Costa Rica Travel — Beach Party
The other day a friend made a comment to me; “Costa Rica needs to become part of the global community and stop living so backward.” If I had heard this comment 9 years ago when I first arrived to this country, I may have continued the conversation citing the laughable roads or the fact that you can drive as fast as you like as long as you carry 5,000 colones for the transit police bribe as examples of this. We would have talked about the ability to do whatever you wish with no repercussion and chuckled about the highway to Orotina which is just a few months from completion every few years. Over the past 9 years, I have experienced a range of emotions from amusement to frustration regarding these issues and others and yet I am still here. Why?
Costa Rica Travel — Boogie Boarder taking advantage of waves
Along with these frustrations, I have also enjoyed a much more laid back life. There is no keeping up with the Joneses as social and financial status does not matter when you are facing a Class IV rapid on the Pacuare River. Your occupation does not factor in when you are about to catch the wave of the day on your second-hand surf board. Your cell phone and BlackBerry are safely stowed in your room as natural spring waters pound out the stress of the long roadtrip. Costa Rica is blessed with natural wonders all around us, yet this is not what makes it unique. The US has the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Boundary Waters and more. What sets Costa Ricans apart is the fact that they enjoy the beauty around them every chance they get.
Costa Rica Travel — Girls jumping in water
Whether it is summer vacation or a long weekend, you will always see a gaggle of locals at one of the many beaches, mountains and wildlife preserves. The Costa Rican instant gratification mantra of live NOW may seem alien to those of us brought up to work hard now so we can enjoy later, yet this is exactly why Costa Rica has won both my heart and soul. It is said that Ticos will use any excuse to throw a party. I say Why not? What are we waiting for? As a small business owner, I understand the importance of dedicating yourself completely to whatever you do and personal life is no exception. Work does not define the Costa Rican culture, it is just one more thing they do. They dedicate themselves completely to living life and enjoying as much of it as possible.
This Pura Vida attitude can’t be all bad as Costa Ricans have the longest average life expectancy rate in the world. Bad roads, loose law enforcement and slow public works create the illusion of a backward society. The fact of the matter is, however, that a dedication to living life fully is what I call forward thinking. Costa Rica is much like your good friend who flies by the seat of his pants while you are dedicated to your 9-5 career. You think he needs to grow up and face real life and yet deep down you are a little jealous that he is having so much fun. Someday, he will grow up, settle down and have great stories to tell: so will Costa Rica!
|Written by tony|
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Filed under: Travel on November 5th, 2007