I gained something I never thought I could from visiting another country: perspective. I had no expectations going into this trip which I highly recommend for future travelers. Going into this trip without expectations lead to the possibility to be surprised and delighted by everything I had done. I was surprised that someone as myself who usually lives a life of complexity could live simply. I did not think I could be completely independent yet from my family or be staying in places where it is normal for people to eat dinner together and leave doors open all the time for neighbors to wander in and out. I did not think I could be in so many situations where bugs are all around and not be bothered by it or be completely dirty or sweaty and accept it is natural. I did not think I could be without makeup and not be constantly in a “fashion show” as my mother says. I did expect to make so many friends but I did not know they would impact my life and be missed so much afterwards. All these thoughts I had were not expectations I had in my mind to defeat before this trip but things I had discovered along the way as the time I spent here progressed and I noticed myself changing.

This travel has inspired me to want to travel more and continue to be surprised by other cultures. I loved working on our service project that we had accomplished but when I go to other places this will not be why I go. I have realized from being around so many others who live such a different lifestyle from those of someone from the states, that when I travel I want to befriend others so instead of trying to be an American that comes in entitled trying to help since I would feel as though they are inferior. I do not want to be a savior since most others don’t want to lose the feeling of independence to rely on a stranger that comes from one of the most developed nations. I want to meet others and learn from their culture and give respect as a visitor.

I have never been one to say no to new experiences and that quality will always stay with me. I hope to always build new bridges for myself and continue to discover new opportunities. To enjoy what comes on the other side of a metaphorical bridge, you must completely immerse yourself in an experience. Take yourself out of your routines and habits and create new memories. This memory of Costa Rica will stay with me forever as well as the perspective I have gained from my visit. read more →


Less than 24 hours remain before I am on a flight to Costa Rica. Although there is a part of me that is quite nervous, I still am excited to leave and embark on a new adventure. My mom is very stressed out and probably more nervous than I am. I am ready to visit a place I have never been and to meet new people. I have many things still to do to prepare for this trip since I have had a very busy week and not much time to get all my stuff together. During this last day I have been packing, running errands and finishing up any work I have before departing. I am also going out to dinner with my mom tonight as a farewell.

I am most excited to be in Costa Rica and go to the beach as well as meet all the locals and eat new foods. I am also very excited to meet all the other travels since we are all the same age and are all from different areas. It is interesting to see how different people are from other areas of the country and going international is even more exciting. I am nervous to speak Spanish in the country because I have a terrible accent and my Spanish is not the best.

Even though I began this journey later than the other scholars, I did have a lot of work to makeup and I had to balance it with  my everyday duties. I am ready to leave and take a break from work and daily chores and have time for adventure. I will not take this trip for granted and cannot wait to be in Costa Rica by tomorrow night.

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I am probably the worst packer on the planet. I wait until last minute and always overpack or under pack. This time with this trip I am hoping that I can bring everything I need and not over do it. So far this is what my suitcase consists of:



-work gloves

-sunscreen and hand sanitizer


-tennis shoes


-swim suits


-comfortable tops

-one dress

-wind breaker





-a book


This is what I have so far but I am not quite finished. I need to still add some items and double check I have everything. I am scared to leave the rest of my house and life behind but I know it will all be worth the adventure. I cannot wait to be in Costa Rica although I wish I could bring my mom with me.

While in this new setting I will be myself completely when meeting new people and just act as I do in every new setting. I will dress a little more casual than I typically would and keep it simple. My style is usually more flashy and I love to dress up but for this trip I will show more of a laid-back and sporty side of myself. Although I won’t be dressing as I typically would I feel that my personality will show others who I am.


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As of 2017, same sex marriage is not recognized under Costa Rica law. Over dozens of countries recognize this unity so the question is when will Costa Rica? There are many opinions on this issue, with mostly those in favor of a bill passing to legalize gay marriage. Back in 2013 a piece of legislation was passed to give benefits to couples of the same sex. This is a step in the right direction but there are still many outcries in the media for change.

I found an article titled “This same-sex couple in Costa Rica were able to marry thanks to a clerical error” that caught my attention. According to the article, two women were able to wed due to the fact that one of the woman is noted as a male on her birth certificate. This article was written in support of the union of the couple most likely due to the fact the author was from Madrid and same sex marriage is legal in Spain. If the article had been written within a nation where same sex marriage is frowned upon the article might have looked differently.

Another article on the same issue is called “Costa Rica Accidentally Approves Same Sex Unions.” The article quotes directly from Costa Rican lawmakers commenting on the event where legislation “accidentally” passed a bill recognizing same sex unions. The words the the lawmakers had to say on the event were all negative. The article was written to criticize the union of two people of the same gender.

These two articles are proof of the wide opinions presented in media and the titles are what catches the attention of the reader to immediately interpret what the article will entail. Personally I feel that same sex marriage will one day be legal everywhere once the world can realize that all deserve the same rights. Costa Rica seems to be getting closer to that ideal but just needs to hop on the bandwagon already.

Other interesting articles:




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