Costa Rica: Part One

“Not all those who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

I love airplanes. I love peering out the window and all I see are blankets of cotton candy clouds. I love the notion that I am floating somewhere in the sky. And it makes me so happy. I’ve been on airplanes a few times, and each time I am overwhelmed with excitement. People should really enjoy plane rides more. A century ago, flying was deemed impossible. Human flight was a miracle. I think of this as I sit on my chair in the stratosphere, and revere in the beauty of it all.. then I smile to myself. Living in this moment is solid proof that anything is possible. We must always find the magic in these small beautiful moments, because it could be as big as however you imagine it to be.

There’s something so nostalgic about airports. Once you look beyond schedule and hectic routine that lies on the surface, you’ll find so much beauty.. like everything else in life. I love the sense of mystery and adventure, that you have to be somewhere. And you wonder where these people are going and what they’ll be doing. I love watching people in tears saying their goodbyes to people they may not see for months, years, forever. I love watching people arrive as their loved ones cry tears of joy. Months or years of anticipation, right in front of them. Yes, they are strangers. But for a few seconds you can take a peek into their lives. There’s  a strong sense of connection regardless of the fact that they are aware or unaware that this is witnessed. I love being entwined with other people’s emotions even for just fleeting moments, because we are all human and we all know how that feels. We become touched by each other’s spirits. And again you are reminded that you are never alone.

Mexico D.F. 

It was raining when we got out of the airport. Our hostel shuttle was waiting for us outside. After several years of California weather, I find humidity licking my skin again as we stepped out of the airport. It was midnight and pouring rain. We drove through the shiny roads reflected by orange street light. I looked around and was in awe, I’m finally in Costa Rica. Tired but happy, I felt like I was dreaming.

Hostel Pangea- San Jose, Costa Rica

Wandering through the city.

Everything is so green. The roads are so narrow. And Costa Rican drivers border on being brave and insane. Everything is brand new so I feel like an eager child. I am looking through the window as we drive out the city and up into the mountains and rainforests. I love seeing things for the first time, as if I was born again. Our quirky tour guide, Jeremy explains the meaning of Pura Vida. Pure life. It means to life to the fullest, pushing the limits of excitement, or as far as your sense of adventure takes you. To savor life in each delicious moment, and to live purely day by day. It’s a perfect definition for this country. Those two words will always resonate within me wherever I go.

Coffee tasting tour at the oldest coffee plantation in Costa Rica.

We drove farther up to hike up Poas Volcano.

And there it was, Poas Volcano right before us. The fog hovering over this ethereal blue pool of acid. I felt like I was in a dream awake with wide eyes.

Seeing the La Paz waterfalls for the first time instantly took my breathe away. The rain was pouring down on us. Amidst this incredible cloud rainforest I can feel every drop of cool rain bouncing off my bare skin. I look up at the large trees framing the sky and see bullets of water falling through it. I hold my hand out and focused on every drop. I felt almost every hair raise from bliss chills. In that moment I felt so alive. Here I am in a different country. In a rainforest. Right by a waterfall. Away from my family and friends. Away from the life I was familiar with. Outside of my comfort zone. I’m not Stephanie who was born and raised in the Philippines. I’m not Stephanie who lives in the United States. I’m not the person I identified with.

I am a feeling, pulsing, bleeding, breathing, conscious being living right here in this moment.. in organic ecstasy as I feel the water falling from the thick light gray clouds. A majestic waterfall right before my eyes. And in that moment of Satori..

No past. No future. Living in pure bliss of every present moment… I felt completely free and infinite.

After 3 days and 3 nights in San Jose, we’ve had a good dose of the city. So we decided to take a 6-hour bus and head over to La Fortuna, the home of the Arenal Volcano.


Arenal Backpackers- La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

I decided to wander off before it started pouring rain again. As I was walking down the street I look to the side and see children playing. I attempt to communicate with some broken Spanish phrases and capture their moments.

To be continued….

6 thoughts on “Costa Rica: Part One

  1. Wonderfully written. I felt like I was there in those moments myself and the pictures sure did a lot to help. I’ve always wanted to go to South America an actually wanted to teach English there instead of Korea but I followed a friend here. After reading this Im certain I’ll be in Costs Rica someday. Keep goin!!

  2. Thank you Jeremy! You definitely have to go to Costa Rica. You’d love it! The only thing is it was a lot pricier than I thought but definitely worth it. But you can also go up to Nicaragua which is cheaper and less “tourist-y”, and there are hidden places down there that I’ve heard are mind-blowing and beautiful.(Sadly I didn’t go because I didn’t have enough time) I’m planning on backpacking from South America throughout Central America again one day.

  3. Brilliantly written, I love your vocabulary. I wish I could write as exquisitely and creatively as my complex mind and innate creative soul is.

    • Today I’ve been thinking about a vriteay of things, among them you, and I sought to see if maybe you were still writing. And here you are. I’ve really enjoyed so far what I’ve read on here. (Notably Cactus versus Plumeria, especially this line: Her ears fluttered with waves and wind and wild.)Anyways, down to business. Responding to Mr. Jancik, you asked: [W]hat keeps people from pursuing their dreams fully?My response to your question is a question too: Are all dreams worth pursuing? I suppose at the heart of the question is this: Are all dreams worth dreaming?I look forward to your answer.

  4. I learned about Satori word 2 days ago… I’ve never heard before about it… I was searching about that in WWW and I found your block and pictures…. very good and beuatiful pics…. thank you very much for let me feel proud about my country…

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