Conflict with My Backpacker Style (or Lack Thereof)

Dec 1, 2019     Costa Rica     My Adventures, My Personal Journey
I normally don't care that I don't have makeup and my hair looks like total shit when I travel. That said, I don't particularly like being in any of my photos, possibly because I'm not thrilled with how I look most of the time. I say it all the time; no staged or posed Instagram shots here! Just the real deal.

I'm usually bouncing from hostel to guesthouse to pension, going on some hikes, visiting museums, walking around town, eating street food, and riding on chicken buses. Nobody knows me so it's easier being a little overweight (sort of, still working on fixing that), wearing the same clothes all the time, and not being "done up".

I have never really stayed in one place long enough to make proper friends to go out with like a normal person would. Actually, I think it's more the fact that the friends I usually make along the way are other backpackers that are in the same boat. Now that I've been sticking in one spot, I'm making local friends (which is fantastic), but they are used to wearing jeans, and jewelry, and smelling nice.

I really enjoyed my new friends in Zancudo but never felt out of place because we just stayed in and had wine & dinner, went to their local bar / restaurant (casual), or went down to the border town to go shopping. Nothing that required proper modern dress.

And what's funny is that I actually brought particularly ugly clothes on this trip because I knew I was just going to hole-up and be a hermit. Normally I at least have a cute-ish sundress and a black top, but I brought a ugly frock and green shirts this time. LOL

So twice now already here in Santa Elena / Monteverde and the third time being tonight, I have had the use to look "normal." Yet I have only practical clothes, no makeup, no hair product and let's not even get into my shoes!

So here's the now-funny (but was mortifying at the time) story from the other night. I was invited to go out and listen to a DJ with a few people from around here. Hmm, casual clothes okay? Sure, the gig is in a backpacker hostel even. Well my host (the one who invited me) stopped by to say they were running late and the first thing he said was "Oh aren't you coming? I thought you'd be ready by now." OMG I wanted to die. I WAS ready! I know I looked more like I was going to run down to the corner store than to go out to a bar, but I thought I at least found something that didn't look like I was going for a hike. Oi.
Here's my attempt at something to wear. Whatever.
Here's my attempt at something to wear. Whatever.
Doing girly stuff with my friend. She flattened my hair for me. Ahhhhh.
Doing girly stuff with my friend. She flattened my hair for me. Ahhhhh.
I specifically remember another time in Bangkok a few years ago when I walked to the big Siam Paragon shopping center to get a local SIM card and return something at the Uniqlo store. It was about 95 degrees out so I was a sweaty mess by the time I got there (walk for a mile or so, then take the klong taxi boat, then walk some more). I felt pretty out of place and disgusting in this super modern mall that houses shops like Louis Vuitton and Versace, has auto showrooms for Bentley and Maserati, and has stores like Coach on the non-luxury floors. I longed to look and feel clean and modern then, too.

If I'm being truly honest, I'm certainly no fashionista at home either! I've never been a girly girl. I used to at least get really dressed up for Vegas and such and when I used to go out (seems like many many years ago), but now I live at the beach where it's flip-flops and comfy sundresses. I at least own makeup and jewelry and some cute stuff for when I need it. ;) But here, I'm in no-man's-land.

Need to add to my packing list:
• black full length leggings
• black dress
• black t-shirt
• mascara
• lip liner
• better scarf (than my ExOfficio BugsAway one LOL)
• mini hair iron? I did this once before and it did not work well.

P.S. It turns out I looked just fine the other night. Sure I could have worn a little makeup, but I fit in just fine (I thought). Everyone was drunk anyway. LOL


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