Worlds Apart

Today is my last day in the United States.


Where have I heard this before?

That’s right, I left 5 months ago for Costa Rica and the start of the adventure of a million lifetimes. I left a life which I had built up over 26 years, and I started new. Not brand new, it was the same me traveling to this new destination. I just wanted a different perspective on life. I wanted to learn more than what was available to me in New Jersey. I wanted to reach my full potential as a human being.


So here I am, sitting in the very same household that I decided to leave.

Here I am, 5 months later.

Here I am in a different culture than the one I’ve been experiencing and immersed in for 5 months.

Here I am, with my head spinning, and wondering what’s going on in my life. Where my life will go. How to possibly sustain the much bigger adventures that I’m sure are awaiting me.

Here I am, slightly drunk after a great night out with friends I’ve known for at least 5 years, some much longer than that. All that I will miss, because they’ll be staying and I won’t be.

Here I am, thinking about the family that I have here and wondering if they’ll be safe.

Here I am, thinking about all the people who I didn’t get to see while I was in the USA, and regretting that I only had two weeks.

Here I am, still slightly sick after nearly three weeks of the flu. It’s better. But I’m not 100%.

Here I am, eating Double Stuf Oreos, made by the company I used to work for and something not readily available in Costa Rica. With milk.

Here I am, planning my future out, planning big things and plotting my course ahead, discovering what my life has to offer me.

Here I am, regretting that I won’t be here on New Year’s Day.

Here I am, regretting that I won’t be able to party or drink or see my friends on New Year’s Eve.

Here I am, thinking about my first day back at work on Tuesday and preparing for that.

Here I am, thinking about photography and how much I love it and how I’ll possibly continue to have an interesting new photo for every new day.

Here I am, thinking about a new photography business I’d like to start by myself.

Here I am, thinking about how I can learn and improve myself.

Here I am, reflecting on all of the skills and life experiences I’ve gained by moving to a new foreign country.

Here I am, becoming a man.


But then…


Here I am, thinking about my life 3,000 miles away which I’ve left behind.

Here I am, wondering if my “Indiana Jones Explorer Hat” that I got in Austin, Texas which is sitting in my apartment in Costa Rica has a lot of dust on it, or worse, bugs.

Here I am, thinking in the new language which I’ve learned almost fluently.

Here I am, wondering about what kind of reception my new short hair and new look will receive when I’m back.

Here I am, looking forward to seeing my friends in Costa Rica, some of whom I still talk to every day, even though we’re far apart.

Here I am, hoping to celebrate my birthday on Wednesday.

Here I am, craving a simple diet of rice, beans, vegetables, fruits, and meat.

Here I am, thinking about what it’s like to be a part of the community in a foreign country.

Here I am, waiting to see all of my students so we can laugh, joke, have fun, and learn together again.


And now, it’s almost 5 AM in the morning here. I’ve thought a lot. I constantly think of these things and more. What more? Let’s see.

How can I save money better in Costa Rica?

What am I going to do on my last day in the USA?

Will I really be happy without my guitar (Vera) in Costa Rica?

Shouldn’t I travel with less things?

How am I going to get to Panama in February? Am I still going to Nicaragua in a few weeks?

How the hell am I going to get to every country in the world?

Where am I going after Costa Rica? Spain? Italy? China? Japan? Uzbekistan?

How can I better educate the people around me about international affairs and how can I convince them that other cultures are important to understand and learn about?

How can I write better to convey everything I learn abroad?

Should I study Journalism?

Should I give up on my blog and live a life of pleasure, not sharing the information I gain, caring only about the simple things life has to offer like booze, money, and women?

Should I buy a new camera lens? How would I even do that, I don’t have any money.

How am I going to save for my retirement?

What am I going to do when my passport gets filled with stamps and there’s no more room?

Is my collection of foreign currency going to be worth anything one day, something more than the sum of its parts?

Will I stay happy taking pictures after turning it into a business?

How’s my love life going?

Should I grow a beard, or shave every day?

Should I keep my new short hair or get long hair again?

Where did my passion for music go, is it still as strong as it was?

Am I a good teacher?

What am I going to have for breakfast tomorrow morning?

What’s the first thing I’m going to do when I get back to Costa Rica?

How come I drink tons more coffee in the USA than I do in Costa Rica?

Should I ditch my credit card?

Should I abandon buying flights around the world and start figuring out how to hop steam ships for a much smaller price to get to every country in the world?

Am I ever going to get worn out from traveling or is it going to keep inspiring me?

When the hell am I going to settle down?

How come I hate seafood?

Why am I still writing?

I feel like I have two lives now. My life in the USA and my life abroad. When you start to think about the impact of having both, your mind starts to wander and that’s what you just read.


Happy New Year everyone. More interesting blog posts will be coming in 2017. Thanks for reading.

John DeSarno


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