Personal Narrative: Costa Rica Changed My Life

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In my travels of the world I have found myself immersed in many cultures and varieties of ethnicity; I have been very fortunate to live in a day and age where such communication and experience is possible in one lifetime. I have seen La Cathedral de Notre Dame, the Statue of Liberty, the home of Da Vinci, and so many more wonderfully spiritual and historic monuments. Yet still I can say with the utmost certainty that no location has left such a lasting impact on my soul as the quaint, simple country of Costa Rica. Although many places have penetrated me with a sense of what the majestic earth and her inhabitants are capable of and have forced me to question whether or not anything is beyond the grasp of human ingenuity, none have brought me to terms with the dissatisfaction and flawed pursuit of happiness in my life like Costa Rica has. I have never imagined a group of people to be able to live in such “poverty” with such satisfaction and spiritual contentment; and as I traveled the countryside I had never before then felt closer to understanding my creator and my own mortality than I was standing at the highest point of my journey on that precipice overlooking the vast valley below me, overshadowed by the towering mountains around me. Neither, down on the beaches of the pacific, had I before then felt so powerful and yet so insignificant, swimming out past the break line while staring down some of the biggest waves in the world with nothing but my own rebellion against fear and a piece of fiberglass to conquer them with. Costa Rica changed my life, if only for a moment, like nothing or no one has since.

As I stepped off the airplane for the first time thinking of the chances that my friends at home were partying without me and...

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...th how brave you really are and what you are truly willing to risk. It is a terrible dilemma to have to make the decision that you will put everything on the line for a few possible seconds of triumph and satisfaction. How simple our lives are in such a watery light.

Returning to the city my journey began at I recognized nothing. As I stepped back onto the plane that would return me to my old life I swore I would never forget the wisdom I had seen and discovered and that I would tirelessly apply it to the life I left behind. I never again wanted to live day to day with no appreciation for what the world could be. But as I sat in that plane looking out the window and seeing my reflection mixed with the blue and white background I fell asleep. That me, the one who was born in the land of Costa Rica, would not wake up though I can remember him fondly to this day.

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