My trip to Costa Rica looms large as one of the singular most transformative experiences of my life. It was there that I first realized how beautiful and diverse the world really is, and it was where I gained a strong appreciation for everything I have in life. During my 10-day trip, we traveled to destinations like San Jose, Monteverde, and Jaco and learned to embrace the Costa Rican slogan “pura vida.” It may translate to “pure life,” but the essence of “pura vida,” is all about living life to the fullest, and living well.
“Outdoorsy” isn’t a word most anyone would use to describe me, but in Costa Rica I was able to embrace a side of myself I had never really known through activities including: hiking in the rain forest, swimming beneath waterfalls, climbing a semi-active volcano, bathing in hot springs, horseback riding on the mountainside, rafting white water rapids, and lodging in remote rainforest cabins.
I couldn’t help but picture Indiana Jones slashing through the underbrush with a machete when I imagined what hiking through the rainforest would be like. I was surprised to find how cool the temperature of the forest was, since the canopy keeps much of the sun’s rays from reaching the ground. Being from New Jersey, I was accustomed to seeing deer in the woods and cardinals in the trees. But, seeing monkeys and toucans in their place was shocking and astounding. I would usually only see them in a local zoo!
The thrills I experienced in Costa Rica were escalated by the sheer natural beauty surrounding me. Hiking a mountain may be tiring, but when you peak through the trees to see the Pacific Ocean, you forget the fatigue and are left with beautiful images forever imprinted in your mind.
Come back to the RCI Blog this week to see photos from RCI subscribing members who have visited Costa Rica!