Goodbye, Costa Rica

January 4, 2015 - 5:23 pm No Comments

Caught my plane out of Juan SantamarĂ­a International Airport at the crack of dawn.

San Jose from the Air

Because I am the best son ever, I carefully planned a layover in Houston so that I could meet up with my Mom for lunch. Bonus!

Bonus Lunch with Mom

Now, I’m home. I’m exhausted, but just physically. For me, travel wears out the body but recharges the mind and soul. I return home from trips like this feeling really good about myself, feeling like I understand the world and my place in it a little bit better. Coming home with a sweet tan also helps.

And now I’m faced with the mountain of photos to sort and edit and caption and post. Man, it’s time-consuming. Unless you get a solid 2-3 hours to work every day, it’s pretty much impossible to stay up-to-date as you’re traveling.

So what did I think of Costa Rica? Beautiful country with a variety of activities, with safe water and most first-world luxuries. It’s an easy place to travel, as just about everyone is welcoming, friendly, and speaks English. You have to watch your back in some of the sketchier neighborhoods, and there may be places where you can’t flush toilet paper down the toilet, but from what I hear, Costa Rica is definitely the jewel of Central America. The food was good, but wouldn’t mind taking a little break from rice for a while.

Bonus facts about Costa Rica:

  • Costa Ricans are a proud people. They often refer to Costa Rica and Central America as separate entities.
  • Costa Ricans use the expression “Pura Vida!” as a friendly greeting. It was ripped off from Mexican movie when cinema first came to Costa Rica in the 1940’s.
  • The pace of life is slow. No one is in any hurry to serve your food or refill your drink. Making as much money as possible is not the priority. Making as much as you need to be happy is what’s important, a philosophy foreign to Americans.
  • You can get smoothies anywhere, and sometimes you get the option to have them made with water or milk. The milk ones with banana as a base flavor are best.
  • Limes are green on outside, but a pretty orange on the inside.
  • Public health messages on boxes of cigarettes are horrifying.
  • Wifi passwords pretty much everywhere are the name of the establishment in lower case and then the year the password was created
  • ATMs close at 10pm because people used to get taken to them at knifepoint and forced to withdraw all of their money.
  • Most people stop at red lights.

Would I go back? Maybe. There are parts of the country highly recommended to me that I never got to, including Tamarindo and the Atlantic coast. But there are so many other places in the world to go…

No Regrets.

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