Living in Central America for 8 Weeks: Rethink your Rhetoric (Part VI)

A vacation can be however long you want it to be. But not everyone knows this. I know because of the feedback I received from friends and family when they found out we’d be gone for eight weeks.

Friend A: Are you going to get a job there?

Me: Ummm I have a job already.

Friend B: How will I talk to you?

Me: Ummm the same way we’ve been talking. Zoom, Google Duo, FaceTime?

In-Law: Don’t work too hard over there!

Me: I gotta work so I can pay for this trip lol

In-Law: Yeah, right. Don’t even try it.

Me: 😬 ha-ha

Friend C: What are you doing over there?

Me: Working.

Friend C: Doing what?

Me: 🧐 My job.

This trip and others’ responses to it reminded me of a term I came up with a few years ago: #RethinkYourRhetoric. It was a way to remind myself and others to think outside of our societal and self-imposed boxes.

Many people I talked to have one idea of what a vacation is. It’s 3-8 days. You save your money, leave, and return (sometimes tired).

But that’s not the only way you can see another place, especially in times when most companies are fine with remote working and while millennials seem to be paving the way as digital nomads.

Depending on your position and job’s expectations, you can work from anywhere, which means the world is literally your oyster.

This type of travel also allows for the following:

  • Working. Dwight and I worked just like we would in the States—Monday through Friday. In fact, I’d argue I worked a little more because I shaved off two hours by not working out religiously and watched very little TV. My workday began around seven in the morning and ended at varied times in the evening, depending on if we had to cook or shop.
  • Relaxing. Unlike traditional vacays where you’re running around trying to see all of the things in a set amount of time, extended travel helps you to view surroundings in a relaxed frame of mind. Every weekend, Dwight and I took a road trip to another part of the country and returned back to our Airbnb refreshed and ready to work at our jobs.
  • Immersing. A longer period also means you can immerse yourself in the culture. Meaning, you can practice and improve upon speaking the language and also learn and live the country’s customs. There’s nothing like learning Costa Rica doesn’t use plastic bags for shopping, while translating the cashier’s words and angry tone after you’ve bought a bunch of stuff and don’t know how you’ll get it home.

I never advocate for someone doing what I’ve done. That’s not what life’s all about. However, I will always encourage others to rethink their rhetoric. Most of what society teaches is to keep you in a bubble, and once you’ve mastered those lessons, you’ll keep yourself coloring in the lines.

See what happens if you think about something a different way. See what happens when you rethink your rhetoric.

45 thoughts on “Living in Central America for 8 Weeks: Rethink your Rhetoric (Part VI)

  1. My mind needs a major shake UP from everyone around me following “other peoples’ rules”. Which is why I love this post, your adventure, and the idea of #RethinkYourRhetoric KEEP THEM GUESSING DR. G. It’s what makes you YOU. Everything about your trip made me want to RISE UP & BE FREE TOO ❤ ❤ #FreedomTour

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an excellent perspective and it sounds like a truly wonderful experience. It is true we can be confined or even propelled by our thinking. Thank you for sharing your insights and adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always wanted to have an extended stay in another country, although the only opportunity I had for that was doing a “semester abroad” in college, and I didn’t want to be gone quite that long. Four to six weeks sounds perfect, and I hope I get to do that someday. Meanwhile, I love your last sentence! It’s liberating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 4-6 weeks is the sweet spot. We’d kicked around the idea of one year, then it went down to 6 months (It’s not as easy as it sounds to live in one country for a year). Eventually, we settled on a month and a month, because we found out you can live anywhere in the world for up to 90 days without any hassle. After that, you have to have work visas, etc.

