1. I found this on my computer

    So, here I am… on the plane. I seriously don’t know how to begin writing something like this. When I get back I know everyone will ask, “How was it?!” But how do they expect me to answer? Because in order to explain the impact of this trip, well I’d have to create a playback video of my entire life for the last 5 weeks and 2 days.
    To be honest, I wasn’t planning to come back. I still know/understand that there is a high possibility that I will never return and never see those people again. I’ve been to France, I’ve been to Spain. I know that for the next month I will still be in the honeymoon faze: In love with my experience. It is a little different this time though. I still feel as if I will spend a portion of my life in Europe, but I know that I have to return to Costa Rica. Not for the beaches, not for the sloths, and definitely not for the hole filled sidewalks. I have to return because I have a family and friends there. Heck, I even have a crush ;)
    Last night I was given a new tico name, Samantha Mora Garbanzo. (The waterworks had already started before that). Just you wait though, just you wait. This morning I awoke to noise of my mami tica cooking in the kitchen. I knew exactly what she was doing. She made Gallo Pinto for breakfast :) So I devoured my perfect Costa Rican breakfast with here seated at the table with me. Soon after the kids woke up and we hung out. We played eSTOP! for the last time… Mami tica also surprised me. Like big time. being there for so long I was able to see 5 people leave from the family and not one of them received a gift. So when she was standing outside my door with what looked like a gift I was so shocked. And what was inside was so precious. The other day she told me she was making pajamas. She has made them for all of the family, so it was another symbol of them welcoming me into the family. I’m so excited to try them on!! There was also a card included and I couldn’t read it in front of them, so I came up with the dumb idea to read it on the plane, which therefore made me the awkward girl who was crying to herself on the plane. But I don’t think anyone noticed! :P
    Yes, those are all reasons as to why I must return, but the main one is yet to come. As I was leaving and my ride was waiting. First off the kids clung to me. (I didn’t want them to let me go.) I finally got to my stuff though and Mami Tica asked where my keys were. I handed them to her and she started checking to see if it fit in the door. I just assumed that was just a procedure she just liked to do or something. Nope, nope… it was something completely unexpected. As I headed to the door she got my attention and was holding the key to their house in her hand. She then gave it to me. She said it was so I could come back and will have to come back. I am the only person they have ever done that for. The only one. I couldn’t and still can’t believe it. All words literally escaped me as I was leaving and still are. I am speechless in regards to the journey that is just now ending for me.
    As I write that though, I had to remind myself that it is not the end of this journey. Coming to Costa Rica started a never ending journey that I am ecstatic to continue for the rest of my life. My future is still not clear, but I don’t want it to be. I’d rather just experience purest life I can.

  2. twigwise:



    been feeling kind of paranoid lately









    Take that time by yourself to get to know yourself and rediscover what makes you shine. Don’t surrender yourself to waiting, and don’t stay isolated for too long, because there’s a beautiful you the world is dying to meet. 


    (Source: ragsiel, via mozwolf)

  3. The first reactions to experiences like these are wow that’s incredible, BUT impractical, unfeasible, nonviable, and any other word that relates to impossible.

    Is that true though?

    For the past 5 or so years of my life, like every other, I have been faced with the question, What do you want to do with your life? This question, it’s so daunting because we think there can only be one answer. One set plan. People who get to do things like these guys are one in a million. It is not realistic for the average person. Why not though?

    I’ve decided it’s because most people do not have the guts to say, Screw that and just try. Well, that’s what I have done. I believed that things like that were not reachable, but then I tried. So far, just by trying I had the opportunity to live in Costa Rica for 5 weeks and soon I will be leading a 1 week trip to Belize. And you know what, I accomplished all of this simply by saying, hey why not give it a shot and see what happens?!

    So many people spend their entire lives saving up for that one special event. In the meantime they just sit back and accept their everyday life. For some that is enough. That is their dream and their answer to life. Maybe that will be enough for me someday, but until then I want to make things like this video my reality.

    So my answer to, What do I want to do with my life? For now, I shall just say that I want to live it.


