This post is a bit delayed, given that I travelled to Costa Rica last year, but I had a bit of a flashback and felt like sharing. Steve and I travelled to Costa Rica on a condensed, quick trip through San Jose, La Fortuna and Montezuma. Given we both weren’t able to take too much time off, we settled for the one week tour. Although short, it was hands down one of the best trips I’ve gone on thus far.
Recently I was asked about one of the best travel moments I have had. It’s tough to narrow it down to one in particular. Each place I’ve travelled too, regardless of how many times I have travelled to that particular place, I have gained a different experience and perspective. I would liken it to the composition of a snowflake – uniquely distinct, always something different.
Costa Rica was very much a transformational journey for me, as cliche as that might sound. I am a self-proclaimed hypochondriac and a constant worrier. Normally when I travel, I carry a brick-sized bag full of pretty much any OTC med you might need. Tylenol, Tums, Pepto Bismol – you name it, I have it. If I get any sort of bug bite, I’ll probably have searched (and re-searched) any possible, relevant condition WebMD has listed. Needless to say, the “Pura Vida” lifestyle Costa Rica encompasses is a far cry from my inherent over-thinking tendencies. So for me, stepping into a trip like this allowed me to step out of my comfort zone in more ways than one.
Don’t get me wrong – I love nature and the outdoors. Hiking is my jam. But that’s not to say that I won’t be extra cautious in what I wear or what I pack for said hike.
But I digress…
So, when asked about my favourite travel moment, after mentally sifting through each travel memory, I came to one day in particular. We had just finished a surf lesson, which was about 30 minutes away from our hostel in Montezuma. Along the way we passed a series of empty beaches, each cocooned by tall palm trees. While there was much to be said about the beauty of the landscape, we came across many heavily polluted sections of the sandy beach. Washed up plastic bottles, children’s toys, gardening tools and the like dotted the sandy shores. An ironic separation from the “Pura Vida” philosophy of Costa Rica. In spite of this, it seemed the community had been making efforts to clean and preserve the land, with burlap sacks and signs calling on volunteers to clean the beach scattered around the beach paths. On our way back, riddled with heat exhaustion, we decided to stop in a (cleaner) secluded area of the beach for a nice swim. Post-swim, we both lathered up in SPF (because, duh – UVA/UVB protection, y’all). There we were – sweaty, likely smelly, our faces covered in a weird and unintentional sand and sunscreen mix, beer in hand. I fashioned myself a hat out of my t-shirt. It was all very nomadic. “Pura Vida”, if you will. This was cathartic in a way for me…being able to let go, step out of my comfort zone and just enjoy the moment. For more reasons than one, this was my most favourite travel moment (thus far!).