One of my best friends set me up with Costa Rica last summer. I needed a week’s vacation after a long promotion at work and she thought we’d hit it off in that much time. After working over timing and stressing out, you’d think I’d want to relax, but I’m always on the go and Costa Rica completely understood.
Our first date was in Arenal, where as beautiful and peaceful as the setting was, I wasn’t ready to relax. Costa Rica knew just what to do; he showed me a volcano on our first day together and took me shopping downtown. After a little action I finally agreed to relax at some hot springs and rest before a full week.
By our second date we were already headed to Monteverde after a dreamy boat ride across Lake Arenal. We ate in a treehouse, just the kind of unique restaurant I love, before braving zip lines at Extremo. Repelling, sliding, jumping and swinging through forests and vast canyons, Costa Rica took me through gorgeous scenery and showed me exotic wildlife. He had an odd assortment of pets, but I can appreciate an animal lover.
The next morning we ventured through a cloud forest that was a bit eery, but such an expedition. I looked for monkeys while Costa Rica tried to convince me to appreciate all the plants and birds and bugs. He knows his nature–not a bad guy to have around in the middle of the forest.
We finished up the day with pineapple pizza, an appropriate combination of the two of us. Costa Rica adds pineapple to almost everything he eats and that works perfectly for me, especially on vacation. We make our way to Montezuma after for bonfires on the beach and making new friends. I’d heard this was one of his favorite places for both and he sure knew a lot of people from the States. Costa Rica’s friends came to visit him and never left either because they loved surfing or being lazy or both.
We had fun with them between bonfires, grill outs, and local bands playing. Here, Costa Rica took me to a creek off the beaten path that led to a massive waterfall at the end of a slippery, narrow hike. I don’t know how he knew that was my favorite kind of adventure, but he gained major points on this one. I was having a blast and jumped off a rock with all this adrenaline. I can certainly use a guy that lets me take leaps of my own.
Before winding down and relaxing on the beach, we took one last ride, this time on a speed boat. Costa Rica knew exactly where to find sea turtles and dolphins so I could feel better about having only found caterpillars and spiders so far and he still had one last trick up his sleeve. Our last day together was in Manuel Antonio where he knew I’d see monkeys everywhere. I could lay out and stop moving now that I’d seen what I came for, and we simply enjoyed the sunset with the sound of the ocean in the background.
I knew Costa Rica and I were a short summer fling, but I was really sad to return home after our week of adventure. We clicked so well in such a short time and I think leaving it that way makes for a good memory. I can only hope he’s happy and that we cross paths again, but vacation never lasts forever.
What I learned about dating: Sometimes you just need a fun fling, not a serious commitment.
What I learned about travel: Exploration and adventure is important, but it’s ok to squeeze in some relaxation. When else will you?