Browsing Category: Costa Rica

Snapshot memories of the week: Costa Rica

Snapshot memories is a new weekly series, giving a visual glimpse into different destinations and unique ways to view them. It’s also a way for me to look back on travels that occurred before and after I started this blog, and to give each place I’ve traveled the attention it deserves. 

This week my memories go back to Costa Rica. 

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The trip that in a way started it all. My wanderlust, my insatiable need to have new travel plans and a destination in the near future at any given time. Although I wouldn’t travel again until a few years later in college, Costa Rica was the starting point of my love with the world.

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I was a fairly innocent 18 year-old when I set out for my 2 week trip, traveling the country from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific coast with two of my best friends from school.

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My dad had the idea that Costa Rica was too dangerous a place for his daughter of 18 to go gallivanting on her own with only two young women of the same age for company.

He was dead set again it, I wouldn’t take no for an answer. I worked countless shifts at the local movie theater in my hometown, knowing that I would be the one funding my own trip.

Even with my dad in a worrisome state of mind, I managed to still make the trip happen, showing up to the airport in the wee hours of the morning with my two other friends.

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Although I knew there would be trials and tribulations, it was a much harder trip than I thought it would be. I should’ve assumed that would be the case, I had no idea what I was doing, and it was my first time jumping into the deep end of traveling with no parental guidance.

panama
Traveling to the border of Panama
Photo Cred: Olive Kersey

Our first morning in Costa Rica, while on a bus to Tortuguero, the first thing that popped into my mind was how incredibly GREEN Costa Rica is. Everywhere I looked was lush rainforest, life at every end of the eco system spectrum, and beautiful shades of green, green, green.

Costa Rica
Photo Cred: Olive Kersey

I saw baby turtles hatching in the middle of the night on the island of Tortuguero, I slept under mosquito nets, took malaria pills, and washed most of my clothing by hand.

I hitchhiked, partied in the discotecas of Puerto Viejo, and got buzzed for the first time off Smirnoff Ice. I learned what it means to be a foreign woman in Latin America, and how scary unwanted advances can be. I burst into tears at the slowest internet I’ve experienced in my life, specifically when I lost an email I had been writing for the better part of the afternoon to my boyfriend at home.

I also realized how petty and privileged some aspects of my life really were.

Costa Rica
Getting “buzzed” off Smirnoff Ice in discotecas

I spent an exhausting and terrifying night in the capital, San Jose, where it sounded like someone was being murdered outside the window, and my travel companion had to sleep on a urine-scented couch. I saw some of the best sunsets I’ve experienced in my life, shared a lot of laughs, and realized sometimes you can’t travel well with everyone.

I held baby frogs, looked up at boa constrictors above me, found myself in a boat that was a foot away from a crocodile, and dealt with mischievous misbehaving monkeys.

Shy sloth

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I went skinny dipping, swam under waterfalls, picnicked on the beach, indulged in my love of smoothies, and realized how much I needed to still work on my Spanish.

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The trip was everything I needed to find my spirit of independence before moving out of the house I grew up in to go to college.

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Besides being a life changing trip for me, what I took away most from my time in Costa Rica was how colorful of a place I found it to be, as it seems a lot of Latin America is.

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That trip was 6 years ago and the colors are still what I remember most about the country. It seems only fitting that my snapshot memories of the week are separated by the colors of Costa Rica.

Without further ado.

Red/Pink

RedPink

Purple/Orange

PurpleOrange

Blue

Blue

Yellow

Yellow

Brown

Brown

Green

Green1

…And More Green

Green2

What’s your favorite way to remember a place?

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