Current Location: Midwestern College Town, USA


Price of beer in a bar: Continues to outdo it’s self, regularly reaching $9 for something less than a pint.

Song currently stuck in my head: Stations (The Gutter Twins)

The Merino wool addict and backpack capacity-phobe Eytan over at Snarkynomad traveled Central America recently and has a write-up on doing so with a 25 liter carry on pack.

I traveled with a carry on sized pack last summer and when I returned, US Customs got really shitty with me about it. It was 2 am and the first guy was pleasant enough but apparently he wasn’t fully satisfied with some of my answers.

“Where did you fly from?”

“Costa Rica”

“How long were you there?”

[counting on my fingers…] “I don’t remember exactly, it’s been a weird few days, but I think it was less than 2 days. Or maybe just over.”

“You were only gone two days?”

“No, but I was in Costa Rica less than 2 days, I think, and that’s where I flew from. I was in Nicaragua for about 90 days before that.”

“Please step in line over there.”

The guy “over there” (secondary search with x-rays and such) was the only impolite US Customs agent I ever remember dealing with. Generally these people are the height of professionalism, even at 4am, though I’d never previously dealt with second-tier personnel. Thenew guy had real issues with my backpack being smaller than he expected. He kept asking me over and over where the rest of my bags were, eventually yelling it at me. He said to his co-workers, loud enough for me to hear (I think that was the point): “He’s been gone for 90 days and he says this is all his luggage.”

I remember thinking, How do you think this works? I take 90 pairs of pants? I’m pretty close to the carry-on restriction with this airline as it is and they’ll charge me US$100 to check anything.

Eytan also has some cost-of-travel info for Guatemala, a place I like but seldom visit.


4 Responses to “Current Location: Midwestern College Town, USA”

  1. kogisolos Says:

    where’d you go bud? when’re you traveling again?

    • cgearhart Says:

      I’m hanging out in a medium sized midwestern college town with The Girlfriend for the next year or three, after which we’ll make a full-time go of living la vida expat. We throw around ideas for getting out on a long jag before then, but nothing has taken shape aside from spending last summer in Nicaragua. I posted updates, but no new summaries. The new town was Leon and it’s the first place I’ve failed to summarize; I fear too much time’s gone by now. I do have notes to work off of, but I was pretty melancholic and my impressions were tainted heavily by that.

      Thanks for asking!

      • kogisolos Says:

        well alrighty then. I enjoyed stumbling on your blog some months ago; it was a nice mix of lifestyle that sounds interesting to me (beach bumming) with nitty gritty financial details. I’m saving for a long term expat stint myself so I like stories like yours the most – just casually living it, not trying to hammer “DIY” articles in my face.

        enjoy your time in the US, it has its benefits 🙂 cheers!

  2. Pablo Says:

    Get ahold of me.

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