Pre-Trip Nerves

I love to travel, I really do.  Nothing excites me more than planning my next trip and buying a plane ticket.  But I am currently waiting for my connecting flight from New York to Doha, Qatar, and I’ll admit that I am second-guessing my trip.  Seeing all of the families and couples traveling together is really making me wish that I was traveling with my loved ones, too, and not solo.  But I know that I do this every time.  When I left for Costa Rica last year, and when I left for New Zealand the year before that, I called my boyfriend in tears from the airport and apologized for leaving and told him I wish that he could come or that I had stayed with him.

Once I get to my first destination though, I snap back to normal.  So I guess you could say I have pre-trip nerves, as this happens every time.  I am excited, but nervous about getting to my destination, so I am longing for the comfort of something, mostly someone that I know and love.  For me, these pre-trip nerves always come at the airport as I am going through security.  And I’m not quite sure how to deal with them yet, other than push through them.

For this trip, I have to fly CVG —> JFK, then JFK —> DOH, then DOH —> BKK.  Then I have to go immediately to a bus terminal and take a 10-hour bus ride from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  But once I reach the bus that will take me directly to Siem Reap, the big travel unknowns around getting to my first destination are over with and I can relax and focus on meeting new people and seeing new things.  But right now, there is a flight to my parents’ boarding at a nearby gate, and I wonder how much I would regret taking it…


One Week in Costa Rica – Packing List

As a follow-up to my previous post for my Asia-Pacific packing list, I also wanted to document what I brought with me for a week in Costa Rica during August 2016.  I flew in and out of San José and traveled to Monteverde for zip lining and Santa Teresa for a yoga retreat.


Clearly I was not a big fashion statement on my trip…

All of my gear fit in my Osprey Kyte 36 backpack.  I was flying to San José on a budget airline called Spirit Airlines, who charges for any bag larger than a wallet (okay, that’s an exaggeration…), so I was very set on packing as light as I could for this trip, and have some final thoughts at the bottom about my choices.


  • 55L backpack
  • Lifestraw water bottle (be careful drinking the water when you’re near the beach, it’s supposedly worse there than inland and I did have a small bout of sickness when in Santa Teresa… I can only assume this was why and bought bottled water the rest of my time at the beach)
  • Sea to Summit day pack (again, one of my favorite things)
  • Headlamp
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Packing cubes for organization of clothes/undergarments


  • 3 t-shirts/tank tops
  • 1 moisture-wicking long-sleeved shirt
  • 2 pairs of athletic shorts
  • Knee-length leggings
  • Trekking pants
  • Sweatshirt
  • Rain jacket
  • Bathing suit
  • 3 pairs of athletic socks
  • 2 pairs of hiking socks
  • 1 bra
  • 2 sports bras
  • 7 underwear


  • Hiking shoes
  • Chacos
  • Cheap flip flops for hostel showers


  • Ibuprofen
  • Pepto Bismol tablets
  • Small first aid kit
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body soap
  • Razor
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Comb
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Baby powder
  • Hair ties
  • Purell


  • Kindle and charger
  • Phone and charger
  • GoPro and charger
  • Wallet and passport
  • Silk undercover bra stash
  • Sunglasses
  • 2 plastic shopping bags
  • 2 Ziploc bags
  • Combo lock for hostels
  • Small notebook and pen
  • Protein bars and snacks
  • Watch

Final thoughts…

Costa Rica is HOT and HUMID.  Needless to say, I would have fared a little better with more shirts to change through.  One girl that I met on the trip made the observation that it’s pointless to wash your clothes in the bathroom for free (like I usually do), because nothing ever line dries here.  Some hostels have a laundry service where you can send out your stinky, sweaty clothes for a wash and dry, and that seems like the best alternative.