Life, travel

Welcome to Crazy Town

I like a lot of things about myself, but there are definitely some things I could do without. A big one: I am a worrier. And I perseverate on things.

To the point that sometimes when I start going on about something, my mom will say point blank, “You are perseverating…. “.

I really do not like this personality trait, and it kind of goes directly against my Big Life Goal of being a “positive thinker”, “grateful”, etc. BUT IT’S HARD TO MAKE IT GO AWAY. It’s just, in there, you know??

I always start worrying before vacations about the weather. (Well, that is, if it’s a primarily outdoors type vacation, where the weather really matters.)

If you followed along with our Mexico trip last August, you might remember that I talked a lot about the weather in the days leading up to it. (And during it, at first, until I realized that the weather was actually…. mostly fine.)

Well, I’m at it again. We’re a few days out now, and I have checked the weather report, oh, approximately 3,426 times in the last 48 hours.

Here’s a screenshot of what Apple Weather tells me it’s going to be like in one of our destinations:

Cue my internal panic!! Rain everyday?!?! What. the. heck.

So I see this, and I start to spiral. Why is it showing rain? This is supposed to be the dry season. I specifically booked this trip DURING THE DRY SEASON so that it wouldn’t rain constantly like it does during the wet season. Every travel blog on the internet promised me that “March is the best time to visit Costa Rica!!” It is supposed to be sunny, and dry, and beautiful, and perfect, and gosh darn it, I’m spending a freaking fortune on this trip and it has to be just right and I will cry if it rains the whole time and nothing will look pretty and what if then it’s super wet and muddy and hot and all the MOSQUITOES come out even worse than usual and I get eaten alive and then it’s all just rotten and…and….and….. (stop to breathe).

Hi, Crazy Town. We have arrived. πŸ™‚

Hope you enjoyed that peek inside my head, because I didn’t. LOL. (But seriously, this is basically what goes through my mind.)

Now, the reality is this: We are visiting a rainforest. It is highly likely that it WILL rain at some point during the trip. Maybe every day! It is also a hot, tropical climate. And I mean, you can’t really have a rainforest without some rain. Might be like flying to Aspen and then being like, WTH is all this snow?!

(Also, checking the weather report does absolutely nothing to impact the actual weather, in case you didn’t know.)

That being said, my internet research also tells me that Costa Rica is full of many different “microclimates”- which apparently make it nearly impossible to accurately forecast the weather. They say it can rain one minute, and be hot and sunny the next. My blood pressure started dropping (a little) when I read multiple reports that basically said, “Do not check the weather forecast. They always say “thunderstorms” every single day, and it is never actually like that in March.”

But just to be sure, I also emailed our Airbnb host for our final destination, for good measure, to ask about the weather. 😬

Here is his response when I asked if I should be concerned about the forecast for “storms” every day:

You heard it here. Jason says we’re going to have Sunshine with a capital S, so it’s happening. πŸ™‚

I should also say, that even if it did rain on our trip, that doesn’t have to mean that our trip would be ruined. Of course, everyone wants good weather on vacation. But I can think of plenty of rainy days on my past trips that turned out FINE!!

Off the top of my head:

  1. A constant, cold rain one day in Venice (which, ok, was quite irritating, but also made for some very cute umbrella selfies, and a romantic, cozy pizza and wine night in a little bistro while the rain fell outside the window on the cobblestone.)
  2. A rainy morning in Isla Mujeres last January that prompted us to walk the entire island, which turned out to be very cool and fun.
  3. A rainy night in Tepotzlan, Mexico last August which created some great drastic moody mountain pictures.*
  4. A rainy morning to visit Park Guell in Barcelona, which also did not feel ideal in the moment, but looking back, really didn’t affect our day.

More often than not, we have good- or even amazing!- weather on vacation. Because the universe is rigged in my favor. πŸ™‚ (LOVE that quote!).

(I also may have refreshed the Arenal Volcano live cam feed a few too many times this week as well. There have been some clouds, but this morning it was pretty clear! Apparently it actually is quite common for the volcano to be enshrouded in clouds, just given the altitude and the climate. But you know what? It probably won’t be hidden in the clouds for 6 days straight. And even if it were, well: a) We have seen volcanoes before. I actually climbed to the top of one in Guatemala once, and there is a volcano in Toluca where Ivan’s parents live. b) We can always go back to Costa Rica. The volcano isn’t going anywhere. (Hopefully? OMG, should I worry about it erupting?! Just kidding… ! πŸ˜‚) c) We will do many other things that don’t involve looking at the volcano, anyway.)

