JamesSadler's Travel Journals

JamesSadler James Sadler

  • 27 years old
  • From Texas, United States
  • Currently in Atenas, Costa Rica

2009 Summer in Costa Rica

Reflections after a two month stay volunteering in Costa Rica

Looking back

Costa Rica Atenas, Costa Rica  |  Aug 13, 2009
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 Costa Ricans, or Ticos, are generally a happy lot, and when a study that named Costa Rica “The Happiest Country in the World” surfaced late last June, I could easily trust the results 

    I’ve only been back home for five days now, but the change in lifestyle from the rest of my summer is already shocking to me. Houston is a bustling, huge city of over four million people living fast paced lives striving to reach the American Dream. Costa Rica, on the other hand, is a humble country with the same population as Houston that seems perfectly content to be right where it is.    I spent two months in the peaceful Pacific Republic, mostly in a volunteering gig with the Municipality (local government) of a small town called Atenas. My experience taught me to appreciate the simpler things in life, something Costa Ricans are experts at (they even mold this attitude into their daily vocabulary, constantly saying “Pura Vida,” or good life, in normal conversations). Costa Ricans, or Ticos, are generally a happy lot, and when a study that named Costa Rica “The Happiest Country in the World” surfaced late last June, I could easily trust the results. People there value harmony above all else, and I felt more than welcomed by my host family, my co-workers, and by all the other locals I met whether in the Central Market or on the soccer field.     While Costa Rica is an ideal place to volunteer for a couple of months, it is also a great place to travel and see breathtaking sites. Almost every weekend I traveled with fellow volunteers around the country to mountain tops, rainforests, both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, a couple active volcanoes, and much more. Costa Rica has so much to offer to any tourist, and even after traveling on almost every weekend for two months there are still cities and national parks that I have yet to visit (which makes a great excuse to return as soon as I can).     Trying to describe my experience in more words is difficult, both because of the quality of my time abroad and the fact that practicing Spanish so much has significantly decreased my English speaking and writing abilities. I’ll leave my reflections here for now, but attached is a video I made that shows just a fraction of the great times I had in the country that welcomes everyone that wants to have a good time.¡Pura vida!James Sadler

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  • User Profile Photo
    AshleysOut wrote: Thu Jan 6, 2011
    James,
    I love, love, love your synopsis of your summer in Costa Rica. I have always wanted to go and reading your journal helped to further solidify that 'dream'.
    I am in the very early stages on planning my trip, but could use some insight and perhaps some direction on how to make this happen.
    Would love to hear from you. Thanks! Ashley
  • Looking back

    August 13, 2009
    No Photo | 1 Video