Every traveler should have tokens from home.
Each time we’re moving on to another location, I do some backpack housekeeping. Part of the reason is to get rid of any miscellaneous things we’ve accumulated not on our packing list, like old receipts or throwing away the box the ibuprofen came in. But the other reason is because it’s nice to see our tokens from home — some practical and some sentimental.
- Phrasebook from Chris’s former colleagues: Chris has gotten a lot of use out of this, especially the dictionary for his Spanish classes. It also has country-specific idioms/phrases.
- Cards/letters from Chris’s parents, my mom, and Amabelle: These cards have a lot of love and encouragement, along with reminders to stick with it even if things get tough.
- Letter from us, to us: Before we left, we wrote down the things that matter most to us and what we hope to get from this experience.
- Refillable bottles from Robert: My friend Robert got us these refillable travel bottles, complete with suction cups and wide mouths for easy cleaning. Perfect for keeping our backpacks free of half-empty shampoo bottles.
- Compass from Eric: Last but not least, the parting gift from my friend Eric that brings good luck and keeps us moving in the right direction, even when we’re not sure where we’re headed.
Right now, the compass is pointing us north — back to Mexico. We enjoyed our time there so much that we want to explore more. After another week here in Costa Rica, we’ll be spending the next month in and around Tulum. That’s right: still beach and jungle, but this time with spicy food.
With all the tokens we have, we find ourselves wishing we’d brought some tokens from home to give away to local people we’ve met.
If we could start all over again, maybe we could have bought 30 Golden Gate Bridge refrigerator magnets or something. Not too heavy or extravagant, but a small token of thanks and something for others to remember us by.
Oh well. Maybe we’ll remember for next time… See you in Monteverde!