Hopefully you don’t now think I’m actually crazy, but, yeah. Just a glimpse of some of my personal struggles over here… being a worrier means it’s something I’m kind of always dealing with and working on.

And the funny thing is: When we are actually on our trips, I usually have, I think, a surprisingly easy going, go-with-the flow, find-the-best-in-things attitude. I’m always happy as a clam, and my feathers are not easily ruffled! It’s just really before the trip that I tend to sit around and fret. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ I don’t get it. Who knows!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for getting a bunch of my packing done last night! I feel pretty organized now which is a relief. It’s too hectic if it all gets left for the last minute.

Love my packing cubes!! And my Osprey backpack. (Can you spot my rain jacket rolled up on the left hand side? Dark purple. Rain or shine, I’ll be ready. πŸ˜‰

*Tepotzlan rainy night:

25 thoughts on “Welcome to Crazy Town”

  1. I am a perseverator extraordinaire, so I empathize with you about this! It is so easy to get into a worry spiral and so hard to find your way out!

    Funnily enough, the weather is not something I fret about. People are always asking about the weather — what will it be like this weekend? what’s the weather going to be while you’re in Place X? how’s the weather? — and unless they are asking about the current weather, and I have been outside in it, I will not have an answer. Unlike the many many things in life I cannot control or change and DO worry about, weather is not one of them! I don’t know why! (My husband is more like you, especially before we travel. He is often concerned about tumultuous weather when we are flying, because he hates turbulence. I also hate turbulence and get really stressed about flying, but knowing in advance that the forecast shows thunderstorms does not help me!)

    I think your response to your worry is so smart and thorough. And you WILL have a great time, once you’re there. It is so hard to have invested so much anticipation and planning and money into a thing and then not be able to control this vital aspect of enjoying it! But it sounds like you are good at enjoying it anyway. For what it’s worth, I can think of multiple long-planned trips that had days of rain and were still amazing. Nonetheless, I hope that the weather is fabulous and that you have a blast!!!

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    1. That’s so funny that you are a worrier but not about weather! I guess I normally don’t worry/care about the weather on a day to day basis (like some people seem to always know exactly what the forecast will be… or someone will say, oh, lots of snow coming this weekend! And I’m like… oh?? haha.) But that’s when it mostly isn’t going to impact me. If I have an event/ vacation/ somewhere I need to drive (where the snow would matter), then I start obsessing about it! I hadn’t even thought about turbulence, but the idea of flying in a snowstorm, or landing in a snowstorm, totally freaks me out.

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  2. I definitely have a tendency to perseverate over things. Being on lexapro has helped! Ha! It’s tough to not look at the weather forecast. I tried really hard to not look at the weather before our Mexico trip. Phil kept an eye on it but he is not a worrier like me so he can see a sub-optimal forecast and let it roll off of him; I can’t! I hope the weather turns out great. I feel like the apple forecast can be misleading. Like right now, so many days in the future have a snowflake next to them, but it’s not going to snow all day! Similarly, there might be rain showers in Costa Rica but it’s not going to rain all day most likely!

    It’s good to have people like your mom point out that you are perseverating over something. I tend to more so do this with personal conflicts and it causes me to lose sleep because I can not shut my brain off! I’ve worked on this tendency in therapy which has helped but it’s still annoying that my natural instinct is to worry excessively. A quote I keep in mind is, “worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it robs today of it’s joy.”

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    1. We took a family trip to Costa Rica in Jan a few years ago. It rained the whole 3 days we were in arenal and was so cloudy we never saw the volcano. But it was still super fun. It didn’t rain constantly. It was warm. Could still hike and see animals and enjoy the hot springs. Sure , constant sun would have been nicer but you’ll have a great time either way

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      1. This is so good to hear!! Thanks for sharing. I kept thinking that no matter what, it should be warm, so that helps a ton. And in Arenal we will definitely be doing hikes, etc and I do feel like that is an activity that can carry on in the rain. We are all bringing waterproof shoes and/or sandals along, plus rain jackets. I hope we can see the volcano at least a couple times, but like you said, not the end of the world either way. I’ve heard of other people never having clear enough weather to see it, too.

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    2. I agree that the Apple weather is not super accurate. I’ve looked at it before for our local location and it will say lie, “snow showers”, and I look outside and am like, “I do not see any snow…”. lol . I think in Costa Rica it might just say that if there is ANY chance of rain at all. I found a different weather forecast page that predicts number of inches of rain per hour, and on some days that had the “rain” symbol on Apple weather this other site would show like, 0.02 inches of rain during 2 different hours of the day or something. Doesn’t sound like that would be anything to be overly concerned about. Fingers crossed!!

