as we wander » traveling adventures of monika and jonathan

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After we said our goodbyes, we took the bus to San Jose and had one last night in Costa Rica. We returned to our favorite restaurant from our honeymoon, Tin Jo. We shared a yummy meal and spent time reflecting on the past two years. We are so grateful for the experiences we’ve had! We flew by the seat of our pants. Spent quality time with family and friends. Touched the arctic ocean! Explored the streets of Montreal. Climbed to the top of Precipice. Lived by the beach and watched the sunset every night. Explored the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Spent two weeks in Costa Rica! I could go on and on.

To close things out, here’s how it went down. We got back to the states, signed any last paperwork for the house, and took the bus (again) all the way to Chattanooga. From there, we road-tripped with Jonathan’s grandparents to Maryland for Thanksgiving with his family. After the holiday we booked it back to Chattanooga and packed all of our things into one GIANT truck. Come December, we’d be residents of the sunshine state!

With one month before school starts, Jonathan and I completely settled in. We unpacked all the boxes we packed up over two years ago and got rid of SO. MUCH. STUFF. It’s amazing what we kept and thought we needed! Any moment we weren’t unpacking or getting ready for school, we’d go explore. Because, you know, we like to do that kind of thing. We went to the beach. Brr! Went and watched the manatees in the spring. So cool! Spent some more time reflecting on all the change that was about to ensue.

But as one chapter ends, another one starts. We’ve accepted the challenge with open arms. After all, you can do anything if you’ve got God and your best friend on your side, right? 🙂

With that, we say good-bye. Much love friends!! It’s been a joy to share this journey with you. Thank you so much for following along.

P.S. We still like to wander. While we will no longer be posting here, you can always find us on Instagram (@morrisster + @mblissm) or through Monika’s business, MBLISSM Studio.

 Until next time!

Jonathan + Monika

October 4-6, 2013

Ah. That water. I almost don’t feel like I need to write anything else!


Here are a few pictures from our last few days in Costa Rica. I was beyond sad to leave that glorious water, but left feeling refreshed and thankful for all the beautiful memories we created here. Is it bad that I want to go back? Even though there is so much more to see in this world? Haha. I think all I need is some pretty water, sunny skies, a snorkel to see the colorful fish, Jonathan, and I’d be a happy camper just about anywhere. So maybe I’ll end up really liking Florida? Haha.

So we checked out of our bed + breakfast (which ended up just being a bed, but that’s a different story) and walked a mile or so down the gravel road to our bus. We made plans to connect with some friends who were studying at a language school in Costa Rica on our way home, so we took the bus to their town. We had so much fun we ended up staying two nights with them! We played with the kids, went on a couple hikes, experienced a down-pour-turned-blackout and ate some delicious homemade lemon cookies. It was so nice to re-connect as Nolan, Konika, Benjamin + Sydney have since moved to Peru as missionaries! Be sure to check out their blog and see what amazing things they are doing!


October 27 – November 3, 2013

So Ben + Dorkis left on Saturday and we moved to a little bed + breakfast a few blocks from our first house. They took El Sapo with them to the airport, so we rented bikes for the rest of our time. We took the bus to Manzanillo one day soso we could hike around. That’s where this first picture was taken. So beautiful! It’s just nuts how much I love this place.

Jonathan and I laid really low this week. I had messed up my back, so I was trying to take it easy and allow my body to heal. We played a lot of cards, read some books, and made friends with some of the locals – Hungarians included! By mid-week I was feeling 10000% better, so I spent the rest of every waking moment in the water. I always knew I was a water baby but my oh my, please don’t ever make me leave!

October 18-26, 2013

Yay! I’m so happy to be here. Somehow all the cares of the world float away when your feet hit the sand and the Caribbean Sea. Am I right?

We met Dorkis + Ben at the airport that Friday night. Jonathan found us a sweet car rental on Craigslist so we had a guy waiting for us with a sign and everything. Fancy! Hah. Except not. This car, which we quickly named “El Sapo” was the tiniest little van I’ve ever seen in my life. It was actually quite cute! The fact that all our bags fit in it was a miracle. The thing had little to no power and was squirrely as I’ll get out. Haha! But this is how the adventure begins. 🙂

Despite our crazy car, we made it safely to our hotel in San Jose. I think it’s safe to say we all slept like babies! We ate a delicious breakfast then started the six-hour trek to Puerto Viejo, Limon. It’s a long drive, but completely worth it for where you end up. Wow wow wow.

I found a sweet two bedroom home for rent on Airbnb, just a few minutes walk from the beach. There was an amazing yoga studio just down the street from us, so Dorkis and I made an effort to go often. We really had so much fun! We ate rambutan until our bellies were full. We swam all day, every day. Dorkis, Ben + Jonathan took a surfing lesson and I cheered them on in the background. We went on a beautiful kayak trip down the river in the rain. We made all sorts of yummy food, but made sure to try the local restaurants too. We went on a few hikes and saw lots of monkeys and toucans. I even had a short stent in a Costa Rican E.R. Not really the highlight of my trip, but that’s life, right? All in all, we had such a nice time! It was sure hard to say goodbye to Ben + Dorkis, and to our cute little house. Can’t wait until next time! Costa Rica or bust! Miss youuuuu.




This has been quite the journey.

We dreamt about traveling long before we even got married. We stored away our pennies and finally made the big leap in August of 2011. Can you believe it’s been more than 2 years since we packed up our house and moved into a truck camper?? Wow. This journey has been beyond amazing and it’s hard to believe it’s coming to a close. It felt so scary to leave the comforts of our lives in Tennessee that summer and now it was starting to feel like a whole new kind of scary! When we left we weren’t sure how long we’d be “gone,” but knew we wanted to finish our trip in Costa Rica, where we honeymooned in 2009. Once Jonathan found out that he was accepted into a graduate nursing program in Central Florida, we looked at our calendar and booked two tickets to Costa Rica for two and a half weeks (!!!). It was an open invitation for any of our friends to join us, and lucky for us, Dorkis + Ben said yes! We figured out our schedule and decided the best time for us all to leave was mid October. That gave Jonathan and I about 10 days to travel from Northern California to Southern California to Texas and finally to Florida. Then this meant we had about six days to try to find a place to live before we left for Costa Rica! Ahh! The pressure was on. All we had was my jam-packed car, some dear friends who let us crash at their place, and piles of Craigslist and housing listings to sift through.

As always, housing is a bit more expensive than you’d like it to be. So finding a place that felt like home, while still being in our budget, proved to be a challenge. We were racing the clock and the day before we left for Costa Rica we found the perfect little house. It’s close to school and there is a fabulous lake just a few houses down. Trying to keep all nerves at bay, we spent the morning of our flight signing paperwork, praying it wasn’t a scam, and packing up our things before finally hopping on a plane. When I think about it now it was all kind of crazy. Time was FLYING by. Signing your life away and then traveling to a different country may not be the best idea! Haha. But all in all, we were as excited as ever. Now we had new things to dream about. How to decorate the house, gearing up for school, and me launching my graphic design + photography business full time.

But lets be real. As soon as we got on the plane, we were about to be in Costa Rica for two and a half weeks. All that planning could wait just a bit longer, right? YOLO!

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