Returning home and back into the swing of life and school, I know people will ask me about my study abroad experience. I am sure I will say that it was great and life-changing, but it is very difficult to describe an experience like study abroad in a few words or phrases..
Costa Rica provided the opportunity to try things outside of my comfort zone. Being my first time leaving the United States, I learned so much about myself. I was forced to problem solve in some very interesting situations. It was the chance to do things that I never would have tried at home and use skills that I didn’t know that I had. I would have never known that I liked to hike if I didn’t climb to Volcán Barva, or dance if I didn’t Bachata in Miraflores.
I now have US and international friends and family who I was blessed to share the experience with. I have a second home in Costa Rica that I can always visit. I once thought that the world was so big, which it is, but you can meet people thousands of miles away that become like family.
I learned about a different culture. The classes were okay and taught me a lot of history and Spanish, but the everyday experiences were what made the trip worthwhile. I always liked to talk to people in the community . They always gave me a new perspective to life. It was also a great way to practice my Spanish.
I had an amazing host family that helped me with every step of the way. I am going to miss all of the fresh fruits and rice and beans that my mama tica made every day. They taught me so much about Spanish and Costa Rica in general. It made the experience a lot easier. I also now have a favorite international soccer team. ¡Viva Saprissa!
I am going to miss a lot of things about Costa Rica, the friendly vibes, Gallo Pinto, fresco de cas, the beautiful nature, and the best fruit and coffee I’ve ever tasted. However, the thing that I will miss the most is the Pura Vida lifestyle. The things I would worry about my host mom would always tell me, tranquilo, no pasa nada. It brought a sense of relaxation and happiness that I hope to incorporate into my hectic life.
It was an experience that I will never get back and never forget. It seemed that just as I was getting comfortable and felt at home, it was time to go. Here’s to more trips and adventures with good people.
Nos Vemos Costa Rica, Pura Vida!