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Strangers Abroad

Sep 5, 2017

I met Gaby while I was volunteering in a hostel in Costa Rica.  Born and raised in San Jose, Gaby thought she was going to go down the traditional path of education right into a career. However, her choice to work in a hostel, just to get some dinero on the side, has unintentionally challenged the way she thinks about her future.  She has formed a new perspective on homeland by seeing it through the eyes of people who are experiencing it for the first time. She has become endlessly inspired by the travelers who wander in and out of her hostel who are far from home and perceive her normal to be vastly different. She strikes up a conversation with everyone, whether it is asking them questions about their explorations or native soil, guiding them to the bus station to their next destination, or cluing them in on where to get the best cup of coffee in San Jose. We would spend hours during the quiet afternoons of the hostel having little music jams while doing the daily chores. She would create a warm and welcoming space for every weary traveler who walked through the doors of Hostel Beku. This seemingly innocuous job choice has forced her to question everything about what she was doing with her life. She has been given a hidden perspective of the ways travelers live and move on a day to day basis and has inspired her to get out of her comfort zone.   And with the help of her American beau, whom she met through pure random and romantic chance, she now has the motivation and ability to go and reach some of the places that once seemed untouchable. Since I last spoke with Gaby she has been living up to her dreams. She quit her job and has been flying to and fro between America, Costa Rica and now parts of Europe where she’s always wanted to experience. I emailed her asking how she has enjoyed it and she says “ Well to me is not traveling just for traveling, this a dream that I have had forever and it's changing me as a person and teaching me so many different things about the world and myself. My expectations are living up to my dreams, especially the smallest and most simple moments give me the feeling I was looking for, walking down the streets of Rome and touching the walls with your fingers and taking it all in. I love it. She currently has no plans for the future and is happy living her life day by day, or whenever the next fly benefits kick in. In this episode, we discuss How she met her American boyfriend How she is able to maintain a long distance relationship The cultural differences between dating someone from America What she went to school for What working at the hostel has taught her Why she wants to travel What it is like to date someone from another country How she gets fly benefits How she learned English What life is like growing up in Costa Rica