Traversing Costa Rica

Costa Rica. Adventure is out there.

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53197929@N00/6641930801/

I’ve been talking about a new “big” adventure for a while. It’s been more than three years since I was in the Arctic Circle, and while moving to Australia and completing the country’s highest urban abseil have kept me occupied, I need a real adventure like drop bears need warm human blood.

The good news is, I know what the adventure should be. The bad news is, there’s a high barrier to entry.

First: the adventure. The Costa Rica traverse is a 12-day journey crossing the Latin American nation on foot, by kayak, on bicycle and by raft — distinguishing it immediately from my hike to the lost city of the Incas, and a world apart from driving a pack of huskies across Norway’s frozen tundra — making it easily my most ambitious adventure yet.

sea kayaking

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a expedition for the faint-of-heart. There are full days of hiking, days of nothing but cycling, and days split between activities — such as rafting and cycling, or cycling and sea kayaking.

I haven’t cycled anywhere in years, haven’t hiked seriously since I was in Peru, have never set foot in a white water raft, and my one and only experience with sea kayaking was a recent trip to penguin island [aside: it’s opportunities like that I live for in Australia].

These days, I keep myself in something vaguely resembling a state of fitness, even without a specific adventure to train for — on a good week I visit the gym several times a week in the mornings before work, and add on a couple of trips to the rock climbing wall. To get myself to the required level of fitness for this adventure I am going to have to add at the very least swimming and cycling to my weekly routine.

I’m presuming lack of experience kayaking and rafting isn’t good to be an issue, like a lack of experience with a rickety wooden dog sled wasn’t in Norway. This kind of training is all part of the adventure, though — it’s not fun like the adventure itself, but feeling yourself getting fitter and stronger and knowing what you’re training for is almost an adventure in itself. Almost.

There is a dark cloud hovering over the whole adventure, however, and why I haven’t yet registered.

While there is a fundraising element to it, this is quite modest and something I could achieve without too much hassling of friends and family for donations, a bigger barrier to entry is not having the funds to pay to sign up. Without even including flights from Perth to San Jose, or additional costs, I need $3,600. And I don’t know how to find it.

Costa Rica Traverse

In previous adventures when there’s been large sums needed to be raised, the full amounts were going to charity — making it slightly easier, because I could spend entire days standing in train stations with collection buckets, or organise fundraising quiz nights. This doesn’t work when all the money is going to you: or to the trip organisers, via you.

I have considered crowd-funding the adventure through the usual websites, but get stuck on the question what’s in it for anyone else? I’m taking suggestions here, and welcoming feedback: how can I raise this money, or what can I offer sponsors in return for donating towards it?

About Jay

I’m Jay, the flat-foot adventurer. I’m 30-something, from London and living in amazing Western Australia. This blog is about my journeys and my adventures, and a chance to write about it all along the way. For what it’s worth, I really do have flat feet and no sense of direction. I guess this is also about overcoming adversity, sometimes.
Adventure, fitness, fundraising, Travel , , , , , , ,

1 comment


  1. Hi Jay,

    I’ve been re-reading my old friend Kismet’s blog and saw that you were his earliest friend, so clicked on your name to see if you were still around. I’m catching up on your adventures – what a lot you’ve had! They sound wonderful.

    Thinking about your funding issues and how to get people to invest when there’s nothing “in it” for them. What if you came up with a way that a person could be “with” you on a specific day? Say I’m a cyclist – I’d like to ride along with you one day; so you could have a pic of me with you that you take some pix with along the way, or that you leave somewhere that day, you write a blog post in the form of a letter to me, send a postcard that day, you have a small changeable sign that says something like “Nora is riding with me today” or something like that. My brother did a lung association ride across the USA and he used a small whiteboard that he hung on the side of his bike each day with the person he was riding for on it.

    I’d also suggest looking at some of the other crowd-funding sites for ideas. I seem to remember a book someone did where the levels of donations got a mention in the book or a number of copies.

    I’m sure you’ll come up with something! I’ll be following your blog now, so I hope to see my chance to help out soon.

    Nora / mom to the Carolina Cats

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