My Costa Rican adventure took place in December of 2021. After a crazy year of dealing with everything going on in the world and working a stressful job. I was graciously invited to stay with one of my best friends who was already having her own travel adventure with my niece.
Best random roommate placement ever.
Honestly. Thank you apartment manager. Eleven years and two fantastic kids (I'm the cool aunt), later we are still Besties!
I spent most of my time in Costa Rica in the beautiful town of Puerto Viejo. Puerto Viejo is on the Caribbean side of the country along the Atlantic Ocean. In some parts, the ocean is so clear you see the individual pebbles embedded in the sand.
The town and its people truly live the "Pura Vida" lifestyle. Everyone embraces a slower pace of living. It is the complete opposite of the typical American lifestyle that I was used to, and it was just what I needed.
There are a few things that make this town so special and different from anywhere else in Costa Rica. For one thing, this town has the largest concentration of Americans living here outside of San Jose. So if you want to meet other expats or just see how people live in Costa Rica this is a great place to go! Secondly, there's only one main road in and out of town making it feel even more secluded. A four hour drive, or in my case, a Mepe bus ride from San Jose, Costa Rica Puerto Viejo transports you to a whole other world.
The house that I stayed in resided in Punta Uva, a ten minute drive from the center of Puerto Viejo. It was different, comfortable, and peaceful. A little casita surrounded by jungle.
You can get to town easily and there are local buses that go back and forth for about $1.50 per person. You can also take TukTuks to get into town for about $7 for a 15 minute fun, breezy ride.
If you're from the US, it's important to know that Costa Rica uses a different currency than ours (the colón). There are plenty of places both in San Jose and Puerto Viejo where you can change over your money.
Connecting With Nature
Puerto Viejo was a fantastic place to connect with nature. When you are deep in the jungle and away from some of the conveniences from home.
Get up early and hike down the trail by yourself. Make sure you can see the sunrise over the waterfalls from where you sit — it will be worth it! Being alone with your thoughts is an amazing experience, especially here in this tranquil place where there are no distractions from anything but nature itself. When you're ready to leave, look around one last time before heading back up into town where everyone else is waking up too — they'll all be hungry by now!
Journaling On The Beach
Take time to relax and reflect. Journaling is a great way to practice mindfulness and gratitude, which are both important when traveling. As you're walking around the beach, take some time to write about what you're experiencing in your notebook or journal.
Focus on what smells and sights mean to you. What do they make you think of? Are there any memories that come up when looking at a particular scene? By focusing on sensory details like smell, sight, and sound during a trip (or even everyday life), it helps us learn how we perceive our surroundings—and this can help us be more mindful throughout our lives.
Journaling is often associated with travel because we get excited about visiting new places and want to document them as well as share them with others who aren't able to travel too often themselves!
Going On A Walk
If you're in the mood for some fresh air, there is no better place to go than a walk in Puerto Viejo. The beach is an obvious choice, but if you've just come back from it and want to rest your feet, there are plenty of other options. You can walk through the local market or take a stroll through town until you find a nice restaurant where they serve authentic Costa Rican cuisine.
Take Time To Relax
To relax, you need to make it a priority.
You can do this by scheduling in time for yourself, or just making sure that you don’t schedule anything else during that time. You also have to make sure that you're not doing anything stressful during your relaxation period (like reading a difficult book). If possible, try doing something relaxing every day—even if it's only for 30 minutes at a time!
When traveling abroad (or just traveling in general), it's easy to get caught up in seeing all the sights and trying new foods. However, if your body is tired from constant activity and stress, then nothing else matters as much as getting some rest before heading back into the real world again!
That's all I have for today!
Leave a comment and let me know how you relax while on vacation.
Until Next Time My Luxury Soul Babes,