In all of my travels, whether to a friend’s house or my two-week family road trip to Mount Rushmore, I have never been a light packer. On this trip to Costa Rica, I am no different. I am pretty sure I could fit in the large black duffle bag I am squeezing all my “necessary” items into.

In that bag includes all the basic travel essentials and some personal items I will rely heavily on when I am exploring the unknown in Costa Rica. It was recommended I bring a comfort food and my favorite nutty and chocolate-ity spread came to mind: Nutella. In my bag, I will also be packing my cameras, film and digital, and they will be my eyes to all of the wonderful, exciting, and possibly terrifying things I will experience. However, I will be leaving behind my comfort zones, like my bed and family. I wish I did not have to leave my best friend, Kayleigh. She brings out the most adventurous, spontaneous, and hilarious sides of me.

I will leave behind the need to control what is happening and my expectations for what might happen. But, I will bring my sense of adventure, self-awareness, and authenticity to be the real me.

This trip is my opportunity to learn so much about the world and so much about myself. I could never pack enough to be prepared for what might come. I can only hope to take in as much as possible and be ready for anything.