Maria Ruiz

A Bee in the House In Costa Rica

by Maria Ruiz

I noticed a bee in the house we were renting in Jaco, Costa Rica. I put it outdoors and gave it no more thought. Later that day, I saw another bee flying around the living room. Those were the first two bees I had ever seen inside the house. True, there wasn’t any glass in the windows, but generally bees don’t find the insides of houses have anything to offer them.

Life in Costa Rica

by Maria Ruiz

“Do you know what street we’re on?” I asked Ted.
“Haven’t the slightest idea. I can’t see any signs either,” he replied.
We were driving through San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, on a hunt for a laboratory to x-ray me for a dental problem. The dentist in Jaco had written down the address: 500 meters south from the cathedral.

Crossing the Streets

by Maria Ruiz

You would think that crossing a street would be the same in every country. But you would be wrong.
In Amsterdam, we were trying to cross a small street (only one car width) and all going one way, from my right to the left. I had our dog Sherman on a leash as I waited until there was a break in the flow and stepped out. Suddenly, I was flying back, landing on my butt on the sidewalk.

Shatzie Sees the Light

by Maria Ruiz

In some ways, dogs are like children. If you have more than one, one will become your favorite. I know parents try not to have favorites and won’t admit it, but it happens, usually to the one that is least able to fend for himself.

First visit to Bangkok: Finding a Pet Friendly Hotel

by Maria Ruiz

While traveling the world for 10 years, my husband and I stayed at low-end budget hotels to keep within our budget. As travelers living on Social Security, we didn’t have money to spend on luxury places. This meant we had a lot of experiences we would have missed if we had stayed only in better hotels. It also meant we met a lot of wonderful people, took local transit, ate from street vendors, and experienced some tummy troubles while traveling. Without these experiences, our 10 years of traveling would not have been as much fun or as educational.


by Maria Ruiz

Borders: lines, trucks, vendors, mud, cooking fires, stray dogs, and pieces of tortillas or rolls in the muddy road, men lounging against trucks, women either stirring pots over fires in hubcaps or slapping tortilla dough, children staring out through dirty truck windows, pigs squealing through the slats of wood of one trailer, cows lowing from another, and uniformed guards holding rifles as they walk between the vehicles.

The Bridge

by Maria Ruiz

Bridges make crossing rivers, ravines, mountains, and crowded areas possible. We hope the bridge will last until we’re over it, but we’ve all seen pictures where it didn’t and dumped some vehicles down, down, down.

Ten years of Traveling, India

by Maria Ruiz

Where to go next? Asia is almost exactly on the other side of the world from California, our home and where all our relatives live. We had thought about what we would do if someone needed us at home, but decided not to start back yet, but rather we would travel to the southern hemisphere.

Were You Ever Afraid?

by Maria Ruiz

“Weren’t you ever afraid?” So many people have asked this question about our seventeen years traveling and living outside of the U.S. I always say ‘No’. We did visit a couple of dangerous places like South Africa and Brazil.



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