As my grandmother and I were heading to LAX, I could already feel my impatience building inside. I could not control how excited I was for our adventure to Costa Rica. Soon, after taking our seats on the plane, I felt the majestic lift of the plane, which I sensed signaled the start of something much more than a vacation.
Our first destination took us to the beautiful and panoramic area of the Arenal Volcano. Because I knew that the volcano was the most active one in Costa Rica, I was a little skeptical if this was a safe place for me and my grandmother to be. I told my grandmother about my apprehension, but she quickly consoled me, reassuring me that everything would be alright. Knowing that she knew the area was safe allowed me to start enjoying myself.
The next day, we were scheduled to ride horses around the rainforest. I wasn’t too excited for this, since I’m not fond of horses. Right when I climbed onto the horse, it started to buck me all around the place. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this. So my grandmother decided as an alternative plan we could go zip-lining. It wasn’t the most comfortable experience, since we were given so much safety equipment to drag around, but once I rose above the trees, I was euphoric. I’m pretty sure if people had the ability to fly, it would feel like that. Exhausted from the events of the day, I fell asleep very soundly that night.
We traveled to a small city of Monteverde, located in the province of Puntarenas, where we stayed for a night. The morning after we arrived we decided to hike in the Cloud Forest. I felt like I was in a whole new world. On our journey we saw an array of birds, monkeys and sloths. That night, we took another hike around the Cloud Rainforest. This hike was much different than the one we went on earlier. The darkness of the forest strengthened my non-visual senses. I was able to distinguish the animal noises more clearly than earlier. On this hike we saw more insects than anything, but what really stood out to me were the poisonous frogs we encountered. Being so close to something that could kill me gave me an adrenaline rush. I really connected with the forest that night.
After leaving Monte Verde, we took Nature Airlines to Osa Peninsula. The scenery in this place was so exquisite. During our time there, we stayed at the Parrot Bay Inn. The first activity we did was a kayaking excursion on the Aguitas River. The scenery of the surrounding forest just took over my eyes. It engulfed me in sights and smells that I had never experienced before. The next day we went on a boat ride around the Osa Peninsula. During the ride we saw dolphins and sea turtles. At the end of the day I started getting upset because I knew my adventures in this magical place would end at the airport the next morning.
The day we left Costa Rica, I felt as though I left a part of me there. I feel like the experiences I had in Costa Rica really impacted me in a way nothing else has. It showed me a whole new world and motivated me to become someone successful so that I could have the resources that would allow me to explore other places. I will always remember Costa Rica, not just as a place I visited but as the place I discovered myself.
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