Insights on Travel from Costa Rica Expeditions’ Founder Michael Kaye and his Expert Friends.

Vacation Time is Precious: Trip of a Life time. Help! I need somebody to help

Curious about how Patty managed to have an identity crisis during her Trip of a Lifetime.  Read on…

Patty Chang Anker.

I am having an identity crisis.  I haven’t had to tell anyone what to do for days.  I haven’t had to assess allergy free (ie, wheat/dairy/corn/soy/tomato/pea-free) meal and snack options for anyone.  I haven’t had to clean anyone else’s wounds or wipe anyone else’s tears.  My kids are with their dad and I’m realizing I don’t really know how to take a vacation.

So I start (s)mothering Max.  Max, at 34, is the only Trip of a Lifetime participant younger than me.  Therefore, I can tell him to eat his vegetables, right?  I can give him tissues to clean mud off his arms, I can ask if he needs an umbrella in case it rains. Can you manage all that photo equipment, I ask – offering to hold something for him.

“Do I look like I need help?” he asks, bemused.  He is a professional wildlife photographer.  He has tracked mountain gorillas in Rwanda (http://www.maxwaugh.com/rwanda07/gorilla18.php) and caught wild pumas on film in Costa Rica (http://www.maxwaugh.com/cr08/puma1.php).  Does he look like he needs help?

Um, no.

But I need TO help!

One morning Max holds out an open cookie wrapper, and I assume he wants me to throw it out for him.  I am about to say “the garbage is right there, I’m sure you can do it yourself,” but he says:

“Would you like a cookie?”

Is this a dream?  I don’t have to do anything for anyone.  In this bizarro-vacation world, cookies are being offered to me.

Why…yes.  I would love a cookie.

I could get used to this.

Max Waugh, capturing baby sea turtles’ first steps.

Note to my kids:  See how he carries his own stuff?

P.S. Max’s photographs live and breathe, startle and amaze – check them out at  http://www.maxwaugh.com/

P.P.S. Confused about what Patty is doing in Costa Rica without her family?  The Trip of a Lifetime starts here:  http://upside-down-patty.blogspot.com/2010/11/ticket-to-ride.html

Coming up: “Have Machete, Will Travel: The Adventures of Felipe”

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