Costa Rica was what I was expecting and so much more. I enjoyed being in the moment and taking advantage of living life to the fullest everyday with out feeling rushed. After week one I realized that everyone in Costa Rica took their time with out rushing. I learned that Costa Ricans refer to this as Tico Time. This is something that we should adopt in America because we live such a fast paced life. Although the sun set at 6:00 p.m. I was able to accomplish so much in one day in Costa Rica.
Tourist or Traveler?
During my time abroad in Costa Rica I was able to feel like a student and a traveler at the same time. Our study abroad group visited many touristy places such as Manuel Antonio National Park, La Paz Waterfalls and Garden, Volcano Arenal, and many others. However, I felt like a native Costa Rican and not a tourist. One of my classes while I was abroad focused on being conscious about our actions while traveling abroad.
It also focused on how people contaminate and destroy places that were one once flourishing. This class was great because Costa Rica is constantly working to conserve its rich environment. This class opened up my eyes and I watched my every move so that I could reduce my footprint.In my opinion I felt this was because during my time in Costa Rica I embraced Costa Ricas nature, I embrace the value of time, and I enjoyed the atmosphere.
Last Weekly Excursion
Although this was not a planned weekly excursion in our program, my home stay mother took me to Monte de la Cruz. Monte de la Cruz is a mountain with a cross at the top and it is located in San Rafael a suburb in Heredia, Costa Rica. From the top of the mountain you are able to see all of San José. It was an amazing sight to see. When you are in San José it seems so big but when you are on top of the mountain San José looks so small. The weather was perfect and so much cooler than the city. We spend at least an hour in silence taking in the scene. I also took this time to reflect on life and my future.
My goals for the future
One of my goals for this trip was to understand the natives and I believe I accomplished this. The natives were so welcoming and they sparked conversations with anyone especially with foreigners. I was able to meet so many people that gave me useful information about Costa Rica and its people. Being able to understand the Costa Rican culture has helped me to build my knowledge and I will be able to share this information with my future students.
I also was able to understand and witness the Pura Vida motto Costa Ricans live by. Pura Vida can be used to say hello, good-bye, to say that you are doing well, to say that something is awesome, etc. It is basically used for everything! Now that I am back from Costa Rica I am excited to share my learning adventures with my friends and future students. I also am excited to share my experience with others so that they too can participate in a study abroad program.
Back in Georgia
It has been two days since I returned from Costa Rica and I am already missing my home stay mother and her cooking. Although I am happy to be home I am missing the fresh Costa Rican air and being able to walk or take a bus to where ever I need to go. Being able to study abroad in Costa Rica was a blessing and I will never forget this awesome opportunity! Below is a picture of my home stay mom.