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  3. I definitely obsess about the weather before a trip too… but we’re headed to Puerto Vallarta TOMORROW (!!!!!) and I actually haven’t even looked since last week, one, when I saw sunny and 80s every day and was like well I’m not going to see anything better than that so NO MORE CHECKING!! Also truly it doesn’t matter, there’s nothing you can do. We’ve had some awesome rainy trips (including, like you, to Isla Mujeres last January – where it did seem like it rained a ton but also was amazing?? So that was a great reminder to me that everything will be a-ok). Truly I just am so over being COLD all the time that just warmth will be amazing.

    My main worries when traveling is thinking about if we’re packing everything, if everything will go ok as we get from point A to point B, will the hotel have our reservation?? will the van show up at the airport? will everyone have enough to eat during the many hour journey???? Really not sure why I do this because again, I’ve confirmed all that I can and no matter what, we’ll figure it out. I also do try to reassure myself that ALL SORTS of people travel all the time and don’t obsess and somehow…. are fine. This is our first trip out of the country as a whole family so that is adding some uncertainty! anyway – in conclusion, I get it πŸ™‚ Also, harkening back to your post about the differences between men and women packing for trips…. is my husband worrying about any of this? No, no he is not πŸ˜› (However, generally our division of labor is that I do all the planning/prep work for trips and he deals with all the crap that comes up once we’re there which works ok!)

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    1. Have an amazing time!!! Puerto Vallarta will be wonderful!! They usually always have fabulous weather over there this time of year.

      I know what you mean about worrying about all of the logistics! I feel a little more nervous than usual this time just because it’s a place none of us have ever been and there are some things in Costa Rica that could just be potentially “complicated”- like issues with the car rental, etc. I’m also a little worried it will be super crowded, because CR seems to be a travel hotspot right now. I feel like SO many people are going there!!!

      Like you said though, many people do zero planning before trips and somehow it all works out. I have been on some travel forums and people will post things like, “Going to CR next week- what places should I see?” or “Looking to rent a car next week, any recs?” and I’m like, WHAT?! How can you not have that figured out already? It’s high season! There probably won’t even be any cars left! haha. I don’t have every last detail figured out at all, but I at least have a general idea of things to see and do and how things work.

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  4. THIS. IS. ME. 100%. And I really appreciate that you highlight the fact that once you’re on the ground, everything calms down. I’m the same way.
    I check the weather obsessively. I worry about all the different logistics. And it ALWAYS works out.

    I’m trying to be a bit easier on myself now and realize this is a pattern, this is just how I react and…kinda let myself go crazy with the worry. I DO think for the most part it doesn’t paralyze me and it helps me think through different scenarios. Like: I need to pack a raincoat and a headband and finger gloves.
    I love the idea of Sunshine with a capital “s” and that is my very clear hope for your trip. Either way, the memories will be incredible I know. But I still am hoping for nothing but blue skies for you πŸ˜‰

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    1. Hahaha, I thought you might be able to relate!! I’ve sensed this from you in your posts, too. (If you want to know how crazy I am, when I knew you were in Rome, I CHECKED THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR ROME to make sure you were having good weather!!! hahaha! I even worry about the weather on other people’s vacations!!!)

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      1. I cannot tell you how happy this made me. YOUR CHECKED THE WEATHER FOR MY TRIP?!!!
        I don’t even know what to say other than: this made my day. So sweet, Kaelyn!

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  5. That weather forecast reminds me of New Orleans in the summer. It was hot and muggy and it WOULD rain every day, but usually only for 30 minutes and once it was done it would clear up and be fine. So I think if you have your umbrella and jacket ready and a good attitude about ducking into a store for a coffee for a bit, you will be just fine.

    I do check the weather before a trip but I don’t really worry about it. I use it more to plan for whatever I am going to be up against. I do like to figure out as much planning as possible, so I like to get that buttoned up early, as well as pack early and think about it a couple of times before finalizing. But weather is weather and it is going to do what it is going to do. I do a backpacking trip each year and inevitably I get rained on and have to deal with it, but I would not say that any trip has not been fun. Sometimes I even cut the hike short, but I always have fun.

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    1. Yes, I think you’re right that it may be similar to the southern U.S. in the summer! Always some rain, but comes and goes. It sounds like your approach is smart. And I think, too, if you travel a lot (as you obviously do), the reality is that inevitably you’ll have to deal with some rain on some of the trips. Just sheer statistics indicates that! Maybe if you only took one trip a year or every so often you could get lucky, but if you travel enough, odds are some days will include some raindrops. πŸ™‚ I’m feeling better after talking this all through. I think some of it was just that in my head I was thinking dry season in Costa Rica meant like, NO rain, ever, so I was taken by surprise when I saw that that might not be the case.

