I am not from the city at all. I’m from a small town in New Hampshire surrounded by other small towns, forests, mountains, and some lakes and rivers. This made coming to San José, an incomparably bigger city than any other place that I’ve lived, quite an adjustment. I’ve always felt my self drawn to cities, but it was still a culture shock just to be in the city itself. At first the transportation, danger of the streets at night, and difficulty with directions felt very limiting. For the first couple weeks I had a great amount of anxiety going basically anywhere that I went. Luckily, slowly but surely, I have explored more and more of the city and become familiar with the transportation systems and found some amazing places.
I’ve found that adjusting to the city life is very similar to adjusting to a new family, friends, and routine each day since moving to San José just over five weeks ago. Coming here I didn’t know anyone, only having talked to my two roommates a few days before arriving; things felt very foreign and I was anxious about making new friends and forming a bond with my family. But, as with exploring the city and becoming adjusted to the city life, I have learned this takes a lot of time. And, I’m happy to say that both have been a fun adventure to undertake. I’ve discovered some fun and beautiful places in the city such as Parque La Paz with a cardboard box sledding hill and some small ponds, the plaza by Teatro Nacional seemingly filled with people and pigeons all the time, and La Feria de Zapote with every kind of fruit imaginable; I’ve also made some wonderful relationships with international friends, a few Ticos, and my host family. Just as it took time to explore the city, it took time to explore and meet new people and form new relationships.
Both new adventures have been very rewarding. I can now successfully ride the bus to a number of destinations and have learned the ways of taking a taxi. My host mom has been varying caring and we get along quite well, despite some language barriers. I love spending time with both my roommates. And I have even made two great friends that we were able to travel to Puerto Viejo last weekend and have a blast.
Just as with exploring the city, I’ve explored meeting new people and creating a feeling of home similar to home back in New Hampshire. It’s easy to become anxious about meeting new people and living in a new place, but they often go hand in hand and with time, it feels like home. And even more getting lost and meeting new people is an amazing adventure! I’m looking forward to the next two and a half months of further exploring friendships and Costa Rica.