A few years ago I came across the word ‘wanderlust’ while scrolling online. My interest was piqued by the term, as it was in an article on traveling, so I looked up the definition. It turned out that the definition was an extremely simple one that took me only one look to retain, “a strong desire to travel.” When I read this definition, I instantly thought it was meant for me. While I do still believe I was right at the time, I hadn’t actually travelled to any magical far off places— I simply knew I would. I was sixteen when I decided that my desire to travel was far more than a want but an absolute need; however, I did not have the means or the support to take flight until I reached college where the options seem to be endless. From scholarships to programs seeking university participants I felt like I had struck gold. As a freshman I decided my first grand venture would be to spend a month in the country of Costa Rica. At this point, I have been here for a grand total of 14 days. While this doesn’t seem like long, I can honestly say that my sense of ‘wanderlust’ has been fueled to an insatiable height. While staying in San Jose and studying at Veritas has been wonderful due to the welcoming people, beautiful parks, interesting museums, and, best of all, incredible food, I must say the weekend excursions are what make this adventure so worthwhile.playa1

Keep in mind, I have only been here for two weekends so still to come is a trip to Montezuma where I will get the opportunity to visit a waterfall, snorkel in the Gulf of Nicoya, kayak through a bioluminescent river, and see capuchin monkeys up close and personal. Also, in my final weekend, a trip to Monteverde where I will go to Extremo Park and zip line at incredible heights, swing like Tarzan across the canopy and, my biggest adventure yet, bungee jump from the highest point in South America. My advice to anyone planning a trip to Costa Rica, or to anywhere for that matter, is to take the time to research your options and to make a bucket list of things you wish to experience while in the country. Your time abroad is only as incredible as you make it, so start planning now!

Thus far I have walked along the clear-watered beach of the Caribbean, pulled an all-nighter while exploring the small reggae town of Puerto Viejo, snorkeled over coral reefs, witnessed the most colorful sunrises of my life, hiked through incredibly green rainforests, swam in the bright blue waterfall of Rio Celeste, and zip lined through the canopy above rushing water in San Louis Park.

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