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  6. I am the same. I make decisions quickly, but when it comes to something I cannot control (ie weather)? TOTAL PERSEVERATOR. (Remember my 90 Montana forecast panic attacks?)

    where i live, in the summer EVERY single day will show a lightning bolt. Not only does it not storm EVERY day, but in a 24 hour period, probably it will storm an hour or so in any given location. Guessing costa rica probably has some commonalities with south florida weather so I’m guessing it’s the ‘chance of storms’ that is showing it looking worse than it actually is (which is what that other person says to).

    SOOOOOO the best you can relax, maybe bring some ponchos JUST in case, and know that even if it’s just a lot of relaxing reading/chill/family time in a beautiful setting it will be great even if there is a bit of rain!!

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    1. I remember your weather freak out too for Montana, and it worked out fine!! I totally felt for you with that, because I would have been freaking out too. hahaha.

      We’ve been to Florida many times in August and you’re totally right- the forecast always always shows storms. And it usually does storm in that season, but just for a little while.

      I think the biggest thing for me is when reality and my expectations don’t line up. For example, when we went to Ireland last spring, I honestly never checked the weather once! I ASSUMED it was going to be cool and rainy, because that’s the norm there, so I didn’t expect anything else and I just packed accordingly. (And then oddly enough, we had a ton of blue sky/ sunshine days!). But for a beach trip especially, or an outdoors trip like Costa Rica, I “assume” it will be beautiful, sunny weather…. so then if it seems like it won’t be, I start freaking out, because now it’s lining up with my expectations….

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  7. Fingers crossed that Jason is right! I don’t WORRY about the weather when we are travelling, per se, but I do check the forecast obsessively prior to any trips. I need to be prepared! That said, when you spend a ton of money on a trip, you want it to be perfect. I totally feel this!

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  8. You should think of it as being a planner. I, for my part, rarely look at the weather forecast and am always caught off guard. I remember this trip I booked at the last moment to visit my cousin. I was flying into Baltimore, she was going to pick me up, and we’d go from there. I never checked the weather, there was a huge storm in the DC/Baltimore area, and I ended up having to drive from Charlotte to Baltimore overnight. I probably could have prepared a little bit better! Look at your compulsive weather checking as a STRENGTH, not a weakness.

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  9. I don’t think you are crazy… you are just a worrier by nature. I do that too, or used to. Now with the pandemic experience, I am more flexible with changing plans. Also, it’s easier to turn a bad weather day into another kind of adventure too. It’s a switch of mindset to be grateful for the circumstances we face, maybe it’s our chance to explore new things. hope you have a blast in Costa Rica.

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    1. Yes, there are definitely times bad weather can create a new adventure. I think I’m fine with a little bit of bad weather, but it would be terribly disappointing to like, have horrible rain during an entire trip. Though I think given the weather in Costa Rica and the climate, that is unlikely, anyway!

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  10. I never check the weather… I live in Scotland, there will likely be wind/rain, I’ve got a waterproof coat, knowing that it is going to rain does nothing to improve my life. My husband is a weather checker and a weather updater and it drives me mad.

    I’m very chill to the point of being annoying about logistics. I feel like as long as I’ve got my phone/passport, I can figure most things out. When we first started dating, my now-husband and I took a holiday before I headed out on fieldwork (Belgium, not very exotic) and he was HORRIFIED that I had no real idea of where I was heading, etc.

    But I worry about all sorts of other things.

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    1. Belgium sounds exotic to me!!! πŸ˜‰ I’d love to visit there!! Haha.

      My big thing with trip planning is that I really dislike that feeling of bumbling around not knowing what is going on. Like, I don’t want to spend time on my trip looking at my phone, trying to figure out what time the museum is open, or if I need to book the tickets online, or how to get train tickets, etc. I prefer to have most of that stuff at least partially sorted out in my head in advance, so I can hopefully just enjoy the trip then!! But I know many people do like to “wing it” on trips. I would be much more open to doing this on a solo trip with my husband. But with the boys and my parents along, we are a group of 6- and just winging it with 6 people doesn’t always go so well!!

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  11. I think worrying is natural and I find that as I get older, I am worrying more. Things just seem different now I’m the one running the show (as in, organising and planning for a whole family, etc).

    I hope you have a great trip with plenty of capital S, Sunshine!!

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    1. Good point! I do miss the days where I just hopped in the car and all I had to worry about was what kind of candy I was going to pack for the road trip. lol! My parents did ALL the planning and I just got to sit back and relax. Now the tables have turned I guess- I do all the planning, and THEY come along for the ride!! haha. Guess it’s my turn…

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