When I left Costa Rica, I was very torn. I was leaving behind a culture and people that I had grown to adore over the short 5 months. I longed to see my friends and family, but it really took a lot in me to say goodbye to my “home away from home.”
Since returning to the United States, what a whirlwind it has been.
I’ve had two family week-long vacations at the beach, my brother got engaged, as well as my cousin, and I also took a week trip to New York/New Jersey. Might I say that transitioning has been.. well… crazy. I feel like someone cut out 5 months of my life and set it aside, and now it is worlds away.
It is hard to type my feelings at this moment, but I’ve tried hard to process my special time in Costa Rica and see how I’ve grown from it. One thing that helps is the recent technology that allows me to keep in touch with some friends there. My family and friends have also been so patient and loving as I’ve tried to verbally process my study abroad experience, but little things constantly bring Costa Rica to my mind.
No, not a lot of people understand my experience or have seen the world that I lived in. The culture, the atmosphere, and the daily life are so different and it is hard when you come back to a place where people can’t share that memory with you.
My mind often feels like popcorn popping away in the microwave as different memories pop into my head. I remember and my heart hurts a little bit, but it is a bittersweet feeling.
I miss the laid back culture, the fruit and natural drinks, and the little coffee shops. I miss the beautiful beaches, the bus transportation, and the small pigeon-filled parks. I miss the romantic Spanish language, the loving people, and the vast amount of biodiversity.
I blinked, and next thing I knew, all of the things I enjoyed are now memories.
Time flew by, and time usually does that to you. But time also changes you and molds you into the person that you desire to be. I’ve grown more independent, and I can see that. I’ve learned and experienced another culture, and who knows… maybe one day it will be my real home.
All of it was a success to me. Happiness was at the center and adventure was flowing through it. Costa Rica is dear to my heart and I hope that my memories will help to push you to create your own there too.