​Having been around so many animals in Costa Rica repeatedly, I have begun to learn which noises belong to which animal. There’s the 5:30am wake up call from howler monkeys. The distinct call of the Tucan, the annoying chickens and many more.
I began to love hearing these sounds, in nature. Not so much in my hotel room. For four nights I slept in a super cheap hotel room. Before I went to sleep, and sometimes in the middle of the night, a chirping noise would rouse me. It was so loud it may have been in my room, but I knew there was a good chance it was just outside my door. Happily I recognized the chirping as a gecko (so weird – they chirp like a bird!) and I actually like them and know they won’t fall on my face at night so I simply returned to slumber.

A howler monkey changing trees

Cicada hanging out

​I have shared my various rooms with creatures that would normally send me running outside or in search of being rescued. Living with wildlife has become a way of life. So, when one of my rooms had a frequent sound of pattering feet above my head, running to and fro, the story I created is that it was a dog eager to know where it’s owner was. I never heard people come home to feed him, and he kept being there, day after day. This small lie is still an easier idea to sleep to than the more probable scenario that it was a rat or a bat.

For two nights I slept in a tent and was gifted with the sight of a cockroach just before turning in for the night. Even more lucky, each night was a different species of cockroach. The second night was a slimier, fatter one. They were both so large I felt I’d be harming the eco system if I killed either one. So, as each skuttled underneath the bed next to mine, I told it that if it left me alone, I’d leave it alone. However, if it crawled into my bag and tried to travel with me, game over. And that’s how you survive when the jungle comes to your hotel room.

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