Imagine waking up in an unfamiliar country, with a language you cannot speak except for a few words.
Now imagine waking up in an unfamiliar country. You do not speak the natural tongue and you are stuck between two great bodies of water. One side is an ocean and the other side a river.
Now imagine you are in a new country, unspoken language, being stuck between an ocean filled with Sharks and a River filled with Alligators. Crazy right?
This was Costa Rica, a beautiful place with animals running past you in the morning and bugs buzzing around you at night (well at all times really).
After graduation I spent a week in Costa Rica and the most important thing I learned in this beautiful country that I am now just implementing into my life is “Pura Vida” which translated means pure life or simple life. Taking things one step at a time, living each moment in the present, cherishing each experience and choosing to learn from it good or bad.
I went to Costa Rica hoping to enjoy a new culture, expecting to celebrate my accomplishments, and more importantly to live the adventurous life I have always wanted to. This trip prepared me for what was back in the states, some heartache, pain, self-doubt, and true struggle. The freedom I felt in Costa Rica helped put things into perspective, “things could always be worse."
I went water rafting down a thunderous river, zip lining down the tallest trees, and ate some wonderful food. I drank some delicious wine from Argentina, talked to some amazing people, and made memories that will last forever. Traveling gave me a new perspective that I needed because when I arrived back home is when life really hit hard.
From this trip I learned that I could survive. I can survive with little money, I can survive off beans and rice, I can survive with a smaller group of friends, I can survive through the heart breaks (I definitely experienced them). Costa Rica was the country where I understood that life will not be easy but it is worth living. It was the end of a great four years and soon I would be embarking on a new adventure, life after graduation.
Traveling is such an eye opening experience that I would encourage everyone to do. If you are unable to travel I would challenge you to find some way to experience a new culture or country. Maybe it is learning a new language, or eating a new dish, or watching National Geographic. Whichever it is that you choose, choose yourself. Choose to grow, choose to learn, and choose to be present with yourself and for yourself. Choose to love yourself in a world full of self-hate and doubt, choose you! That is exactly what I did
when I went to Costa Rica, I chose my sanity. I chose me. Four years later and I am still trying to simply live. Pure Vida!