Lena’s Hostel Experience in Costa Rica
“Latin America simply has an incredible atmosphere. The people here are friendly, open and happy, and on top of that there is the fascinating nature that took my breath away more than once. Costa Rica in particular is so diverse that I couldn’t get out of my amazement.”
Lena traveled with us to Costa Rica for two months and participated in the Hostel Experience. After she spontaneously decided to stay in Costa Rica, she was initially flashed by all the new impressions on site. But she settled in very quickly and has taken many new people and places into her heart. In this report, she has recorded her experiences for us and would like to give future participants a few tips along the way.
I decided very spontaneously for my trip to South America, so I didn’t have so much time to prepare for the adventure. Thank goodness I was sent the packing list from Wanderworld, which had everything important on it that I needed to get and pack. To increase my anticipation even more, I read through different travel blogs before departure, so I couldn’t wait to get to know the country myself!
MY FIRST DAYS
After landing, I was totally flashed by all the impressions. I could not believe at all that I was really in Costa Rica. The first days were of course particularly exciting. I walked around a lot and looked at everything. In San José, I still couldn’t quite believe that I was on another continent. The “culture shock” didn’t turn out so big because we were in a big city, whereas Uvita, the place from my program, was much more rural and has relatively little to do with a city. There you felt much more the cultural influence. But I found it really cool and exciting to talk to the people and explore the new area. The first few days I settled in really quickly and really got used to it. It was relatively easy for me, as long as you are open to new things and get involved in the experience, it’s no problem.
A NORMAL DAY IN THE HOSTEL
The daily routine in my program was very relaxed. I worked five times a week for four hours. My typical tasks included the front desk and the kitchen, as well as doing laundry. The hours I worked always varied as well. But we got a weekly schedule every week so that we could plan our free time as well.
In the mornings, I usually had a quiet breakfast and then worked for four hours, which always went by quickly, depending on how busy it was. Since I usually worked in the morning, I still had the whole day ahead of me. Often I went to the surrounding waterfalls or to the beach or just talked with guests from the hostel. You get to know so many great people with cool stories and personalities, it’s super interesting to hear. Since I wasn’t the only volunteer, I also did a lot of other things with the others, like having a picnic in the bamboo forest.
In the evenings we often cooked and ate together, played cards, talked and just socialized. After that it was time to go to bed 🙂
MY FREE TIME
I always organized my free time very spontaneously and did whatever I felt like doing. I was often on the road, made trips and explored the area. I also had days that I spent completely in the hostel, because there were many opportunities to chill and sunbathe.
Because we always had two days off at a time, I was able to take a short trip to a city a little further away, which is also super cool and brings variety into the daily routine. I tried to experience and discover as much as possible in the very fast moving time.
THE COSTA RICAN CULTURE
I just love the Costa Rican culture! Everyone is so much more relaxed and just happy. That always puts you in a good mood. And I love the food here, it’s really soo good and I will definitely miss it back home in Germany. I am very thankful that I learned how to cook the typical Costa Rican breakfast, because that was really fun. On my trip, there were always special people who made my stay more enjoyable. Above all, the contact with travelers from all over the world has also shaped me and my time in Costa Rica.
THAT’S WHY I LOVE LATIN AMERICA
Latin America simply has an incredible atmosphere. The people here are friendly, open and happy, and on top of that there is the fascinating nature that took my breath away more than once. Costa Rica in particular is so diverse that I couldn’t get out of my amazement.
MY MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT
I simply had so many unbelievably beautiful moments that I can’t even put into words. Starting with my first flight, to the first impressions in Costa Rica, to the encounters with extraordinary animals, such as monkeys, beats or sloths.
I often enjoyed the moments when I was alone in nature and could really visualize where I am right now and how incredible it actually is. One time I got up really early and watched the sunrise. The stunning sunsets on the Pacific Ocean are definitely some of my best memories as well.
So I really can’t pin down what the most beautiful moment was. I would love to say the whole trip 🙂
MY FAVORITE PLACE
I got to know many places that I found beautiful. I was particularly fascinated by the Caribbean coast, especially Puerto Viejo. There you experience a different flair than in the rest of the country. It is very difficult for me to describe it. I enjoyed riding around on my bike and checking out the beaches.
Another place is La Fortuna. There you can admire the active Arenal Volcano and you can swim in the hot springs heated by the volcano. This was such a magical experience that I will remember for a long time!
MY TIP FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS
I can really totally recommend the trip to Latin America!!! You will learn, experience and see so many new things. You will develop and expand your horizons.
In any case, always be open to get to know new people, cultures and circumstances. This will make your stay really exciting. Talk a lot, also with locals, try to speak the new language and try the new food. I can promise that it will be unforgettable!
THIS IS HOW THE JOURNEY HAS CHANGED ME
I have become more independent and self-reliant through the trip and have developed personally. It’s easier for me to put myself in others’ shoes and look at situations from a new perspective. I have also become much more open and find it easier to approach strangers. I am also super interested in new cultures and would love to see and learn about the whole world now. I was especially impressed by the contentment that the people here exude and I have resolved to adopt some of the attitude of the people here in the future.