A week ago today, I arrived back in the United States after a week-long trip to Costa Rica. It honestly seems so much more recent, and it still hasn’t completely hit me that I’ve been back in the US for as long as I was away. I’m honestly still experiencing a bit of reverse culture shock (look it up, it’s a thing).
I was in Costa Rica for a class that I’m taking this semester. It’s a really awesome opportunity, available only to people in my major, to study sustainable development in a place that has devoted itself (politically, at least) to pursuing environmentally friendly growth. The class involved a weekly seminar and a series of presentations, all leading up to a trip to Costa Rica over spring break. Over the course of the trip, we hiked through national parks, saw all sorts of tropical forests, including the absolutely fantastic cloud forest, toured various farms, including a large-scale pineapple farm and a sustainable coffee farm, visited a volcano, listened to lectures by biologists in the area… I could go on for days. The trip was packed with educational activities, and I know that I learned a lot from it. There’s something much more powerful about experiencing the world first hand instead of just reading about it in a classroom.
I honestly think that travel, if done correctly, is one of the easiest ways to broaden your horizons. I’ve gained something from every place I’ve ever been. I’ll never forget the trips that I’ve been lucky enough to go on, and Costa Rica is no exception. The people there are some of the most generous and welcoming individuals that I have ever met. Wherever we went, we heard people saying “pura vida”. It means literally “pure life” in spanish, and it’s become a sort of catchphrase in Costa Rica. It’s become a greeting and a goodbye, a general response to a wide number of social situations. I think that the phrase neatly sums up the joy and satisfaction of living life. It’s a way of saying things are good without getting too cheesy.
While I was in Costa Rica, I took a whopping 670 pictures (yes, I literally did take my camera everywhere). Here are a few favorites:
pura vida, everyone.