Costa Rica - My Family Travels

Over this past summer I spent ten days in Costa Rica. Most people would be thrilled to go to a foreign country but I was with a group of girls that I had never met. While I was excited I was also apprehensive about meeting the girls. I went with a company named Education First Tours. I was the sole student from my high school going on the trip, so I was placed with girls from another high school. I felt like a complete outsider since all the girls knew each other from going to school together. Even though the chaperones helped a great deal it was still hard for me to feel like I was part of the group. Then one day everything seemed to change, I went from a complete stranger to a friend.

            On June 10th, 2009 our group was in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. We woke up, ate breakfast at our hotel, and then drove to Lake Arenal. We rode on a boat around the lake for an hour and learned that there was a city underneath the water and learned facts about the volcano. I pretty much kept to myself because I did not know the other girls very well yet. Once we were out on the water everyone except me walked to either the front or back of the boat to see the wildlife and scenery better. I was anxious for the boat ride to end so that we could get on with the rest of the day.

            Next, we headed out to the base the Arenal Volcano. Before we got near the volcano one of the girls tripped. All the girls in our group stayed behind and helped clean up her knee. When we were finished helping her we began the trek up the volcano. At the base of the volcano we took group pictures and looked out at the beautiful scenery. Then we headed back down the volcano. After our hike we went to La Fortuna Waterfall. The water was freezing cold but every one decided to jump in since it would feel phenomenal on such a hot and humid day. On the bus back to the hotel every one talked about what an exhausting but wonderful day it had been. I began to join in more on the conversations since I had the day in common with the girls. We went back to the hotel to eat lunch and then left the hotel a couple hours later to go to the hot springs.

            Lastly, we went to Baldi Hot Springs. Everyone shared a locker for our clothes when we arrived and we walked around the resort together. I started feeling like part of the group at this point. We ran around and had fun the rest of the night. Every day after June 10th all the girls slept in the same hotel room all together.

            Even an extremely out going girl like myself found making friends to be difficult. It took opening up a little to become more like one of the group. Over the course of a day I went from the outsider to a friend.  I still talk to many of the girls from the trip to this day. Most people get nervous when they do not know anyone but making friends is not hard when one is open to doing so. Perhaps you will never travel out side the country with a group but every day hundreds of people walk by, stop and get to know someone new. 

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