Howling monkeys, lush green leaves hanging down from towering trees, waterfalls splashing cold crisp water, brilliant blood red and orange sunsets like out of the movies, bananas hanging from every tree, dead toads on the road, are but a few of the exciting elements that I recall when I think of my trip to Quepos, Costa Rica. My experience at Costa Rica was significant because it broadened my view and perspective of the world. I originally went to Costa Rica to meet my extended family for the first time, but I got so much more out if it than just seeing family and friends. It is not everyday that you see monkey’s playing while you eat your lunch or witness a sloth sleeping while you take a walk. I was amazed at the lifestyle in Costa Rica. What really stood out for me during the trip was the slower lifestyle the native people possessed. For example, my family members, such as my cousin’s, aunts, and uncles, and I would walk everywhere. We walked to the ice-cream store nightly, to the park, and to the internet café. Walking, instead of driving everywhere, relaxed me. I did not feel rushed or hurried. I now realize that we American’s live a very fast paced life, always worrying about getting stuff done. We do not take the time to enjoy what we have.
During my time in Costa Rica, I participated in some awesome activities. Most days I went to the beautiful Manuel Antonio Beach. The sand was so soft and the water was slightly warm, I was able to jump right in the ocean. I loved playing in the waves and one day I even tried surfing! I loved walking down the beach and watching the sunsets because they were breathtakingly stunning. One of the craziest activities I did was parasailing. I was surprised that I was not scared. The landscape from up high was simply gorgeous. The gentle wind on my face felt cool, breezy, and refreshing. Another activity that was refreshing was when I visited a series of waterfalls. The waterfalls were so magnificent and deafening! It was so loud I had to shout to be heard. I put my big toe into the water and discovered it was freezing cold! It took me forever to get in.
When my trip was ending, I took time to reflect on what I had done during the past two weeks. A few things that still bring a smile to my face are using my family’s shower. The water was super cold and it took me a long time to get in and get used to it. Another challenge was the language barrier. My family only spoke Spanish and I am not yet fluent. Eventually, I learned new words and I started to understand better. I look back at my time in Costa Rica wistfully and hope to return soon. Visiting this wonderful country was life changing for me. The memories will stay in my heart throughout my lifetime.
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