Lucky for me, my friend Kim was starting a chocolate company and had visited Ecuador. I asked her what I would need if I went there. Her answers might surprise you. Or if you're like me and are squeamish about bugs and snakes, maybe they won't.
1. Boots. Cheap plastic rain boots like you had as a kid. It rains a lot. Oh, and you'll need two hand
towels. Why? When you take them off you want to cover the openings with the hand towels. Bugs and critters like the snug darkness of the toes.
Allow me to pause for a moment while you shudder and make squeamish noises. Are we good? Okay. Moving on...
2. A machete. This might be moving into cliche territory, but it's true. Handle size is very important, especially for we women and our smaller hands. No, you should not get a pirate scabbard. Thrusting it through a belt loop (Levi's!) should suffice.
Okay, just so we're clear...I would be the one in the party to back into someone and stab their leg or put one sexy slit through my own pants leg if I carried a machete. (Squirrel sidebar: Don't you like the sound of the word machete? Can't you hear Red Reddington from The Blacklist saying machete? "Lizzie, careful of that man. He's got a machete.")
3. A waterproof jacket. There are so many problems with this. Did anyone else have a rain slicker as a kid? Or do you have one now? Plastic is not a breathable fabric and I've heard Ecuador is hot. Be prepared to sweat.
|Spider Not To Scale|
4. Hair gel and deodorant and bug repellent. Lots and lots of hair gel. It's wet. It's hot and muggy. Who remembers life before hair products were so common? And because of the waterproof jacket, you'll need deodorant. Strong enough for a man, whether you're a man or a woman. The need for bug spray is obvious. The bugs there are HUGE!
Bonus advice: You should buy bug repellent before you arrive in Ecuador. My friend Kim is not a fluent Spanish speaker. She went to a store in Ecuador trying to find bug repellent that didn't have toxic chemicals. She picked out a bottle that had a baby on the front (safe, right?). Turns out, it was diaper ointment. She did mention it was effective in soothing her itchy bug bites.
5. A Swiss Army knife. It has a plethora of items to choose from like a small knife, a screw driver, corkscrew, toothpick, etc. (Squirrel sidebar: For my five year anniversary at a Fortune 500 company they gave me a Swiss Army knife. This is not a lie. Which makes this blog even more bizarre, no?)
In conclusion...If you are a writer plotting a book/a reader planning a trip to a distant and exotic locale (Jurassic World comes to mind), what would you bring?
As always, writers and readers are encouraged to comment, but only readers will qualify to win an ecopy of a book from my backlist.
Melinda Curtis is a USA Today bestseller who writes light-hearted romances (sometimes on the
quirkier side). Her latest Heartwarming is from March (One Perfect Year). The sweet romantic comedy that inspired this blog post is The Wedding Promise. Because Melinda is a glutton for squeamish punishment, she revisits Ecuador in her upcoming release Rescued by a Bridesmaid.