      RE: the last sentence ❤ I feel much freer in so many ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am guilty of having a pretty clear definition of what is and is not a vacation (vs. say, “travel to visit family” – which is definitely not the same as “vacation”) But I’ve come to be more open-minded about what an enjoyable, relaxing, and enriching trip could look like.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are right..
    A couple of months back my 23 year old told me that he was going on a break for two weeks to the hills in north India..To my question what he will do there his response was…work…he along with 6 of his friends took that trip … leave..just trekked on weekends…. worked on weekdays and returned back after two weeks refreshed…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rethink your rhetoric – very powerful and beautiful and something I absolutely align with. It is refreshing to read your posts and perspectives for that reason. I think I abhor rhetoric. I am more like – what else is possible here?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for offering this question Pragalbha, because I think it’s through questioning that we can build a new way of thinking and living. What else is possible here? Why do we do things this way? What is useful/not useful about how we’re living? All of these can help us re-fashion our lives ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Like the old saying goes, “a woman who breaks rules and pushes the boundaries will make history.” I’d dare to say change makers dare to be different because they see change so they’re willing to lose routine for newness! Glad you enjoyed yourself. Also, glad you’re home! Missed you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with all of this. The only way to make change is to BE different, not just for the sake of being different, but for the sake of being oneself, which automatically is different.

      And awwww I missed you, too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love it! When illness found me bed-bound, and my husband had a heart attack requiring triple bypass, we looked at each other and said: “Is this all there is?” He decided not and put wheels on the bedroom (bought a motor home) to drive me to warmer weather. The doctors applauded his creativity, but boy did we get flack from friends and family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness! That is the question of the century! “Is this all there is???” No. We were not born to wake up, go to work, come home, and, and, and.” You and your husband’s motor home make me smile ❤

      You know what I think about the flack lol

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kathy! I enjoy reading your Living in Central America series. Thank you for sharing these inspirational snippets. And I must say, I never realized we have so much in common. That is, like you, I live my life the way I see fit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve gotta say, your Living in central America series of blogs is just getting better! I feel that by reading it I’m experiencing all this with you😅 sometimes I also wish that I could just go somewhere for unknown no. Of days and forget about the stress this school and life is giving me! It’s so bad!!
    Besides, I’m excited for my bday this year!
    Wish me on 3rd😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Khushi!

      One day you’ll be able to go where you want when you want…until then, study hard so that one day you can go where you want when you want lol

      July 3rd??? Happy almost Birthday! I’ll be sure to remember.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What an inspiring post, Katherin! I love how I am learning from your travels. (I wish they would get rid of plastic bags here, by the way.)
    I’m already looking forward to hearing about your next trip!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Judy ❤

      I do, too. I've been thinking long and hard about why it is that we don't. Everywhere we went in Costa Rica, we had to have our own bags, even some stores at the mall. Panama was similar, especially the grocery store. I'm thinking it's because America is so built on not forcing people to do something that we don't do something this simple. So, I've decided not to only use reusable bags. That's the least I can do 😉

      And lol I think you'll have to wait at least a year.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Not sure if it’s intentional or simply me being able to relate, but I love the bit of humor you always seem to incorporate. Although I’ve never been out of the country, people would ask how I worked for a certain company for 12 years when the time line and photo’s clearly showed me in several states, lol. I I guess computers were still fairly new then.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s because you can relate because my family insists that I’m not funny lol

      But seriously, I’m like this in person, so I’m sure it’s intentional/unintentional humor, if that makes sense.

      LOL about people trying to figure out how you were in several states while keeping a job.


      1. Aw man…thank you! This is a very kind thing to say/notice ❤

        I'm a very accessible person. What you see and read here…is what you get with me in person 😉

        One of my mentees said I'm like the "people's prof" lol


  13. Again, thank you for sharing your adventure!!… I believe that one should greet the day, a new adventure and follow one’s heart… “The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no man has ever been before.” (Francis Phillip Wernig )… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome Dutch! Thank YOU for reading and commenting…I appreciate it ❤

      And thank you for sharing that Wernig quote; I agree!

      As always, thank you for sharing your poetry ❤


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