I wasn’t exactly “economically viable” at the time. In fact, we were broke. We had lost everything in the financial crisis and my ex had bankrupted me.

I saved money for plane tickets and was only able to fund my trip through a work exchange. I got free rent in exchange for cleaning guesthouses.

It was a wonderland, yes. I was also a maid.

During my trip, I didn’t travel around Costa Rica and survived eating food from the farm, judiciously purchasing beans and rice and other simple sundries from the store to supplement myself.

Though I recognize that my trip sounds extremely privileged — and I don’t disagree with that — I am no Liz Gilbert. I was scraping to survive then just as I am now as a single mother.

And still, because of my skin color and education, I still manage to live my life with a good deal of privilege. But my life has hardly been easy. I’m no kept woman.

I write about relationships, women’s issues, and my highly imperfect life. Learn more about me: my.bio/theformerlymrs Support: ko-fi.com/ellesilver

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