Category Archives: Costa Rica

Eau de Jungle Shoes and a Public Apology

When the call came to board the plane, I scooped up my boarding pass and fried chicken and made my way toward the last checkpoint. A girl in line next to me turned and asked whether that announcement had been for group three boarding. I sure hope so, ’cause here I am. We shared a half-hearted chuckle at an insanely lame attempt at humor and I boarded the plane.

Flying Over Miami

I got to my seat — 28A — and stowed my pack in the overhead while tossing my box of chicken beneath the seat for safe keeping, proceeding to flip haphazardly through the inflight magazine I’d already read on all three of my previous flights that week. Bryan Cranston was being featured; he’s apparently very satisfied with life. So was I, if only for that brief moment then and there.

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Pura Vida and Overcoming Fear

“Nobody knows the time; art, music, fire.”

Sitting around a massive bonfire at the oceanside, beneath a sky dotted thickly with stars, listening to a reggae jam on a single acoustic guitar seems as close to paradise as I can imagine. But a dream to be sure, yet there I was in that exact scene. Reggae-guitarist, crashing waves, and warm cervezas included. Actually, it was Guaro Casique and warm Fresca — a brutal cocktail we dubbed Birthday Cake on account of the occasion. It was pura vida in every sense of the phrase.

Pura vida. It’s the way of life in Costa Rica, synonymous with greetings, goodbyes, appreciation, and positivity. What does it mean? As I came to learn over my eight too-short days in the country, it means absolute, pure, unadulterated life. It was something I took to heart during my time in Costa Rica, and something I hope to carry with me forever. Continue reading

Montezuma and the Definition of Chill

“Where you from, Chica?” Canada. “And what you like to do in Canada?” I like to chill, I told him with the slightest of smirks as I threw in a compliment about his handmade pipes. They truly were works of art. “Oh, you like to chill?” he mimicked my knowing smile and asked if I’d like to join him on the beach just behind his table of artwork. Thus it was that I became acquainted with Wilco the Rastafarian, just how quick Pacific tide can rise (quick enough to have to relocate multiple times), and why Montezuma is so affectionately dubbed Montefuma. Continue reading

La Fortuna and Arenal

“Just spread your legs as wide as you can and let the water push you,” he said, motioning toward the two inches of water rushing down the rocky channel toward the waterfall dropping four-or-so feet into the natural pool below. I was dubious, but after watching a demonstration, there I sat ready to throw my limbs wide and launch down the slide. And I use the term slide very loosely. I think my back scraped every pebble along the way because, contrary to anything anyone might try to tell you otherwise, human beings are not designed to float in two inches of water. After grinding to a halt at the bottom, I looked around and thought, there must be a better way to do this. So I walked back up to the top of the stream, threw my legs wide, and tried again. Allow me to repeat: human beings are not designed to float in two inches of water. Continue reading

Diving Head First Into Costa Rica

Intrepid traveler?

I stepped out from the San Jose International Airport into the blazing sun and an incredible chorus of cab drivers vying for attention. My first time in a foreign country, my first time exiting an airport on my own. Yeah, sure, a cab sounds great. Twenty minutes later I’d checked into my hotel and was once again stepping out under the sun with the sole intent on finding the nearest pharmacia and the sunscreen I couldn’t bring along in my carry-on. Because keeping America safe is always priority number one. Continue reading