The majority of cool things I’ve done in my life have been the result of being generally polite and a willingness to socialize with strangers, a simple combination that seems to yield countless opportunities. My upcoming gig as a mountain bike guide is no exception.
A couple months ago I was at the San Jose airport here in Costa Rica, waiting for one of my Outward Bound groups to arrive. Standing outside, jockeying for position amongst the tourist-hungry hotel reps, I noticed that a woman had dropper her name sign without realizing it. When I picked it up and offered it back, she casually thanked me and then disappeared into the crowd. About 30 seconds later, she returned.
“So do you work for Outward Bound?” she asked from behind me.
I forgot that I was wearing a staff shirt with the name and logo printed on it. She tapped my shoulder and as I turned around, she introduced herself. Jennifer was her name, from the Spanish Immersion [fill in the blank] Something or Other School. Jennifer’s husband it turned out works as a guide leading mountain bike trips all over Costa Rica and even from Nicaragua down to Panama. And what do you know, his company was looking for another guide. I wasn’t a biker myself, was I? Well I’ll be darned, I most certainly am.
A handful of emails and an interview later, boom, I had me a job. Starting October 5th, I’ll be Two-Wheelin’ the Isthmus all the way until late December. Four different 2-week adventures.