Falling in like with Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Finding the best bits of Playas del Coco

“I’ve got the perfect title for my first Costa Rican blog post”, I told James smugly as our tiny Avianca plane touched down at Liberia airport. “Oh yeah?”, he said, waiting as the other passengers on board – all seven of them – collected their bags and penguin-waddled past us down the gangway, “what’s that then?” Pause for suspense… “I’m in love with the Coco” I revealed ceremoniously, “like the song!”
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The World is my Office – Ruth


Today is a big day for ellieanywhere.com. After months of speaking with and learning from a whole host of inspiring individuals who make travel part of their full-time career, I’m delighted to introduce the ‘The World is my Office’ series. You can read all about what this series will entail here, but let’s get things started by introducing my first career-girl-come-traveller… In today’s interview, I catch up with Ruth, an editor for a leading academic publisher who travels the world with work. Ruth, tell us a little bit about yourself…
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Becoming a Divemaster, Part V – what, where, who, why, how

becoming a divemaster - what, where, who, why, how

Over the last month, I’ve been reminiscing about my time as a divemaster in training (DMT) by sharing the ins and outs of becoming a divemaster. I’ve recalled what a day in the life of a DMT looked like and I’ve spilled the beans about the nitty gritty of the course itself. Now I feel it’s only right to round off my nostalgic recaps by answering some of your questions. My time on Roatan has been and gone and after 12 weeks of hard work, big laughs and good friends, I have emerged as a fully qualified divemaster. The three months I spent at Coconut Tree Divers were some of the most valuable of my life, and for anyone considering becoming a DMT, I would highly recommend it. However, I’m aware of just how much choice there is out there.
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Month #4 – the good, the bad, and the unexpected

Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Location: Playas del Coco, Costa Rica The good Getting featured on Lonely Planet When I first started toying with the idea of writing a travel blog, I was nervous about sharing my writing with anyone. Even the thought of a friend or colleague scrutinising my thoughts and expressions would send me into paroxysms of embarrassment. But, after months of scribbling away at all hours of the night and hiding my words in a secret corner of the internet, I bit the bullet: I made ellieanywhere.com live. Weeks after, I plucked up the courage to attend a travel writing retreat where, along with a group of like-minded women, I dared to voice a dream of mine – to travel the world and write about it, full-time. During the retreat, we each tentatively put together a list of dream publications that we’d like to see our writing published in and, for me, Lonely Planet sat right up at the top.
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Home from home – making a house a home whilst travelling

Turning a rented apartment into a home while travelling

Moving. It’s an inevitable part of travel. Hell, it’s the whole point of travel: keep moving, keep exploring, keep going. But with the new sights and experiences that come with new places, also comes the inexorable administration of finding a place to stay. For the holiday-maker or backpacker, this is often a simple process of picking a hotel or hostel and finding somewhere safe to leave their belongings and rest their travel-weary head for a few days. But if you travel slow, the only affordable way to live is to rent yourself a home-base.
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Becoming a Divemaster, Part IV – the skills

Training to be a divemaster (DMT)

You watch me. Three words that you’ll use more than any others during your time as a DMT. As someone who doesn’t exactly shy away from the limelight, it’s fair to say I’m not altogether uncomfortable with being the centre of attention, which is a good job as training to become a divemaster puts you in the spotlight time and time again. You. Watch. Me. After all, divemaster is the first rung on the professional diving career ladder. Divers of all different experience levels will look to you as the expert to act as a confident, calm leader whilst underwater, to find and point out interesting marine life, to explain how things are done, and to answer questions about anything from fish identification to equipment malfunctions. But, most of all, you’ll be looked to as a role model and, consequently, your diving skills need to be inscrutable.
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Diving the Pacific coast of Costa Rica in Playas del Coco

Diving the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica

Diving in the Pacific – an adventure 65 million years in the making With the long-awaited sequel to Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park hitting the screens this year, it seems like the world has once again been swept with jurassic fever. But for me, the original is still the best. The soundtrack, the drama, the slightly dodgy animatronics, and of course the setting. The original story is based in Costa Rica and, flying into the country over miles and miles of sprawling hillside, it’s not hard to see why. From the sky, Costa Rica stretches before you as an untouched paradise, carpeted in green. It takes only the smallest leap of imagination to picture a herd of diplodocus plodding over the verdant terrain, or a pterodactyl circling the mountain peaks.
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10 things I didn’t need to pack

What not to pack for long term travel

When you’re facing the prospect of an indefinite amount of time spent travelling the world and living out of a backpack, it can be daunting to know what to pack. I spent the weeks before I left England trawling the internet looking for the advice of fellow travellers: should I pack a raincoat (yes), would I need hair straighteners (no), would my childhood teddy bear be too big to fit in my hand luggage (sadly, yes) Whilst I managed to effectively condense the pile of potential possessions from ridiculous to manageable (sense prevailed in the end, and I decided that I didn’t really need all four beach towels) there are still a few items that unnecessarily made the cut. For those interested in what not to pack, here are 10 things that you should probably leave at home…
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Becoming a Divemaster, Part III – the scenarios

PADI divemaster - the scenarios

I wrote recently about an important portion of the divemaster training programme – the academics. It’s here where you get stuck into the theory of diving, the science behind the sport and the knowledge required to improve your skills. But, important though the academics are overall, they can feel like something of a fun-sponge. Because, let’s face it, the reason anyone does their divemaster is because they want to, well, dive. The good news is that not all of the learning revolves round pen and paper. In fact, the whole point of the DMT programme is to get you in the water as often as possible and improve your overall diving abilities. That’s why you’re required to complete two distinct scenarios, both of which are designed to teach and test a very specific set of skills.
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Month #3 – the good, the bad and the unexpected

3 months travelling, Ellie Anywhere

Location: Roatan, Honduras & Playa del Coco, Costa Rica (with the briefest of stops in El Salvador) The good Becoming a certified divemaster After 12 long weeks of sweat, blood and only the occasional tears, it was a true achievement to complete the PADI divemaster internship. My diving has improved a hundred fold since landing on the shores of Roatan, and I’ve learned so much about myself and what makes me tick underwater in the process.
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