On the Road with the Reluctant Phlegmatic – Costa Rica, Part 1

There was so much to share about this topic, it turned into a two-parter. I hope you enjoy part one and will join me again when I post part two.

Have you ever thought of traveling with a bus-load of tweens and teens? Probably not, but if you did, it probably stopped with that thought. Well, I actually did it! I toured Costa Rica accompanied by more than enough tweens and teens to scare the most hardened drill sergeant . . . and I liked it!!

I chaperoned my youngest son and his middle-school classmates along with the beloved Los Alamos Middle School Spanish teacher, Rita Sanchez. Our little band of globe trotters shared a bus with a large group of high-school students from the Midwest. We had a great time and this reluctant, phlegmatic traveler discovered a few things about my travel personality.


As a rule, phlegmatic personalities do not enjoy making travel arrangements . . . too much work. The group trip to Costa Rica helped me understand this about myself. Since our itinerary was provided by a travel company, all I had to do was show up! When our adventure began at the Albuquerque International Sunport, someone handed me my plane tickets — all I had to do was follow Ms. Sanchez, our fearless (and very sanguine) leader.

Upon landing at San Juan airport, we were greeted by a guide and a big bus. All I had to do was walk through the airport and hop on our giant chariot. Phlegmatic travelers love prearranged outings. Our entire ten-day travel dance was meticulously choreographed by someone else. I didn’t have to plan were we ate — I just answered the meal call. So, what about our tourist activities? Well, I didn’t have to call ahead, I didn’t have to figure out what road to take to get there, and I didn’t have to sweat the schedule. It was already done. All I had to do was show up! Not having to plan makes phlegmatic travelers warm and fuzzy all over.


Phlegmatic people are reliable. Ms. Sanchez appreciated this trait in me when it came time to watch the kiddos. Costa Rica is nice, but unattended American kids could get in trouble if not properly supervised. I took over the job of bringing up the rear when we visited tourist attractions. As chaperons, we didn’t want to leave anyone behind. Ms. Sanchez led our young travelers in the right direction, and I made sure everyone followed.

One day we visited a black beach that was not to far from the border of Panama. Only weeks before some American travelers on a similar tour had drowned in some rough surf on the western coast of Costa Rica. As a result, mandatory safety guidelines dictated the distance our kids could venture out into the ocean. I offered to oversee them. Boy, it was hard keeping them from frolicking in the harmless waves just beyond the boundaries we set. Fortunately, the diplomatic tendencies of my phlegmatic personality kept the kids from feeling like they were being micro-managed by the Beach Gestapo. A fun time was had by all despite the dark cloud of the previous tragedy and the ultra-safety we grown-ups had to ensure.

I hope your join me for the conclusion of my Costa Rica trip when part 2 publishes in a couple of days.

©2011 Shona Neff



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This entry was posted on Sunday, December 4th, 2011 at 10:25 pm and is filed under Personalities - Travel, Personalities: Two-Part series, Personality Stories - Phlegmatic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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