When I got back from my trip to Thailand almost two years ago, I decided two things. The first is that I not only wanted to travel again, but I'd like to always have travel plans. So I started planning a trip to Colombia two years out. The second is that two weeks is probably enough.
Colombia has lots of bars, restaurants, touristy things, and the American dollar goes farther there. I know that sounds kind of dumb, because I could just visit someplace closer, and spend the airfare money here, but that defeats the the real goal of having fun in a new place. The other reason I was looking at Colombia is that seems far enough away to be somewhere new, but close enough to save time and money on airfare.
To make a long story short, I had decided the crime in Colombia was not enough to keep me out, but then realized there are other destinations with less crime that have their own merits. Costa Rica is pretty close, both physically and climate wise. The cost of living is a little higher, but the crime is a lot lower.
For some reason these two weeks were way harder to get approved than the month I took last time, but it's on the calendar now. I found airfare for as low as $321, but ended up spending $452 for the flights I wanted, and luxuries like a carry-on. This January I will spend fourteen full days in San Jose, or thereabouts.
My cousin who came with to Thailand will be joining me again. Another cousin of ours may join us too. I don't know him well, but I'm not worried. I think we'll want to spend a good portion of our time there doing our own thing anyways. There will not be an exact itinerary, but even a general one has not been worked out yet. I think we know we want to spend a few days in San Jose at the beginning and end, then travel up north to see a sloth or two, zip line through a jungle, hang out on a beach, in the middle. And just generally skip two weeks of winter.