The man in the Yellow Poncho



Rainy season in Costa Rica. Of course, I never checked the weather. A $287 ticket would do that to you. Nonetheless, I was here. I spent five full days in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Three of them, it rained all day.

During the rain-filled days, only sloth tours are a given as they mostly take place under a tent. Others are canceled, considering the dangers the weather brings.

It's where I met the man with the yellow poncho. He stayed in the cabin next door at the Hotel Rancho Cerro Azul in La Fortuna. I met him at breakfast on day one and, every time I saw him after that, he was on the porch reading in the yellow poncho.

He hung the poncho on the porch to let it self-dry in the evenings and wore it all day on the porch while reading books. Meanwhile, I was annoyed about being stuck after traveling all this way.

I called out and said, "what's up with this rain on day three." He chuckled and replied, "That's for coming to Costa Rica in the rainy season.

He called me over. We popped open two Imperials. (The local beer in Costa Rica) Then in a timely fashion, he quoted Gilbert K Chesterton.

"The Traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see." The conversation made sense. We tend to dwell on when things go wrong in life and don't appreciate the good.

He stated if I had never been to many of the attractions, how would I know what I was missing. Focus less on being upset with the rain and focus more on enjoying the rain.

We discussed the last 55 years of his life in that one conversation. He left me with three gifts.

  1. Travel is a gift, and those who are fortunate enough to have it should take care of it. To enjoy myself while traveling no matter what the situation.

  2. To never be in a rush. Things always have a way of working themself out in the end.

  3. Travel in itself is a wealth not afforded to many but taken for granted by all.

I now knew I was lucky enough to have met this man, and for the next two days, the sun shined while I was in La Fortuna. I guess there is gold at the end of the rainbow after all.


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