Six months after Ed and I started dating, we booked plane tickets to Costa Rica. We had both just gotten in to grad school, and decided that summer was our last chance to have a wild, reckless adventure, footloose and fancy free. We spent three months trekking around, sharing an apartment the size of our living room, even hosting our friends when they flew out to visit. Now, we like to think of it as our "relationship boot camp," because sharing such a small space for so long, relocating to a community where the only people we knew were each other, and being so far from everything that was familiar really intensifies things. It brought things to the surface: the good, the bad, the ugly.
Even though we were both so ready to come home, now every time May 1st approaches, I remember us on that plane, and the night we landed in Liberia. The airport had a thatched roof, I squealed "Mi primer estampilla!" as they stamped my passport, we found an Italian restaurant in our apartment complex and listened to the monkeys as we wolfed down sausage pizza.