It’s amazing how much more time you seem to have when you’re not living your everyday mundane life. Instead of laying in bed on Netflix I am hiking up volcanoes and ziplining through a canopy of trees.
Not that I’m knocking binge watching Netflix. I am wholeheartedly looking forward to catching up when I get a chance, but it’s nice to have a bit more activity in my life.
Where I’ve Been
Liberia, Costa Rica (2 nights)
Tamarindo, Costa Rica (2 nights)
San Juanillo, Costa Rica (7 nights)
San Juan, Puerto Rico (1 night)
Rincon, Puerto Rico (3 nights)
In Liberia, the main attraction was getting my bearings in a new country and hiking Rincon de la Vieja.
Tamarindo was all about beach time and getting a feel for the solo travel life.
San Juanillo had one purpose: a retreat called Nourish. Play. Serve. that I talked about in my last Wanderlust Wednesday. This was hands down one of the best experiences of my life.
Then came a full 21 hours of transit which brought me to San Juan and more specifically the airport hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Now I am in Rincon, Puerto Rico for a job opportunity this week. So far I am loving it!
What I’ve Loved
Sitting in the courtyard of Hotel Liberia, drinking a passion fruit smoothie.
Hiking to the waterfall at Rincon de la Vieja (I didn’t die!)
Experiencing local life on my bus rides around the country.
Meeting two travelers at my hostel in Tamarindo and having a great chat.
The sunsets in Tamarindo.
Hacienda del Sol, the place where we had the retreat, was magical in every way (especially all the delicious food that was served).
All of the amazing women I met on my retreat.
The secluded beaches of San Juanillo.
Yelling during Kundalini Yoga and all of the Howler Monkeys yelling along with us.
Ziplining through the mountains of Nosara and being suspended completely upside down with the sky below me and the mountains above me.
Meeting the schoolchildren of San Juanillo and playing with them.
Having five minutes at the Orlando Airport where my friend Keri and I were both there about to catch flights and being able to hug her and have a quick convo.
Finally making it to my bed at the San Juan airport hotel.
Puerto Rico being my 26th country visited: extra special because it’s my 26th year of life!
Sipping a rum punch and watching the sunset in Rincon.
What I’ve Learned
Don’t eat anything unfamiliar the night before flying. I ate okonomiyaki and ramen at a (delicious) place in NYC the night before leaving, and that combined with my nervous stomach made for a night with little sleep.
Probably don’t tell two men when you’re alone in a car with them in an unfamiliar country that you are traveling alone (Not that anything bad happened, but still..)
Wear long pants when hiking through the Costa Rican jungle.
Public buses in Costa Rica will drop the locals off at their destination, like RIGHT at their door, and sometimes the bus driver will hop out of the bus to carry their cargo into their home, too.
Even a bigger tourist town like Tamarindo might not have a fire department. I witnessed a fire that ravaged a few buildings, leaving them burnt to the ground. A humbling experience.
It’s hard to go to the beach when you’re traveling by yourself. How do you go in the water with no one there to watch your stuff?
I definitely packed too much. I will need to pare it down for the next trip. Also, I need a new “front” backpack (AKA the backpack I wear on my front to maximize space and allow me to carry my bigger backpack on the back).
There is a bus that goes directly from Santa Cruz to San Juanillo. I learned this after I had already arrived in Nicoya after transferring to a different bus in Santa Cruz and before I had to get a taxi the rest of the way from Nosara.
It is possible to feel like you’ve known a group of women forever after only 24 hours.
My body is not meant to eat like a raw vegan. The food at Hacienda, while delicious, did not totally agree with my digestive system.
Never (or at least try to avoid) flying into the USA for an international connection. I spent 21 hours in transit getting from Costa Rica to Puerto Rico. There are no direct flights (!!) from Costa Rica to Puerto Rico (??) that I could find, so I had to go through Orlando. I had to go through customs and then security again. A major pain in the butt. But it all worked out okay and I made it to Puerto Rico in one piece!
Puerto Rico does NOT have a public transportation system outside of San Juan. You will need to rent a car if, for instance, you need to get from San Juan to the other side of the island (Rincon, in my case).
Probably figure out the above BEFORE you’re sitting at the airport about to board a flight to Puerto Rico.
Eva is an anxious traveler, who has learned to boldly confront her fears and travel anyways. Her mission with Eva Explores is to show women around the world how to travel despite their fears! Growing up in New York, Eva was bitten by both the travel bug and the acting bug, which led her to live most of her early 20s in NYC. In 2015, she left her life in NYC to become a full-time nomad. Now, Eva works as a content creator as she travels around the world by herself, searching for the best cup of coffee in the world.