Hola! Welcome to the June edition of Spotlight On!
We have the pleasure of speaking with Samantha and Yeison from My Tan Feet. This awesome couple of travel bloggers are living up life on the beach in Costa Rica and also exploring the world.
Let’s find more about them and their adventures!
Could you please tell us more about yourselves?
I’m Samantha, originally from the United States and grew up in Olympia, the capital city of Washington. After I graduated college and worked for a year, I moved down to Costa Rica to be with Yeison my boyfriend.
Yeison was born and grew up in Costa Rica. When I moved down, we moved to the beach in the Northwest corner of the country.
How old were you two when you first fell in love with travel? For me, it wasn’t until my junior year of college. I had never traveled that much before besides summer camping trips around Washington and Canada and I absolutely loved my month in Taiwan but I didn’t get the travel bug then. For Yeison, it was a few years ago when he started traveling for his job around Central America.
Samantha, when did you first travel to Costa Rica and how did you meet Yeison?
I first went to Costa Rica in Sept 2010. I had just finished a volunteer trip in Nicaragua and Honduras and a couple of my friends were talking about visiting Costa Rica. I decided to go with them because I figured when would be the next best time to go with friends? We’re already here, I might as well go!
I met Yeison on my university medical volunteer trip. I had decided to join this group a little last-minute and he actually turned out to be one of my trip leaders! The first time we met was at the hotel in Managua.
I was waiting in line to check in and was very grumpy; the airline had lost one of my bags. Someone tapped me on my shoulder and it was Yeison. He asked me if I was Rachel (our student leader) and I said no. Those 10 seconds made quite a lasting impression on my mind and that was our very first interaction together! After that, we were inseparable.
Yeison, tell us what went through your mind when you met Samantha (spill the beans 😉
Since the first time I saw her I knew she was different, and that knew that she would be my girl. At the beginning it was hard because we were separated by a long distance but after she moved to Costa Rica everything got better!
Having fun in the Bahamas
If we’re still together it’s because we were meant to be together. I hope to spend the rest of my life with her and enjoy life 🙂
What countries have you visited together?
We’ve traveled around Costa Rica, Mexico, the Bahamas, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama.
You have gone on many adventures within Costa Rica and in surrounding countries. Can you share a funny story that happened to you?
When my brother came to visit me last year, I planned a huge adventure for them. We were going to road trip around the country so they could see more of Costa Rica and on the last day going from Mal Pais to Playas del Coco, we decided to take the “fun route.”
Anyone who has visited Costa Rica knows that the roads here aren’t the best. The “fun route” we chose actually consisted of driving on several beaches, across the rocks and tide pools, through the jungle that had no path and through rivers that went up to our waists.
It took us over 6 hours to travel 181 kilometers! We even had to help a man push his truck out at the beach, he got stuck in the sand and the high tide was coming in fast. It was probably one of the most fun driving days I’ve ever had because we got to experience driving in the wild jungles of Costa Rica first hand and my brother and friends were such good sports 🙂
What are the best meals you’ve ever tasted? Do you try to recreate them at home?
The best meal we’ve ever eaten was in Cancun, Mexico. Our hotel had a VIP restaurant which we didn’t realize we actually had the gold bracelet for and it was an Argentinian barbecue. That was hands down the best meat we’ve ever had.
We still dream about it to this day and promise to go back! I don’t know how they cook that meat to make it so juicy and tender!
We’ve never tried to recreate them at home since we don’t have the correct kitchen equipment but we love to grill and occasionally barbecue with our friends.
When did you start your blog and what goodies can readers find?
We started our blog last year; it’s actually just a bit over a year since we started! Readers can find tons of articles on traveling in Costa Rica like tips for driving, tips for renting a car, articles about the culture, hotel and restaurant reviews, tours that we’ve done, and wildlife guides. We have a whole city guide section dedicated to places we’ve gone.
We cover quite a bit about Costa Rica but we also include other personal stories such as expat stories from me and essays from Yeison about being a Costa Rican.
We’re very transparent about our lives and are happy to share with others what it is like – how much we spend, what our lifestyle is like, etc.
What are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2014?
We have a big Asia trip planned which we are both extremely excited for! First we’ll be stopping in Washington for a couple of weeks to celebrate my brother’s wedding and then we’re jetting off to Asia.
We’ll be in South Korea and Malaysia for about a month and then spending the rest of the year in Taiwan.
It’ll be Yeison’s first trip to Asia and mine in 7 years so we can’t wait to go and experience something different!
As experienced travelers and writers, are there any tips or advice you would like to share with us?
The biggest thing we’ve learned through traveling is to be flexible. It’s great to have a schedule but sometimes you just need to go with the flow. If you miss the bus, don’t fret! There is always a solution to every problem. Relax and remember that it’s not the end of the world. Things can go wrong when you travel and it doesn’t matter how much you plan out every single little detail.
Besides, sometimes the best memories are the ones that spontaneously happened! Always remember to respect the local culture. You are the guest and you will not be seen with kind eyes if you are offensive and disrespectful.
For bloggers, the best tip is to gather as many resources you can from the get go. Read other experienced travel bloggers’ articles about their best blogging tips and learn as much as you can about the ins and outs of travel blogging.
Focus on your content as you will gain more exposure; get more traffic and more loyal followers if you’re producing high quality content with lots of value.
Also, learn how to format your blog posts. Traditional writing and web writing are two very different concepts and if you don’t know how to make your posts clear and concise, your readers will get lost easily.
You could have the best information but if you don’t know how to display it in an effective way, you might miss out on getting the recognition that you deserve.
How can we contact or follow you online?
You can find us at:
It was a real pleasure learning so much fun to learn more about you two.
Thank you so much for your time and we wish you lots of success!
Happy Travels and PURA VIDA 🙂