Hello from Costa Rica! It seems like just yesterday I was hopping off the plane after a summer backpacking abroad, but somehow I’ve managed to finish a semester of law school since then. Ever since my return, I’ve missed the feeling of being a traveler- with everything I need in my backpack and a manageable sense of uncertainty about where to go next and how to get there. I’ve also missed the feeling of solo traveling, because NYC (as much as I love it) has a way of making a person feel claustrophobic at times.

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In fact, it was during a cloudy, overcast afternoon spent in the NYU law library in November that I booked a round trip flight from NYC to San Jose, almost on a whim. Even as I was finding law school to be a healthy amount of challenging and rewarding, I could feel that sense of freedom, spontaneity, and energy I enjoyed over my summer travels fading fast. I took the fact that the round trip flight was cheaper than the round trip flight I had already booked to visit home (Alabama/Mississippi) for the earlier part of the holidays as a sure sign that Costa Rica was where I needed to recharge my batteries before semester #2 of law school insanity. I believe in signs, and this one was pointing me to this happy little Central American country.

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Why Costa Rica? First, I’ve always wanted to visit this country ever since I learned it does not have a military. Peace, beaches, coffee, and rainforests– could it get any better?! Second, I’m very drawn to the national motto of “Pura Vida”– the pure life. Pura Vida is like the “hakuna matata” of Costa Rica. Pura Vida means living a simple and peaceful life, appreciating the beauty and people around you, and always being grateful for what you have while never taking anything for granted. This summer (and last year in whole) brought me closer to a personal understanding of Pura Vida, and my goal this week is to shake off the anxieties of law school in exchange for a reconnection with some Pura Vida. 

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The trip has been off to a good start so far. I left JFK on an Aeromexico flight to Mexico City, where I spent a 3 hour layover enjoying Dos Equis and watching VH1 classics in the terminal (Pura Vida!). I then took another Aeromexico flight to San Jose. As my flight arrived just after 1am and my next flight is at 8am, I napped in a coffee shop area in the airport with several other folks who seemed to be on the same mission as I am. I have also already had some opportunities to start brushing up on my Spanish again! (Sarah, if you’re reading this I know you’re probably laughing now. And that’s ok, because I am too.) 

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My next and final flight for today will be a quick 20 minute flight to Quepos/Manuel Antonio via NatureAir, a Costa Rican airline which happens to be the world’s first carbon neutral airline. No military, minimizing its carbon footprint, Pura Vida– this little country is on to something, and my goal is to think about the scalability of some of Costa Rica’s ways while I’m here.

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I’m so glad to be on the road again! While I could never go “full nomad” and will always need something to ground me (whether that’s a job, school, friends/family, etc), I think keeping adventure and spontaneity regularly injected in my life helps me to keep perspective on those important things that ground me.  
Next stop, Quepos! 

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** disclaimer- in keeping with the Pura Vida theme, I left my laptop behind in NYC, so I’m blogging from my phone. I apologize in advance for any typing or formatting errors! 🙂

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