1) Have you ever been out of your country?
I'm a New Zealander and a Canadian, so I have two countries to choose from here, but when I think of "my country" I think of New Zealand. I spent my first 29 years living in and around Dunedin, which is in the South Island of New Zealand. My only travel outside the country during those years was a couple of visits to Australia. In 1999, I moved to Vancouver so that I could see some of the big wide world and began travelling as hard as I could. I went to the US a few times, to Morocco, and all over Western Europe (Holland, England, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Greece). Now, I'm living in Costa Rica and have been to the Dominican Republic and Columbia from here.
2) What is your mode of transportation?
The work van when we can get it; red Costa Rican taxis when we can’t.
3) Have you ever eaten anything straight from nature? (caught a fish, had a garden, or picked an apple off a tree).
Yes, Dad always had a garden when I was a kid and I used to pull up carrots and pick peas. We also caught and cooked fish as a family – something I didn't enjoy because I was squeamish about killing the fish.
Some friends and I once raided the garden of a neighbouring farmer – we sat in the rows of vegetables and ate small, sweet, slightly dirt-tasting carrots until we couldn’t eat any more. Then we surveyed the mess we’d made and slunk off expecting to be caught and told off at any second.
4) Tell us about some of the places you have lived.
I’ve lived in Costa Rica for the last six months. Travis came down first and his descriptions weren’t inspiring. He talked about the abrupt tropical sunset – it’s dark here by 6 every evening – and about guards with semi-automatic weapons, and bars across the houses. He had me imagining a hot, dark, armed camp. His repeated, “but it’s really nice here,” comments didn’t convince me. But he was right – when I arrived, I found out what he meant. There’s something very appealing about San Jose, something that I can’t quite explain. Maybe it’s the ever-present possibility of adventures, maybe it’s the openness of Latin American culture, maybe it’s the cheap beer, and maybe it’s just the fabulous weather.
5) Show us a photo from a place…Any place!