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Reckoning Working in Paradise

March 11, 2018


Before I left on this trip, I started watching a Netflix series called “Ugly Delicious.” In the first episode, two men in the show went to Italy to eat Neapolitan-style pizza.


“Man,” I thought to myself. “How lucky are they to be able to travel to Naples, all in the name of tasting pizza?”


Then, I realized, I am those guys. This week, I am living the dream of so many writers, including myself.


I am lucky to be able to document my experiences in this paradise that many people call home. But that paradise introduces a double-edged sword, and I must reconcile enjoying myself while I’m on what is essentially a work trip.


How can I enjoy myself and take what seems to be time off when I’m supposed to be working? And how can I not have fun when excitement surrounds me? It’s a delicate balance.


The fist thing I did upon arriving at the hotel on Thursday was slick up with sunscreen, put on a swimsuit and head to the pool. I then followed that up by scooping chewy, cripsy plantain chips into a bowl of limey, herby whitefish ceviche and drifting off to sleep well before my usual bedtime.


But the past couple of days have been full of work. I’ve gathered content for at least three articles plus some blogs. I typed half of this blog on the bus.


We traveled today from traffic-heavy San Jose, where many residents we spoke to said they wrestle with their feelings about the city, calling it ugly and beautiful at the same time, to La Fortuna, a lush and green town near the Arenal volcano and lake. It is floral and misty and beautiful, and if there is ever a place to enjoy myself while doing work, this is it.


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