When my husband and I spontaneously quit our jobs, sold our house and bought one-way tickets to Costa Rica, I had numerous moments of second-guessing our decision. Constantly searching for signs, while worrying about the unknown, and while full of mixed feelings about leaving our home and loved ones in our dust, I over-analyzed every situation we found ourselves entangled in.
Being lost in San Jose at 2am, and not speaking the native language, was my first moment of regret. Being forced to drive our car through, not over, a dangerous river crossing was my second. Being struck at by a 6-foot pit viper was yet another. Getting stranded at a volcano, sliced open by a sting ray barb, and stung by a jellyfish...these moments began to pile up.
Looking back at all of those moments, I now realize if I had been offered an instant portal back through time, shooting me directly into the safety and comfort of our home we had just sold in Bend, OR, I would have gladly accepted.
But the first big sign I took to mean we were traveling down the right path, was the day we were introduced to our new constant companion. The only being that would accompany us on every adventure across the country, guiding our way safely and efficiently. A beloved friend, a loyal amigo, a vessel to make possible the daring dreams we were seeking.
It was the day we met our 1997 Toyota 4Runner.
BJC 535. That is her license plate, and that was the biggest sign to me that we were on the correct path in our lives. BJC were the same letters on the license plate of my car back home. From one BJC to the next. Someone out there was letting me know I made the right decision by moving to Costa Rica.
BJC now stands for Badass Jungle Car, and the beast has earned her name in the last 18+ months, as she has safely transported us through the best months of our lives, on the worst roads of our lives, all over the breath-taking land of "rich coasts".
She is an underdog, simply because she is 2-wheel drive in a country where 4 by 4's are worshipped. She is unfairly judged due to this label, on a daily basis. The sympathetic looks we get are offensive, as we reveal her hidden secret, whispering to her to not be ashamed and instead to wear her differences proudly, like a rainbow flag. We assure her that the bullies are just jealous of her sleek track record, along with her beast-like abilities and pure sex appeal.
Haters gonna hate. Meanwhile, we'll be at the beach...
With her powerful, purring engine, her ruthless and determined mountain tires, along with my husband's skilled driving abilities and heavy foot, we smile and wave at all the slow 4 by 4's we fly past, as we drive home each day on our "4-wheel drive only" mountain road.
Who doesn't love the story of a victorious underdog? Badass Jungle Car got us through the worst rainy season in history, while we lived at the top of a rugged, washed out mountain road, at times having to drive through landslides to get home. BJC never let us down. The odds were not in her favor, yet she rose to the top, to the literal top of our mountain, day after day, storm after storm, natural disaster after natural disaster. If cars could talk...oh, the stories she could tell.
Like the time she led us to a struggling sloth, trying to slowly cross a busy highway, with trucks barreling at us in each direction. She pulled over, and insisted we help the sloth to safety. Most cars in Costa Rica cause the death of sloths, yet BJC prevents them. A sloth-saving car...yeah, I'm pretty sure she has a stockpile of good karma now looming in her corner...(which can now be yours for only $7500! Who says you can't buy good karma?)
We'll just be over here changing the world, one sloth at a time.
Here is our friend Mr. Sloth smiling and waving at us with BJC beaming in the background.
Or the time she led us to a rare, secret low-hanging coconut tree, so we could stock up on fresh pipa frias. We lived on these pipas for weeks, which saved my life one morning from a horrific boxed red wine hangover (dang you Clos, never again).
Or the numerous times she took us on deserted beach drives, spinning through the sand, along the shore, never faltering in her confidence and always returning us home safely.
Or the endless days she granted us, swinging our worries away in a hammock, safe in her shadow, under her protective, motherly gaze.
Or the numerous Costa Rican traffic jams that she patiently waited behind.
Or the times she led us up rugged mountain roads, through potholes and rivers, to picturesque, expansive viewpoints of the coastline, like this view of the famous Whale's Tail beach above Uvita.
Or the many road trips she took us on, to explore the scenic valleys and colorful, rural mountainsides.
Or the countless new beaches she introduced us to and allowed us to fall in love with over and over again.
Or the unique, vibrant sunsets she witnessed beside us, as we admired the sun descending on another day in our pura vida paradise.
So many memories, so many experiences, so many friendships made. (Sidenote: it's extremely easy to make friends in Costa Rica when you have a car).
Right now is the beginning of the end to our 2-year Costa Rica trip, and we are preparing ourselves for the dreaded goodbye. Before the sun sets on this phase in our lives, we want to dedicate some time to finding BJC a loving new home who will treat her as we have: like a member of the family.
We purchased her in San Jose for $10,000 in July of 2015. We have taken incredible care of her, with regular maintenance and love. Her Marchamo is paid through the end of 2017. She will be available in the end of February, as we are moving back to the states. With just over 100,000 miles on her, she has an automatic transmission, guts made of steel, and a brave, strong engine.
Starting at $7500 (U.S.), we are open to negotiation, so please feel free to make an offer.
We live near the town of Uvita, along the Southern Pacific Coast, and can meet anyone within that area if you would like to see the car in person, or take her for a test drive. We will possibly be driving to the Nicoya Peninsula, sometime in the next month, and are happy to make some stops along the way if anyone is interested in meeting her.
Please email me with any questions, or to set up an appointment for a viewing/test drive, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can text us at (506) 8449-5829.
We do not receive voicemails, and have bad cell reception at our house, so please email or text only. And don't panic if we don't get back to you right away, we are out enjoying our last days of beaches and hammocks and sometimes we are unreachable for a day or so.
As we look forward to our future, we are sad to say goodbye to Badass Jungle Car, as she has been a true companion through the best days of our lives. She found her way into our lives easily and chose us at the right time. Now I am confident that she will find her way into the next person's life at also just the right time. And maybe that person is reading this right now.
Pay it Forward BJC, hasta luego and may we meet again someday on this crazy adventure called life.
Happy Travels and Pura Vida!
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.