  4. "You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again."
    — Azar Nafisi (via opulentheart)

    (Source: vacants, via enjoythewild)


  5. Letter to Dad

    First, I just want to say that they celebrate Father’s Day here as well. So I was sad to not be able to contact you to tell you that I love you.
    I went on a tour the other day though by myself and met a family. They were all from Puerto Rico :) and they welcomed me into their group like I was family. Also, I went on another tour recently and met a father daughter pair. They were just exploring together.
    I miss that Dad. It was so much fun to just explore the two of us and fill our stomachs until they were going to burst! I’ve thought about you a lot on my trip here. The things we would do if it was the two of us traveling around. All the jokes we would have together afterwards.
    I really hope we can go on a trip again someday. Whether it’s back to Puerto Rico, to Wisconsin to eat cheese, or to Peru to see Machu Picchu. I don’t care because I know we would have a blast :)
    Miss you, Daddy! See you soon!

  6. These little ones. And the rest of the family. They are why I don’t want to leave just yet. This past week has gone by SO fast and I realized that I barely spent any of it with my family. My tico family. So now as I am laying in my bed in their home, I feel at home. I came home this evening and they were at the grocery store so I decided to go to bed. I heard them return though and heard my mama Tica say something about me. Then she asked outside of my door if I was here. I said yes and then a moment later she asked if I had eaten. (I WAS REALLY HUNGRY!!)
    After I ate my dinner I thanked her and she said she knew that I had returned hungry! How did she know that?!
    … Because she’s my mama Tica.
    Situations like these are difficult for me at this point because you become so attached, but I know that I most likely will never see anyone here ever again. The dreams we may all have of having these moments again, is a dream. It’s possible we may see one another someday, yes. So that’s what keeps us going, hope.
    That’s one thing that Jungle Tom taught me in Tortuguero: The ultimate goal in life is not perfection, but hope. And as my mommy always says, you have to believe. Believe that this time is precious, these people are precious, and life is precious. I mean, when you get down to it, what is the last thing you lose before death; life.
    That very thought definitely gave me a smack in the face.
    So because of those little ones up there and the rest of my tico family, I don’t know what I shall do for my last 3.25 days, but I believe that it will be beautiful and I hope that it will not be goodbye, but see you later.

  7. I just had a breathtaking experience in Manuel Antonio. It is seriously one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my entire life. Maybe I’ll end up there someday instead of Tortuguero or France. I’m still dreaming about that :) but I can’t explain how happy I am to have been able to go to such a beautiful place!

  8. My last day of class with these beautiful students.

  9. I am a huge fan of markets. When I heard there was a really big one on Sundays I had to go! Who better to ask than my momma Tica :)
    So this past Sunday, papa Tico drove mama Tica an I to La Feria (don’t mind my spelling) but that’s what they call a market. As we walked around mama Tica did her thing, I was overwhelmed, and papa Tico carried around the bag of fresh produce. There were definitely some things I didn’t recognize!
    I told them I was going to make something for them, so I threw together the salad above :) Mango, lime, cilantro, avocado, and cucumber. And….
    THEY LIKED IT!!!!!!!
    So I’m so pumped about that :)))

    Oh! And before we got back to the house, we drove past mama Tica’s old place of residency. She told me her siblings still lived there. We stopped for a second so I could look when she asked me if I would like to meet them. I was shocked, nervous, and soooo thrilled to get such an opportunity. We just walked in and she introduced me, but it was a one of a kind experience. I can’t believe how lucky I am :)



    So, the amigas and I planned a trip to Tortuguero this past Friday. I was excited, but not ecstatic at the time. I assumed we would just see some trees. BUT THEN…

    We woke up late and completely missed our trip!!!!! I was so bummed and mad about the $100 I lost. GAHH! I was sooo sad. I started to realize how cool the trip was going to be and how excited I should have been. We were going to go on a boat through the jungle and see animals and beautiful scenery. Why did we miss it?!?! Somehow though, with luck, we talked to our guy Ricardo and he hooked us up to go the next day. And to be honest, I think it was meant to be.

    The tour company we went with was called, “Jungle Tom’s Safari”…. I think. If we had gone on Friday, we never would have met Jungle Tom, and let me tell you, Everyone should meet Jungle Tom. He was just an incredible guide and taught us his insight on life. It made our trip so enjoyable and I officially want to live in Tortuguero. It is this little (I think island) town in between a river and the ocean. The sand on the beach is black because it’s from a volcano and the river is full of gorgeous trees and wildlife. ALSO, the town itself is adorable. They work on recycling as much as possible and it’s so colorful. Seriously, I’m looking for my new house there. (Just kidding mom and dad! I have to graduate first!)

    But really that day was SO great :)

    P.S. I finally got to see a sloth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!