Day One: Indescribable Moments
Today I am traveling to Costa Rica with Walking Tree Travel. I am feeling very BLAH, I can’t quite articulate the emotion in words. I am standing in the San Francisco airport so overwhelmed by the fact that I am actually leaving the United States (which has been my home for my entire life) for the first time. I am not sure what emotion I am expressing.

As I approach airport security I meet another young person traveling overseas for the first time. We immediately hit it off and become friends. It is strange how two people from completely different places can have the same dream. In the case of my new found buddy and I, we both dreamed of traveling outside the States and experiencing new things. When we were talking she asked me a series of questions that I’ve always wondered but never been brave enough to ask. She said with no hesitation at all as if she ponders these questions often, “Do you ever feel like you want something different? To experience something different? You don’t know what it is or how it will feel, but you want it, you want a change. And you just know that the experience you’re searching for, that difference is somewhere other than where you are?”

I was completely blown away. Here I am walking through an airport having a deep conversation with a girl I just met. I ponder how the word different is remaining so ambiguous in our conversation but to us it has a meaning. I try to define what difference I’m searching for. I have no answers for me or her. I come to the conclusion that I don’t know what it is but I know I am off to search for it and experience it in Costa Rica.

As my friend approaches her gate and we are saying our goodbyes she begins to cry. I immediately know the reason. She’s scared. I know because so am I. I find myself comforting someone I’ve only known for no more than 20 minutes. Not even thinking before I speak I start telling her “Don’t worry, everything will be fine, it will be life changing, you will love Nicaragua.” When she calms down and stops crying I ask myself how can I comfort her when I am having the same worries and anxieties?

The empathy I have felt for my new amiga Caroline astounds me. When we finally say our goodbyes and I find my gate, the time passes quickly. My hour wait seems like five minutes. It’s like a dream! It is really unreal, I am a Wandering Scholar and I am fulfilling my life long dream to travel overseas. It feels as if my life is moving in slow motion. I am noticing everything; the smell of the plane, the color of seats, the chip in my arm rest, the unpleasant smell of body odor, and how the flight attendants put 3 cubes of ice in each cup (if the put any at all).

The plane takes off and gets further and further from the ground. My face is wet. Really wet. Tears? I am beyond shocked because I am not an emotional person at all or sentimental. Here I am going on a life changing experience and I am crying.

I finally realized what emotion I am feeling, happiness! I have never cried from excessive happiness, only sadness and tragedy. I much prefer tears of joy. I can not put into words the joy I feel it won’t do it justice, but this is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. Tears from joy!!!!!!!! I am Costa Rica bound and beyond happy.

Upon Arrival
As the plane lands, I take one last look out the window I say to myself with no sense of volume control “Que bonita? Costa Rica es bonita!” I don’t care who hears. A man stops next to me and says with a chuckle “First time abroad?” I shoot him the biggest smile as he tells me, “Traveling is life changing.” His wife soon stops too and tells me “It will be all you want it to be, if not more.”

For more about Serina’s trip check out the photos and video on Walking Tree’s group blog.