Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Luxury Problems

Three to four times a year my wife and I get away for a week, sometimes two. It's a way to clear our heads of the drama of the treatment business. And get some rest.

But this year we thought we'd try something different from our usual trips to Mexico and go to Costa Rica.

And the reason we picked Costa Rica is because we placed the winning bid for the vacation last February at a charity auction. And we were pretty excited about going - especially after reading the pamphlet.

A week in a jungle villa! Overlooking the ocean! Stunning views! 80 degree temperatures. Sounds like paradise. And some of it is.

But the promoters left something out of the pamphlet.

For example they didn't mention that the Villas are at the far edge of the earth with few services in the area. At the end of steep and winding rock and dirt roads.

There's a small country store with limited stock. Also, there are two restaurants in the area. Sometimes they're open.

The trip from the airport, described as a "short" two and a half hour drive, turned into four plus hours for a 70 mile trip.

It took that long because the road is two lane (bridges are one-lane) and winds through several small pueblos. There are no street lights. Nor are there reflectors in the highways.

In this part of rural Costa Rica people walk on the roads wearing dark clothing. Or they ride bicycles without reflectors. Sometimes they’re standing, drinking and smoking. And they don’t move over. I had to drive 40 kilometers an hour to avoid killing anyone.

Something else not on the pamphlet was the part about insects. Because my wife suffers from entomophobia we might not have come had we known of the many legged creatures that live here. (Duh. It's the jungle stupid. But we didn't think that through either.)

So we killed scorpions in the bathrooms. And some brown round flat things that run fast up and down walls. Also, when my wife went to the store there was a fat tarantula on the front door. It didn't help when I told her they weren't dangerous.

Everything said we won't do this trip again. When we get away we like to veg. We resolve problems all week at home. So a "vacation" that presents challenges about things we take for granted at home is not that relaxing.

However, we did get to practice acceptance. That counts for something.

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