I’m constantly in awe that I’m in an entirely different country thousands of miles away from home. I wake up every morning greeted by the whispers of Spanish and wafts of delicious food thanks to my wonderful host mom and dad. As I write this, typing away on my laptop, I feel as if I was transported through countries. The world feels smaller and bigger at the same time. On one hand, the intricacies and wonders of Costa Rica are continuously being mapped out for me, wider and wider through trips and conversation in classes and with my tico family. On the other, I feel more in control of my experiences and traveling in new places doesn’t feel so foreign. It’s like a little kid finally venturing around the ever so far corner. It’s a dark scary place and then after a little courage and curiosity, that scary place starts to brighten up and turns into a place full of adventure.
Costa Rica’s climate varies dramatically from inland to coast. San Jose is mildly hot resting in the 70s most of the time, jeans weather. As you travel to the coast though, the temperature increases and the rain decreases. Perfect for a weekend trip to the Tamarindo Beach where we had a pool and beach to enjoy. Three hours in, we were greeted by body hugging hot air and colorful parrots roaming around a rest stop eating mangos. Animals it seemed, were common finds even within the hotel.
The first night we went to a discoteca a few blocks away from our hotel. The place sat atop a hill and had two dance areas, one with a live band and another with DJ’d music on an open deck. We had so much fun dancing and got to cool down by a midnight dip in the pool. The next day we headed out to the beach taking in the sun, cooling off in the water, and surfing – or attempting to in my case.
A local was kind enough to help show us the ropes of surfing. He told us about the waves, which ones are good, when to go, and how to keep going. After several attempts and a bit of assistance, I was able to ride one into the shore! Riding the wave in, I couldn’t believe I was here in Costa Rica getting surf lessons from a local. Not to mention, the board was almost double my size.
While most of the weekend was active, we also go the time to relax and take in Costa Rica. This weekend I was able to experience the most beautiful sunset that I could never have imagined beforehand. It happened slowly, but suddenly the sky was filled with a fantastic array of colors. Reds, blues, oranges, greys, yellows, purples. A portion of the sky looked as if the sunset was shimmering down in a halo of light and cloud. The water on the sand turned to glass and mirrored the most spectacular reflection of the sky. It felt like we were walking on water and flying in the clouds at the same time. It was spectacular.