and so it begins…

There is probably no more obnoxious class of citizen, taken end for end, than the returning vacationist.  ~Robert Benchley


Ahhhhh, it is here! The beginning of the dreaded Vacation Posts. I don’t know if anyone ever really enjoys listening to other people’s vacation stories. I mean, you try really hard to pay attention while you look at photo #376 of the beautiful blue water. You half-heartedly laugh at the story about how Bob almost didn’t make his flight. But you weren’t there. You were busy working while someone else was out having the time of their life. And you might hate them just a teeny tiny bit for it 😉

But I don’t really care. Ha! I went on the vacation of my life, and I have to share it somewhere, right? And so here it begins, the start of what will be an embarrassingly excessive amount of vacation posts. I need to document this greatness somewhere, and since I vowed to blow the dust away from this blog, here is where my vacation can breathe new life.

The basic facts of a short notice out-of-country vacation:

– I was supposed to celebrate my graduation from a year of hell by spending a week in the mountains of northern Georgia.
– That trip suddenly turned into a very last minute plan to go to Costa Rica. WHAT?
– Obviously, when things are last minute, things go wrong. The day we “officially” decided to make this happen is the day I realized my passport expired in four days. FOUR DAYS.
– Insert frantic scrambling to Get Shit Taken Care Of.
– Excessive amount of OCD-tinged messages to Costa Rican friend. I am surprised we did not get un-invited after all those messages 😉
– Passport arrives day after we buy plane tickets. Pheeeeeeewwwwwwwww.
– Annnnnd, commence 11 glorious days in Costa Rica. PURA VIDA!

The numbers:

– 13 travel days.
– 11 days in Costa Rica.
– 6 days hiking in numerous rainforests.
– 5 hotel check-ins.
– 1 severely delayed flight home.
– 1,939 photos taken.


Flower | Kulik Photography


It has been documented many times here my strange relationship with photography. I love it. I hate it. I ignore it for long periods of time and then go crawling back to it, professing my love. We have a very tumultuous relationship 😉 This year has been particularly hard. I just haven’t had time. At all. I have barely touched my camera, and when I do, it’s all very meeeeh. Obviously, that was unacceptable for a trip to Costa Rica. We had visited about 9 years ago, and I have always, quite literally, been brought to tears over how much I hate the photos that we came home with. They are horrible. I am not even sure if we had a “real” camera…we might have just used a disposable camera. Either way, my love for photography had not fully seeded itself in me yet, and so pictures just didn’t seem quite so important. *gasp*

For nine years I have said that I want to go back to Costa Rica and photograph the hell out of it. And so that is what I chose to do. With my cell phone. With my point and shoot. And yes, with the “real” camera. I took touristy photos. I took landscape photos. I took pictures of bugs. I took pictures of everything. And as I begin the editing process, I am slightly giddy.

Costa Rica Butterfly | Kulik Photography | SW Florida Photographer

The kind of photography I wanted to do was a struggle. Macro. Of (fast!) insects. Inside of dark rainforests. The lighting…AHHHHHH THE LIGHTING! It was horrible. I knew it would be a challenge but I rally didn’t anticipate just how much I was going to struggle. I am a natural light photographer. Even if I wanted to use flash, I wouldn’t know where to begin. My flash became a flashlight (really) when in desperate need of light. I shot at iso’s that I am not normally comfortable shooting at. I missed a lot of shots. There were moments, as painful as it was, that I simply left my camera in my backpack, knowing the effort wasn’t even worth it. I deleted a lot of shots that I desperately, desperately, wanted to come out. But in the end, something amazing happened.

Are you ready for it?

Are you sure?

well, ok……

I fell back in love with photography. I KNOW! I am just as shocked as you are! I recently posted a photo to Instagram with the words “I will binge on nature until I have a belly ache.” And really, that is the truth. Will my excitement fade? I am sure. Like everything else, life will get in the way. But for now, I will enjoy my newfound love.

This trip reminded me of who I am. And I really, really, needed that.

Costa Rica | Leaf | Kulik Photography | SW FLorida Photographer

So back to editing I go…get your swimming gear on because we will be drowning in photos over here before you know it!


3 Comments to “and so it begins…”

  1. i love seeing all your photos… you and steph have made me have a better appreciation for bugs 😉

  2. If the photos on this post is a prelude to what’s to come, then I am already excited to see the rest. Enjoy the editing process, you get to relive your travel one more time 😉

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