Perks of Living Alone

Now that I’m settling in to my very first apartment, I am kind of thankful that my first week on campuswent the way it did. I got a taste of the dorm life, living in a designated single suite for a week, and although it was like living on my own without as much responsibility there is truly nothing like walking home to my apartment at the end of a long day and knowing it’s going to be exactly how I left it. I can do whatever I choose to in my own space. If I want to blast music, I can. If I want to cook it up, I can. If I want to light candles and meditate while I take a bubble bath, I don’t have to worry about who’s dirty paws were in there before me. Also, it’s nice not to be restricted to just a room. Sure the dorms do the best they can to offer as much leisure space in common areas, but you’re always subject to having anyone walk in and be as loud as they want to be, or just distract you from whatever vibe you were trying to achieve.
There are other very common perks to living alone, but here are my personal top 6:
1.   If I wake up late, I know the bathroom is FREE. This one is especially important to me because as winter beckons, I tend to pull the covers over my head for just one more snooze frequently. I also grew up in a house full of people who made mad dashes to the bathroom in the morning, and I’m glad I don’t have to negotiate 10 extra minutes of sleep for showering.

2.   The kitchen stays as clean as I keep it. No wondering who left the spill on the counter, or dirty pots in the sink. The kitchen is one place where I don’t like leaving dirty dishes or garbage overnight, and the sight of a dirty kitchen is not conducive to cooking. A clean kitchen makes a happy cook. =)

3.    I am on my own cleaning schedule. Everyone has a unique cleaning personality. Most people are not a clear germophobe or just plain nasty, most of us fall somewhere in between. I like to clean thoroughly at least once a week (Sundays), but there are certain places that I would let get messier than others. For example, I might let clothes build up in the bedroom, or let the bathroom sink cry out for some attention before I leave crusty pots in the sink or a floor unswept. Cleaning priorities are relative.

4.    I have enough space for all my clothes/shoes. I don’t have to negotiate storage space or fold and pack everything tightly to fit all my clothes in the closet or dresser. Granted, I only have pretty much winter clothes up here for this semester, but I fit comfortably here. There is no clutter, because this place is a perfect spacial fit!

5.   Quiet+space= reflection. Sometimes, our worlds can be very distracting because people are around. Living with someone, even in separate rooms, means that you are still aware of them. Maybe you don’t play your music as loud as you would, or have certain conversations because there’s a possibility that they can hear you. You are not in the same conscious space that you are when you are truly alone and undisturbed. When you only have that voice in your head to listen to, it makes all the difference.

6.    You can dance like no one is watching, sing like you can keep a note or jam to a song that you’re embarrassed to like. Self-consciousness goes out the window.  In your own mental music video, YOU are Kanye’s main chick, YOU have the vocal talents of Alicia Keys and YOU can confidently blast  K.D. Lang’s ‘Constant Craving’ as if you wrote the song yourself!

I could get used to this.
What have you/do you enjoy most about living alone? Or What do you look forward to the most when that time comes?
Independently Yours,
She Traces
Perks of Living Alone

Random Things I Will Miss from CR

I know, I know. Why am I getting ahead of myself here? Thinking about things I will miss when I should still be indulging in them while I’m here. I don’t know, that’s just the way I am. I will be leaving my internet addiction/availability in about 2 weeks, and as I prepare for relocation to a more rural part of Costa Rica (details soon!) I could very well be trying to post as much as possible while I still have the opportunity to post-as-I-feel-it.

Some things I will miss when I move from Costa Rica:

  • Los cariñitos. Otherwise known as ‘affections.’ In Costa Rica, it is very common to address people, especially strangers, in countless of creative ways that may seem way too affectionate for someone you hardly know. Words like: mi amor (my love), mi chiquita/o (my little one), pa/ma (short for papi or mami), and mi corazon (my heart) can be used to address you by any tico/tica in the following posts: waitress, store vendor, street vendor, or any old sweet woman that has sparked a conversation on the bus with you. I’m going to miss being called ‘Ma.’
  • Cheap Services. Since here, I’ve indulged in services I would never do with frequency at home. I’ve tried a gel manicure for $26, an hour and a half massage and mini-facial for $24, a dental “scraping” (the most effective cleaning that I’ve ever had done in my life) at the dentist for $46, and a navel piercing for $10. I’ve also had my hair washed, blow-dried and flat ironed for $12-$20. I’m spoiling myself because I know these luxuries are unheard of in New York. Since discovering how much I like piercings, I intend to pierce my tragus (the little mountain that sticks up out of your ear) before I leave.
  • Cafecito. The time of day (anywhere from 5-8pm) after dinner when you devote time to some freshly brewed coffee, some sweet accompaniment and relay the latest gossip about yourself or your neighbor.
  • Not thinking twice about Taking a Taxi. Only a life or death situation would lead me to take a taxi in NYC. That’s just never an option that crosses my mind in a City that is so ridiculously overpriced. In Costa Rica, base fare is 550 colones, which is roughly a dollar and some cents. The most I’ve paid for a cab ride in Chepe is 6 dollars. My co-worker calls me high-class for wanting to be driven around everywhere, but I don’t agree. I like not paying $4.50 for driving down 2 avenues.
  • Meats. Red meat here tastes so different. I don’t know if it’s because everything is so overprocessed back home, but I can’t turn down my plate anytime it has any type of skirt flank steak, meat stewed or smothered in sauce or anything with a bone made for some serious sucking- MMM!
  • The Views.Costa Rica is more than beaches, surfing and diverse wildlife. It’s got its hidden treasures everywhere! Many people would argue that compared to the rest of the country, San Jose is the least flattering. There’s pollution, too many crazy drivers on the road who don’t yield to peds, petty thiefs, and overcrowding. My question is, how many cities Latin American countries don’t suffer from this? Whatever your opinion is, I know I will miss this view over any in any major city in the States. For me, mountains are pretty much irreplaceable.

    I’m sure this list will grow with time, as will the list of comforts I miss from home. But for whatever reason, I don’t miss NY enough.

Su corazon, (Your love)

She Traces

Random Things I Will Miss from CR