Travel Confession: I Fell in Love With a Cricket

Travel Confession - I Fell in Love With a Cricket

I’d shared my home with scorpions before in Africa but when we moved to Costa Rica it was bug central. There were scorpions under the fridge, a stick insect as long as your forearm peering in through the window and a tarantula the size of a dinner plate strolling across the patio.

To begin with I shuddered, cringed and backed away but slowly things changed. With no TV, no radio and often housebound for days in this aptly named rain forest I started to get used to the uninvited visitors. Before too long I wasn’t just used to them, I kept an eye out for them and was delighted to see them no matter what they were.

Soon when a critter of any description came to visit I’d call the kids over, take photos and even pose with them. We’d try to work out what these creatures were doing, see where they were going and pick them up if it seemed safe for all parties.

Not all the wildlife was traditionally creepy. We cradled panic stricken hummingbirds that were trapped in the house and placed them back in the wild. We listened out for the toucans and woodpeckers that decorated our garden. We practised bellowing like howler monkeys.

Those feathered and furry creatures are easy to love but traveling in Costa Rica we grew to love the seemingly unlovable. The hard shelled, spiny legged, bug-eyed beasts gradually transformed in our minds eye from ugh to ah.

We noticed crickets with faces locked in a cheesy grin, drab moths hiding vibrant colours under their furry wings and beetles gleaming like a precious jewel.

Swept away in the throes of this fresh new love I started emailing photos of my new buggy friends to human friends and family overseas. I was as proud as any new mother with my latest discoveries then when replies came back saying “Yuch!”, “Ewww” or “Nasty” I was saddened, could hardly remember that not so long ago I too would have been disgusted by the sight of a ten inch cricket on my dining table.

Travel changes you in ways you never expect, changes things you never wanted to change. You may not think you could find beauty in a bug but if you look closely it is there.

You may not think you could love the unlovable but, if you take time to wonder and open your heart to the possibility, love can creep in anywhere.

Travel Confession: I Fell in Love With a Cricket - Costa Rica Cricket image

Travel Confession: I Fell in Love With a Cricket - Costa Rica tarantula image

Travel Confession: I Fell in Love With a Cricket - Costa Rica moth image

Travel Confession: I Fell in Love With a Cricket - Costa Rica Cricket image

Is this an exceedingly good looking cricket? Or is it just me… Have you ever fallen in love with someone or something unlikely during your travels?

Photo credit: All photos taken by me in Costa Rica

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  1. Christine Osborne June 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Very sweet picture of the cricket. Making something special out of the normally insignificant creatures sharing the world we all live in.

  2. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living June 12, 2013 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Funny you should mention this Annabel, as when I speak about my family’s gutsy adventure to Belize, I bring up all the critters we shared our space with in the hut on stilts in the jungle.
    I shall never forget the giant ants that carried one inch twigs, and crawled up and down toilet pipe, and sometimes onto my back as I sat on the toilet in the dark, during the middle of the night.
    The cricket is quite a beauty!

    • Annabel Candy June 12, 2013 at 10:40 am - Reply

      Hi Sonia,

      Ants can be amazing. We spent a lot of time watching leaf cutter ants and the ant highways and motorways they created with all their activity. What a phenomenal adventure you had with your family, that really is a gift.

  3. Marcy June 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Love the photos. My son once kept a tick we had taken off him. He called it his pet and watched it getting smaller and smaller each day until it died. It was pretty sad.

    • Annabel Candy June 14, 2013 at 8:18 am - Reply

      Hi Marcy,

      That’s hilarious! I think the ticks I’ve removed from my kids have died in the process – you guys beat me on bug love there ;)

  4. Jane (uk) June 14, 2013 at 5:13 am - Reply

    I was getting ready to make a witty comment about how I thought that a cricket couldn’t be as handsome as Rich, but actually that’s a damned good-looking cricket! Beautiful xx (Id pass on the tarantula tho!) xx

    • Annabel Candy June 14, 2013 at 8:23 am - Reply

      Hi Jane,

      Lol, I have to say Rich has a great smile too ;) The tarantula was horribly fascinating!

  5. Seana June 17, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

    That IS a handsome cricket. Not so sure about the tarantula though.

  6. roxy August 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    This is one of the things that I don’t like about Costa Rica. Too many insects. Ants crawling on the counters (the most gigantic ants I’ve ever seen), all kinds of nasty roaches getting into the cabinets, crawling on dinnerware and silverware…. it makes me sick. My husband got stung by a scorpion recently. We freaked out for a bit, but I guess it could have been worse. There are poisonous snakes everywhere… a cat comes in handy.

    I have a picture of a similar cricket, although somewhat smaller.

    How do you get humming birds out of the house? I tried for an hour, the poor thing hit the windows and fell like 3 times and each time I thought that was it. I finally chased her with a broom, she fell again and I was able to get her out. It took a while for her to fly again, but she did it.

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