Traveling is underrated. Most people think about a trip as a getaway or a breakout from daily life… It is not a wrong impression. However, there is more in traveling than escapism. Stepping outside of the comfort zone and into the unknown, will make you learn about other people and mostly, about yourself.
I’ve been traveling a lot on the last year. You can learn more about how I plan my trips in here. Last August, I went on a six days trip to Costa Rica, a country located in Central America. Although I had done my research on the internet, I was feeling anxious. Mysterious lands awaited me with new experiences I had never tried before.
On our first day, my friend and I drove three hours from San José to La Fortuna. We arrived at night to our inn which was my first pleasant surprise. The place was an oasis in the middle of the mountain. The rooms were like cabins which connected through a road full of trees that served as home to multiple animals. During the days you could see sloths, mockingbirds and bugs all around.
The next three days in La Fortuna, we did ziplining, river rafting, canyoning, hiking and swimming. Moreover, we drove ATV’s and visited the thermal baths. Some of these things are available in my country. However, I never mustered the courage to do them. As a matter of fact, I never beleived I could, for I have always been the book reading type.
Once we were back at San José, we went to see the Poas Volcano and stopped by the national market. We walked around with the locals and moved around their streets without fear. I was, as them, one more living being in this world.
As the airplane took off on or last day, I remembered everything I feared when I stepped on Costa Rica’s soil. Yet, kindness found me wherever I went. In fact, the warmth from the people who welcomed us, guided us and took care of us, melted each insecurity away. As a result, they truly taught me their meaning of “Pura vida”, as I experienced the adventures of their country.
In short, this trip reminded me that traveling is not only a vacation: it is a journey full of knowledge. I discovered that the same girl that jumps into a book can jump from a real cliff tied from a bungee cord. I learned that people from another country laugh at the same things I do and that rice can be a side dish in breakfast. Furthermore, Costa Rica reminded me that strangers are just people we haven’t met yet, with stories to tell and experiences to share. So, the next time you go into the unknown, do not only aim for going away, but for going somewhere and learning something new about you and about those around you.