Why You Should Appreciate U.S. Roads

April 1, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

If you’ve noticed an absence of posts lately in this blog, it’s because I have just returned from an extended spring break to Costa Rica. I was told that it was a truly beautiful country, and I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed. Beautiful mountains, lush jungles, wonderful beaches, exciting wildlife all come with the territory when making a trip to this country.

However, to see all of these sights, one must travel along the Costa Rican roads. This is a whole other story.

After arriving at the airport, we packed into a van to head to Monteverde high in the mountains. I should’ve known it would be a rough trip when the first two or three miles (kilometers!) outside of the airport took us along some busy inner city streets outside San Jose that were as bumpy as I’d ever felt. A couple of hours later, we headed up the mountain, traveling along miles and miles of unpaved, single lane mountainous roads that were so nausea-inducing, even the locals kept the Costa Rican equivalent of Dramamine in their glove compartments. Not only did we share this road with other cars, but also trucks, buses, motorbikes, walkers, and the occasional dog or cow.

During our travels around the country, we did travel mostly on paved roads, but they often were extremely bumpy, had single-lane bridges, lacked shoulders and street parking and were generally treacherous to traverse. I’m not sure how much more jostling my body could stand.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the rest of my visit, just not the transportation aspect. Once arriving back in the U.S., I realized that our roads here, although not the best at times, are so much better than what it could be. Comparatively, ours are almost as smooth as glass. Next time I’m stuck behind a grant-funded road construction project, I think I’ll be a bit more understanding and patient knowing how the project will eventually make getting around that much easier.

Have you had a similar experience in commuting through a foreign country? Let us know.

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