Reading the chapters where Jim goes and his friends go to visit different places made me think of when I went to Costa Rica and Mexico. I understand that Europe has its differences than Central America, but I feel like it can be looked at in the same context in a way. When I went to Mexico it was kind of discouraging at points. The smog and pollution that was in Mexico City is just horrible to think about. But the culture and the pyramids were such a sight to see. Also, while I really did enjoy my stay there, the people there didn’t really like our group too much. They exchanged lots of glares and muttering to themselves when we would walk by.
I had the total opposite experience at Costa Rica. The scenery was beautiful and breathtaking. I would definitely go back there in a heartbeat. We went to Island Tortuga and the water was so clear. The people that lived there were so friendly and happy. In a shop, a worker encouraged my friend and me to speak only Spanish to him. He helped us with the things we were struggling with and really encouraged us to speak to him. It was refreshing. And a lot of fun.
Jim and his friend’s experiences, where they just find California where ever they go, need to look at the bigger picture in my opinion. I feel like someone who is traveling, especially a great distance, needs to look for new experiences and observations they can see. There are going to be similarities everywhere. Looking past those similarities and embracing a new culture is exciting and makes traveling more fun.
Robinson, Kim Stanley. The Gold Coast. New York: St. Martin’s, 1988. Print.