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Solo Traveling to Costa Rica: Lessons from the Earth Mother

Miles and miles of pure, untouched, mountainous rainforest beauty. Walls of ferns, the ancestors of the forest. Non-existent Wi-Fi. The sun, blazing hot and intense. Rocky roads. This is how I started the New Year.

Solo traveling to Costa Rica as a female American tourist (during a pandemic, to boot), I'll admit had a certain amount of stress tied to it. I almost didn't go out of concern for my safety. A housemate of mine lovingly and only half jokingly said, "Don't get trafficked!" My dad offered to buy my plane ticket back from me and mentioned his concern at least 3 or 4 times, to my exasperation. Ultimately, though, I knew part of my dissatisfaction stemmed from my excess level of comfort. I knew there was more out there for me, and I decided to go looking for it.

In the end, it was an amazing decision. Hiking Rio Celeste and lava flows at Arenal Volcano, swimming under Rio Fortuna Waterfall and in hot springs, canyoning and rappelling, ziplining in Monteverde Cloud Forest superman style for a mile between two mountains, and Tarzan swinging (but not before contemplating my life decisions and yelling "This is crazy!" while the tour guide said "I know! One, two, *push* WAIT!!" while I'm free-falling and screaming)… Between all the action, I had plenty of time to reflect on my relationship with the land, to remember what it feels like to be human in a time with such rapid and unpredictable change. I journeyed to recalibrate my attention towards what truly matters to me.


High in the treetops, a green-eyed, yellow-bellied and banana-beaked toucan sings; he tosses his head back and lets out a sweet call for a mate.

Perfectly camouflaged, the fifth deadliest viper rests on a tree.

A sloth suspends herself in a tree by two of her limbs so she can scratch her leg with her three pointy claws.

A pack of raccoon-like coatis with elongated snouts, long tails, and black and white markings run across the street.

Iridescent green hummingbirds flit between purple flower beds in front of the backdrop of Arenal Volcano, which is enshrouded by wispy clouds. Every few minutes, a lean storm cloud pops and releases an outpouring of water for the land.

A tarantula sits in its den.

Admiring the foliage, a rainforest is delicious to the senses. Costa Rican cuisine, beautiful vistas, acres of villas etched into the mountains with cows happily grazing between the hilltops. It seems like every turn holds a new feast for the eyes and soul.


The water is the most delicious water I've ever tasted. The waterfalls provide potable spring water and most tap here comes from the springs.