muttered phrase, I stared into this unknown world and whispered to myself, “I will conquer you”. The intent of my declaration is lost in its inane phrasing; however the principle behind it still stands. I wanted to prove to myself, without the support of a first-world safety net, that I could get on the ground and carve out a path that was truly mine. No money, no job, no knowledge of the language or culture, nothing. It was just me with sheer ignorance and determination as my carryon. What are you planning to bring with you? What I learned is a better question is: What do you plan on leaving behind?