My next trip and the Feel More Alive campaign 13

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Time for another trip announcement and also a couple of confessions.

In a couple of weeks, I am headed to Costa Rica on behalf of Exodus Travels to do a 14-day trip all around that Central American country. 

I am really excited to be working with Exodus, though the Navigate Media Group that I have told you about previously. It is a great company and they have dozens upon dozens of incredible tours all around the world. First class stuff, to be sure.

It is going to be a grand adventure and I can’t wait to bring it all to you via written word, photographs, and my new latest passion, video, but that being said……

Knowing my limitations

topographical map of costa rica

topography of Costa Rica

First, I’m going to be spending 10 of the 14 days on a bicycle, averaging 30 miles (48 kilometers) a day. And for those that aren’t fully aware of the layout of Costa Rica, I have included a handy topographical map.

The difficulty level on this tour is labeled as “moderate,” but as I stare at that map just a bit, I tend to focus on the white, orange, and yellow portions.

There is, in fact, a rather substantial mountain range that bisects Costa Rica.

If you have clicked on that above link you have seen the map of my route. If not, go click on it, hit the “Itinerary” tab and come back.

You got it right. Looks like we will be crossing over that middle part a couple of times. Look, I am up for a fair bit of adventure. I’ve jumped off a bridge a couple of times; I’m down for scuba diving all over the world and actively seek out sharks when doing so; I’ve hitchhiked on top of cargo trucks in Africa and parasailed over Medellin, Colombia. I’m generally up for most everything.

But I’m also not in very good physical shape right now. I am in far worse shape when I climbed Kilimanjaro in the middle of my round-the-world trip.

This is going to be interesting.

Secondly, Costa Rica isn’t my favorite country in the world. I was biased against it before I arrived the only other time I have been there. In the rest of Central America, the locals tend to refer to Costa Rica as Gringolandia, not only because it is the most popular expat country in that part of the world, but also because it has far more North American tourists than the rest of that part of the world (for admittedly good reasons — the tourist infrastructure is more established there than the rest of Central America and it has a long history of political stability, in comparison with its neighbors).

Plus, I went back and looked at my few photographs from that part of my trip and again had to face the fact of how absolutely horrible of a photographer I was back then. I only took 50 or so pictures in my short time in Costa Rica and I went through them today to find the best one.

Sadly, this is the best one.

costa rica beach-1

my God, this is embarrassing

So why am I going?

I like to challenge myself. And I really haven’t done much of anything challenging since I did the Ultimate Train Challenge over a year ago.

This is going to be a physical challenge for me, simply because I’m just not in the proper shape to do a trip like this and I don’t remotely have time to get in shape before I leave. I expect that I’m going to have to have my brain tell my body “all will be all right” a number of times on this trip and I will have to talk myself into not giving up and hitting the following van a number of times.

But I need that. I need a swift metaphorical kick in the ass right now.

Now, as to how my actual real ass handles two weeks on a bicycle… let’s just hope those padded shorts work miracles.

As to Costa Rica… I need to give it another chance. I only spent about a week there in the early stages of my round-the-world trip in 2009. It left such a non-impression that the only thing I wrote about it was merely in passing in this post.

One thing I am a firm believer on now more than ever, after 70 or so countries in the last five years, is that possession of preconceived notions is the quickest way to disappointment in travel. I am headed to Costa Rica, and warmth, bereft of the blinders that I wore the last time I went through.

Time for good stuff for you as well:


1) Exodus Travels has given me a 10% discount code for readers. It may not seem like a lot but if you look a trip like the Costa Rica I’m taking it is a nearly $400 discount or a $500 discount for the Galapagos trip that Ayngelina is taking. Just quote `BLOG` when you book a trip and voila. Go ahead and take a second to click through and just check out what sort of tours they have to offer — there are hundreds of impressive options.

2) If $400-$500 is not enough there is a way to get a trip for free. They have a contest running that not many people know about called Feel More Alive. Moments from travel are often some of the most exciting in our lives and Exodus is trying to assemble the biggest collection of these moments by asking people to submit videos and photos that share a moment that made them feel more alive.

Feel More Alive is a monthly contest, which means you have multiple chances to win. You can check out the contest details here, but the basics are simple: You just upload a video to the site and every month the panel from Exodus Travels chooses one winner that inspires them, celebrates adventure and represents the value of “feeling more alive through travel.”

What’s stopping you? January’s winner is going to Manchupicchu. February’s winner is going to Rwanda. March through December are there for the taking.

I’m very curious. Click though to see all the tours that Exodus offers here (there are dozens upon dozens of them). Then tell me below in the comments…

Which of their tours would you be most interested in going on? Which one of their tours do you want to win in their Feel More Alive campaign?



Terms and conditions of the Discount
1. Each blog reader who books any Exodus trip between 1 March – 31 May 2013 will receive a 10% discount.
2. The offer is open to first time travelers only.
3. Only one discount per booking.
4. This offer is only valid for people booking directly with Exodus
5. There is no cash alternative and no correspondence will be entered into.
6. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with other Exodus offers or loyalty discounts.
7. Exodus has the right to withdraw or change this introductory offer at anytime The discount will be applied to the final balance, not the deposit payment.

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About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

13 thoughts on “My next trip and the Feel More Alive campaign

  • Dyanne@TravelnLass

    Goodness, but you DO have quite an ambitious pedaling itinerary there!

    Having specialized in small group and independent travel to Costa Rica (and Belize) for 20+ years, uh I guess you could say I’m a smidge biased.

    But in short, yes. Do give Costa Rica another chance. I mean a week is but a drop in the bucket for a land as extraordinarily diverse as Costa Rica. Not one, but TWO oceans, a gazillion beaches, mountains, cloud forests, and a slew of volcanoes (don’t miss Arenal – it rumbles every hour and on a clear night the glow of lava can be spectacular – I once CLIMBED the silly thing!).

    And better still, the “Ticos”. I’ve done my fair share of traveling the globe for the past 30+ years, and the Ticos and Ticas of Costa Rica are among the most gracious and friendly on the Planet.

  • Mike

    I’m new to your site but this adventure sounds so exciting, especially since I’m an avid bicyclist myself. I’m looking forward to reading about all your other adventures as I will be starting my own in 6 months when I go to teach in Spain!

  • lara dunston

    Is that Manuel Antonio? Loved our time there in a big house right on the beach a couple of years ago, though did *not* love the food. And you are going to get very hungry by the end of each day… 😉

  • Tracy Z

    I think it’s great that you’re going to challenge yourself physically, and hopefully seeing Costa Rica via bike will give you a new appreciation for the place!

  • Sherry Ott

    I love going back to countries for photography ‘take 2’s’ I have a few like that myself. Biking should be a good way to get a better appreciation for the country…or just get a better appreciation for the invention of the car.

  • Nat

    Their prices for Turkey are quite reasonable. Just had a look at the walking itineraries and would definitely need to give up the cigarettes!

    Good luck with the adventure. It is all about getting out of our comfort zones!

  • Jennifer

    Costa Rica was my very first trip out of the US. I did a study abroad program there in high school in 1997 and have wanted to go back ever since. We traveled all over the country and it was definitely where the travel bug but me. I am definitely looking forward to following along on your trip!

  • Claudine

    I can’t wait to read about your experiences and see the pictures. I also want to read about your efforts to push yourself through the pain as you ride.

  • Barbara

    Costa Rica via bike sounds awesome. Physically challenging for sure, but what an awesome adventure, I can’t wait to see the photos…this time around!

  • Michael

    I haven’t been to Costa Rica yet but biking it does sound awesome. Cant wait to read more about your trip!

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