12 Countries 12 Months.

The Urge to Flee

The first few moments of everyday I wake up feeling comfortable and and content. My mind still numb from sleep, I feel grateful for my bed, pillows, and blankets. These dreamy fluffy feelings last for about 30 seconds before they are replaced with the heavy weight of anxiety. It becomes hard to breath and my back muscles start to tense. And then I compulsively read the news. The crushing feeling gets stronger.

Anxiety, depression, being dramatic…call it what you will, but goddammit, up until July I was ready for a revolution! And then until November I was ready for slow but steady progress. No part of me was prepared for my country to start supporting travel bans and border walls. The normalization of bullying and discrimination stemming from the elections in our less-than-united states has left me dumbfounded and heartbroken.

I feel anxious and want (need?) to do something drastic. So I leave an application for a wilderness therapy job in Costa Rica open on my husband Scott’s computer. Several times. He tentatively filled out the application. We agreed that it was good practice to get his resume and interview skills polished up, even if it was unlikely that he would get the first job he applied for. 

Pura Vida

Only a week passed after Scott’s first interview before he was offered the job. The company wanted him down there March 1st, but we decided that we couldn’t get things tied up here until May. Which seemed reasonable at the time, but at this point is feeling like an impulsive decision. Especially because we have (almost literally) no money saved up.

Scott feels nervous, because he is the reasonable one. I am operating on blind faith that everything will work out better than we could ever plan. Maybe this is to avoid doing any planning…

[In my defense, this wasn’t fully a spur of the moment decision. We had been talking about moving to another country since last year. With Costa Rica we know exactly what we are getting into. We speak Spanish, I went to school there, and we have traveled extensively in the country.]

12 countries 12 months!

Scott’s job will be two weeks on and two weeks off, so we will have two weeks off together every month. While dreaming about what we would do with all those weeks off we decided we wanted to do something grand and meaningful. We discussed where we would like to travel and dreamed up the perfect plan:

12 countries 12 months!


I will look for volunteer opportunities and yoga gigs while Scott is working, and when he is off we will travel to nearby countries with a guitar, a ukulele, and a total monthly budget of $1,000 (Scott’s salary). 

Meeting our objectives with our limited budget will require trust, creativity, and lot of couch surfing. Our goal is to have as many positive and meaningful interactions with locals as we can in each country and update our blog with our experiences. We hope through this challenge we can help promote peace and education among cultures. 

Not going to lie…we also hope to surf and kayak. A lot.

Even though we don’t have much more than enough money for plane tickets, I am grateful for the many other factors that allow us to pursue this adventure such as our health, supportive families, education and inspiring friends and mentors who have made impossible things seem possible.

I hope our experiences can inspire others to break out of their comfort zones and set grandiose goals. 

Because why the hell not.

Is this the best way for us to channel our energy?

Could we being doing more meaningful things with our time?

Who knows.

When I question myself my mind wanders back to advice given in Macklemore’s song “Growing up”:

“Don’t try to change the world. Find something that you love and do it everyday.

Do that for the rest of your life, and eventually the world will change.”

It’s time to seek new adventures and exciting opportunities!

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