Escaping City Life for Costa Rica
Things have been quiet on the blog front of late.
Am I sorry? Not really. Here’s why.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve been bumming around in Costa Rica for the last two weeks. Actually, bumming is not the right word to use, because our adventure was very much go, go, go.
G Adventures have pretty much become my favourite tour company ever. Not only do they have a commitment to responsible tourism, they’ve partnered with National Geographic, to offer upgraded tours known as National Geographic Journeys. This allows travellers to coast around their chosen destinations, seeing sites and undergoing activities that you normally wouldn’t get on a classic tour, served up with a dose of additional comfort. (Here’s even more information on having a luxury trip in Costa Rica.
Suits me. The older I get, the less inclined I feel to embrace the backpacker lifestyle. I value my sleep too much, these days.
There were many highlights to this trip – spending the night in the jungle of Tortuguero off the Caribbean coast, accessible only by boat. Seeing sloths in the flesh, snoozing away in the trees. Watching a sunset from horseback and taking a soak in thermal pools. Heck, even getting upgraded on our BA flight from London to San José – definitely something to be grateful for during an 11 hour journey.
The nicest part of this tour was a small thing indeed. Quite simply, the fact that we got to escape city life for Costa Rica – a country that is world famous for its flora, fauna and range of outdoor activities.
Studies have shown that city life can lead to all sorts of health issues – the lights and noise mess with our sleep, the air pollutes our bodies and the high stress lifestyle stresses out our brains. With 70% of the world’s population projected to reside in urban areas by 2050 (that’s the year that all the scary stuff is expected to happen, by the way), there are plenty of reasons to be concerned with the future mental and overall general health of humanity.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of city life is the disconnect from nature that comes with it. We weren’t designed to be living in these high-pressured, noisy and dirty environments.
We should be climbing trees, swimming in the ocean, walking through rain forests and getting up and close with insects and animals on a regular basis. Not for two week stints, out of the entire year.
I’ve been lucky to travel to many different and diverse places over the last few years. Yet, Costa Rica stuck out for me, because it reminded me of just how beautiful this world is. For two weeks I slept among insects and animals, felt the warmth of the sun on my skin, breathed the freshest of air (sans hay fever allergies!) and was never too far away from a body of water.
I saw the sun rise slowly over the Caribbean ocean and sink back down into the horizon of the Pacific. I cantered on horseback across a field. I removed geckos from my bathroom and shared the kitchen table with hercules beetles. I drank out of coconuts, a practice I have missed dearly since leaving Sydney. I woke up with the sun. I ate my weight in whole foods, like chicken, salad, rice and beans.
I left Costa Rica covered in bruises sustained from white water rafting, scratches from hiking through rain forests and a tan that I’m desperately hoping will last me through to the Australian summer.
For now, it’s back to city life and all the stresses that come with it. Back to sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end.
And hopefully, back to planning the next adventure.