The Rain Forest - My Family Travels

   Picture yourself hundreds of feet from the ground with nothing under you for support. Your life is in the hands of a single metal wire above your head. At first you close your eyes and cross your fingers, just hoping that the wire will not snap under your weight. All you can do is tell yourself, “Don’t look down; don’t look down!” Then you gain an unexpected confidence and do the worst thing you could have imagined; you look down. While opening your eyes seemed like the scariest thing in the world, you are rewarded by what surrounds you- the rainforest. The soft dripping of water from leaf to leaf is the melody, and the exotic birds and insects add in the harmony. Every shade and tint of green envelops you in a certain freshness. The exhilaration of flying through and above the rainforest is much more than you anticipated, but it is your awe of nature that completes the experience.

  Next you find yourself rafting down a crocodile infested river. You scream as your guide splashes the muddy water in your face with his paddle, but you splash it right back at him. Your parents and grandmother are in the raft behind you, so it’s just you, your sister, a few younger cousins, and the guide facing the unpredictable curves of the river. Pedro, the guide, spots the first of many Howler monkeys you will see swinging in the tree tops above. Its loud shrieks make it not only the loudest monkey, but the loudest land animal in the world. You will still be able to hear his cries two miles down the river. The raft suddenly stops on the banks of the river, and Pedro jumps out. He returns with a tiny, orange poison dart frog. He explains how the natives used to make poisonous arrows from the frogs. It is hard to imagine how something so small could be so dangerous. Pedro releases the frog, and you continue your adventure downstream. As you look around, you see two small eyes emerge from the water. It’s a crocodile! The danger is real because now he is not just some animal behind a glass wall at the zoo, but a predator capable of taking off a human arm or leg. You are too proud to say you are scared; but as he swims away, a sense of relief overcomes you. Then too quickly your journey down the river is over.

  You will never be able to replace the memories made on your trip to Costa Rica. It is one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences. Not only did you zip-line through the rainforest and raft down a crocodile infested river, but you did it with your family. As a teenager, family vacations have not always been high on your priority list; but after this trip, family vacations are something you get excited about months beforehand. After this trip, you realize that nature can be breathtaking and something that you can remember on a rainy day. It is these experiences that change your whole outlook on the world  because they change you. What you have seen stays with you forever.  

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