Drinking coconuts on the beach – Lorena’s dream came true in Costa Rica and Mexico
“A trip like this makes you realize how good challenges are for individual development and how important it is to leave your comfort zone to discover the world out there. Through such an experience, you become rich in wonderful memories and great acquaintances that no one can take away from you.”
In this experience report, Lorena raves about her stay in Costa Rica and Mexico. In both countries she participated in the Hostel Experience and got to know the country and its people very intensively. Besides the work experience in the hostel, she also learned a lot about herself and especially enjoyed the breathtaking nature very much. A special trip that she would not want to miss in her life.
Ever since I can remember, I have dreamed of living on the beach. Where the sea is turquoise blue, the coast is adorned by endless palm trees and I can drink coconuts where they grow. To make this dream tangible, I signed up for WanderWorld about six months before I planned to start my trip and looked at numerous blog posts and travel vlogs, not only to get a feel for life as a backpacker, but also to learn more about my destination countries of Costa Rica and Mexico in advance. Of course, I also gave some thought to the upcoming new phase of my life and the challenges that come along with it. Even though I have a lot of respect for such an experience, the anticipation always outweighed the small concerns. I was incredibly happy to take this step and to leave my familiar surroundings in order to grow beyond myself.
MY FIRST DAYS
The first few days were overwhelming. Overwhelming not only in the sense that I found myself in a completely foreign country and a new culture as well as language, but especially because I honestly did not know which emotions I should feel first. On the one hand, I was incredibly fascinated by the wonderful landscape and the openness of the people, on the other hand, I felt caught off guard and homesick, because despite the many people around me, I missed my loved ones at home. However, this feeling is quite normal and I have found that just about every traveler felt the same way. Such a flood of new and unfamiliar things may be uncomfortable at first, but it is precisely this that is the best breeding ground for extreme personal growth and a strengthening of self-confidence.
A NORMAL DAY IN THE HOSTEL
Because I only worked in the hostel three to five days a week, I had a lot of free time and so every day was a little different. I loved going to the beach in the morning or riding my bike to yoga. I could hardly have imagined a better start to the day. I also loved to go for walks and I tried out one of the many nice cafes. Around Puerto Viejo, where I lived during my project, there were many opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the country to the fullest. From gorgeous Caribbean beaches, to beautiful national parks and small waterfalls in the middle of the jungle, Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline offered you a lot to have a great time. I would go on excursions to these destinations with my friends or spend relaxing hours on the beach or in the hammocks. In the evenings we often cooked together, had relaxed movie nights or went dancing at one of the beach bars.
In my hostel I worked at the reception and my tasks included taking reservations, checking in and taking care of guests, renting bikes and helping with open questions. I enjoyed the work a lot because it gave me the chance to get in touch with all kinds of people and make them feel welcome in the hostel. The other volunteers and staff were also really great people with whom I got along very well and who welcomed me with open arms from the beginning.
MY FREE TIME
In the hostel you are never alone and in my opinion there is hardly a better place to make new acquaintances and broaden your horizons. You meet so many different people who come from all different places and cultures. Through conversations with these people, you are enriched in unimaginable ways and I met so many inspiring and special people during my trip. Whether it was short conversations or weeks of contact that formed friendships, each of these encounters shaped me a bit and made my trip what it was in the end. An unforgettable time that I will forever remember as a wonderful experience.
MY FAVORITE PLACE
I was particularly fascinated by many places on my trip. One of them, is a beach about 6 km from my hostel in Puerto Viejo, Punta Uva. The beach is one of the most beautiful in the country and rightly so. It really is the epitome of a Caribbean dream. Turquoise water, a long beach bank surrounded by several palm trees and behind it the lush jungle of Costa Rica. I really spent countless hours at this place with friends, reading, drinking coconuts and having little picnics.
Another favorite place was the beautiful yoga studio I discovered and visited regularly. It was only about 15 minutes away from me by bike and was located on a small hill in the jungle. I remember being fascinated every time I entered this place. One side faced the ocean, the other faced the rainforest. Besides the numerous inspiring personalities I met there, I have hardly ever felt so connected to my own body, mind and nature in any other place.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE JOURNEY
The trip has also changed me personally a lot. I have become much more self-confident and now trust more that I can do everything. In addition, I’ve also become much more relaxed and can handle it better when unplanned things happen or something doesn’t turn out the way I imagined. You always have to prove to yourself how limitless the possibilities are that are open to us and how important it is to learn new things and constantly develop.
MY TIP FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS
I can only wholeheartedly advise anyone who is thinking of making such a trip to do so. This experience is so incredibly valuable and enriches you in every way. In your everyday life you often forget what you are actually capable of and which strengths are slumbering in you. Such a journey shows you how good challenges are for your individual development and how important it is to leave your comfort zone to discover the world outside. Through such an experience you become rich in wonderful memories and great acquaintances that no one can take away from you.