Costa Rica 2016

Spring Break (April 2016)

I got the amazing oppurtunity to travel with the company EF tours to Costa Rica last month. Myself along with 13 others traveled through so many places while on this 8 day extravaganza! We started off by headed to Nashville, Tennessee to fly to Atlanta where we then flew into a very known city of Costa Rica, San Jose. So here is a break down of the trip…

Days 1-2 (Nashville, TN -> San Jose -> Liberia Guanacaste, Costa Rica)

So day one was mostly spent traveling, flying, eating, laughing, and sleeping in uncomfortable airplane seats. (The service was amazing I’d have to say!)  Once we arrived in San Jose, around 10:30 pm, it was one of the scariest moments in my life. I guess I forgot to mention that this was my first trip out of the U.S.A and my “small town” I mentioned in my bio could be defined as: no diversity at all town. It was all so new to me so just bare with me for a few minutes! So we are in the airport late at night and there’s a swat team, people speaking a language I wasn’t familiar with, and people pulling on me and asking me questions. I was freaked. It all got so much better when our tour guide, Allen, showed up about 20 minutes after our arrival. There is began, we hoped on the bus and rode for about 2 hours on a bumpy dirt rode all the way to our destination where we showered and then slept peacefully. Day Dos (see what I did there) was packed with exciting adventures I never thought would end. We woke up that morning, put on our Chacos, and went. Well, first we had breakfast (which was soooooo amazing)IMG_9047

and then we went. The beginning of the day consisted of learning basic spanish so we could communicate with the locals. We went out on our “resort” area and asked the workers things like, “How are you?” and “What is your name?” in spanish. Soon after this we went and hiked a verrrryyyy long trail to a beautiful waterfall in Guanacaste… (The ACTUAL aftermath of Chacos and hiking) IMG_9533          But the view was so worth it (pictures don’t do some things justice), IMG_8893                                                    After this adventure you probably could have guessed how tired and gross we were. Allen (the tour guide) surprised us all by continuing the walk to a natural hot spring where we got to swim and give ourselves natural hot mud masks all over our bodies. IMG_8903.JPGIMG_8885

After this we were all ready to go back to our unique rooms and go to sleep.

Day 3-4 (San Carlos -> Tilaran -> Aljuela -> Heredia and Guanacaste)

Day three was mostly used for transportation to our next place we stayed. While traveling, we stopped on the way to take a few pictures of a very famous and still active volcano in Costa Rica (The most active one today)IMG_8958IMG_9015

I don’t know how to explain how amazing it was so here you go… This was the view from our cute little hut.

Also while we were traveling to our sleeping destination we got to enjoy the oppurtunity to zip-line. I will attach my Go-Pro video for this trip at the end. There you will see footage of the amazing views we had while experiencing this.

Imagine waking up to this every morning to read and steady your soul…IMG_9043.JPG

Day four was one of the most touching and humbling experiences I’ve had at the age of 17. We got to go to an elementary school in Costa Rica and experience their culture and school life and then we got to show them a little bit of ours. It was such a heart-warming experience when we drove up to the school and all of the little girls and boys were smiling so big and each one grabbed one of our hands and escorted us to our seats. Then they continued to sing us their national anthem and the we sang them ours. They did ritual dances and we showed them things like gymnastics. The difference in our cultures are outrageous, but they are all so beautiful.

 

When we left the school we continued our travels to our third sleeping place… It was rather interesting, but breath taking! We stayed in literal tents in the middle of the rain forrest! This was quite odd and scary for one who likes the comfort of her own bed and constant air-conditioning. IMG_9337.JPG Both nights we stayed here we could have sworn there were birds in our tent!

Day 5-End (Sarapiqui -> San Jose -> Alajuela)

To be honest, the rest of the days all kind of blended together. After staying in the tents and having amazing salsa dance lessons the night before, we left and headed for the city. On the way there we stopped at a All Natural Chocolate Farm, a coffee plantation, and we got to taste test multiple fruits and vegetables!

After a day full of fun we knew our trip was coming to an end. Allen took us to a sponsors home where they cooked a home meal for us and treated us like family. I don’t have any pictures from this event, but it was so amazing how someone could invite 14 total strangers into their home just so they could experience the Costa Rican culture. The last day before we took off back to Nashville we stopped on the way to our hotel in San Jose for so peace and quiet and of course a picture or two!

When we finally made it to our hotel in San Jose we were physically and mentally exhausted. But Hey!!! We graduated!! IMG_9542.JPG

Be Young and Blonde

In conclusion, the trip was more than I could have ever imagined it being. It was a very good starter trip for someone who had never been out of the country! (A.K.A- Me) I would recommend EF tours to anyone who is interested in traveling abroad and wanted someone to show them culture and the loops around the place. Now you didn’t think I made it through this trip without some blonde moments did you? Not only was this trip culturally enhancing and physically exhausting, but it was a trip where I made relationships with many people that I will never forget. The thing I will probably remember most about this trip is all the laughing that went on. The changes that happened in me will forever be present and I will never forget the people that made this trip possible and helped make it so incredible. From not knowing who Joe Biden is, all the hilarious spanish lessons,making all the power in one of our resorts turn off, the long bus rides, the speaker, and when we played Justin Bieber and sang to our bus driver Mariso. Times like these are to be cherished forever. Cherish memories, not things. Be You.

Be Young and Blonde.

To watch the Go-Pro video of this trip do the following:

  1. Go to Youtube.com
  2. Search for hannahturner21
  3. The video is called COSTA RICA 2016
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