My time in Costa Rica had to end at some point. I spent 24 eventful days there. Yesterday was the day that I returned home to California. It is always difficult to say goodbye. Heavy hearts abound. My father. My friends. My mosquitos. Fear not all, this is not my last flight through Liberia International Airport.
I could not help but take a quick retrospective look at my latest Costa Rica experiences, both private and shared, as I sat aboard the flight home. Many of which I can track by photos.
As a sampling, this latest trip included:
- a large amount of great heart-to-heart talks with my father, my rock;
- an extended amount of time with personal contacts and friends, also making some new ones along the way;
- a few amazingly intense Costa Rica World Cup games;
- a number of new areas in Costa Rica, including a number of gorgeous beaches along the western coast;
- a large dose of sun, for my ever-so-white (almost transparent) Anglo-Saxon skin;
- a very quick jaunt across the border for a day in Nicaragua;
- a few dreary nights in San José, with the extra perk of a long drive;
- a few active volcanos and absolutely gorgeous cathedrals;
- a higher (than usual) level of inebriation during a few fun nights in Playa Coco;
- and nearly boarding a bus to Rio for the World Cup. Tempting.
Take a chance, my 2 cents
Adjusting to a new international location is never easy. Even scary to some. There are cultural sensitivities to account for, language barriers that cause consistent misunderstandings, and a laundry list of climate and digestive challenges that require you to adjust. These are realized whether you are vacationing, temporarily working, or permanently moving to an international location. Your length of stay will likely decide the level of impact. I implore you to take a chance regardless.
To those who are not willing to take the chance: You are missing out. Difficult, yes, but it will broaden your horizons. Stop judging. Get off your ass.
To those who are willing to take the chance (or have already): Go. Eyes open. Stay strong. Enjoy. So long as you maintain a positive attitude and surround yourself with loved ones (new and old), all will turn out better than you ever imagined. Do not get me wrong, you will hit turbulent times. Be smart and agile. Laugh off unfathomable calamities. All will be worth it in the end.
I have many more aspirations for Central America (and other regions). My father is there of course. Motivation enough. Beyond that, there is plenty more to do and visit. We almost made it to the east coast, near Limón, but had to change plans due to a mudslide taking out the main road. Not as rare there as you might expect. Eastern exploration of Costa Rica is a logical next step. There is also much more of Nicaragua to see as well as Panama.
I am planning a return to Costa Rica in December to celebrate Christmas, New Years, and my birthday. Should be a very busy and tantalizing bundle of weeks at the end of the year. Exciting.
I am unsure, at this juncture in time, of where my next travel destination will be. I may travel across the pond as the Middle East and Europe beckons. Time will tell. For now, I may travel around California a bit more until the next opportunity presents itself. More to come soon.