Sun, fun, and lessons from Costa Rica

Sunsets, coconuts, beaches, sunshine, adventure, and wildlife. My husband, Eric, and I spent the last week in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Located on the northern, Pacific side of the country, we were impressed by the beauty of the landscape and the friendliness of the people. Below are the highlights and lessons from our trip. 

Adventure is abundant

Whether you zip line, hike, drive through washed-out roads, or see wildlife you haven’t seen before, adventure is abundant in Costa Rica. Eric and I picked two adventures – Diamante Eco Adventure Park and surfing lessons. 

At Diamante we plummeted down a mountain, face first on the Superman zip line for nearly a mile. It was an exhilarating experience and one neither of us will forget! We also met a few two-toed sloths and hung out with butterflies in the animal sanctuary. 

The most unexpected part of this excursion was the van ride through the washed-out roads. We drove through water that was over three feet deep, with loose gravel underneath. It reminded us a little of the flash flood ride at Universal Studios. 

Surfing started out really well. I grew up at the beach and have been afraid of surfing so it was a big deal to face my fear and get out there. On the first two waves, I crouched on my knees. On the third wave, I stood up but hesitated a little too long. On my dismount, I rolled my ankle and spent the rest of the morning at the doctor and at the x-ray clinic. It’s a grade one sprain – which means it’s, thankfully, the least serious. 

Life sends messages

The sprained ankle injury sent me a couple of life reminders that I needed to hear – the first one was to relax. I have been struggling with taking time to truly relax and a sprained ankle has me doing just that. 

The other lesson I learned was in the Lewis Howes’ podcast interview with Mel Robbins I listened to on the trip home. In it, she talks about her popular “5-second rule.” Our pre-frontal cortex has 5 seconds to engage before our subconscious brain kicks in. The subconscious part of the brain is the part of the brain that keeps us stuck in patterns to keep us safe. While on the surfboard, I realize in hindsight, that I didn’t stand up until after 5 seconds and my flight or fight, fear-based subconscious engaged. This was a good lesson for future ventures when I exit my comfort zone – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

Pura Vida

Pura Vida is a way of life in Costa Rica. The people there live simply and focus on what they’re thankful for, rather than the negative. Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world and you feel it when you’re there. Adapting to this type of attitude and way of life is therapeutic. 

Check out Costa Rica – go with the flow and enjoy it!

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