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A couple weekends ago, I celebrated my 1 Month Costa Rican Anniversary with a trip to the beach and a mild nervous breakdown (though not necessarily in that order.)

Let me explain. For the past month, apart from a few shopping trips and a less than 24 hour road trip to the coast, I’ve been on campus-where I work, live, play, exercise and sleep. I knew that moving to Costa Rica would be a huge adjustment, not so much for the language (which was obviously a hurdle for me when I left for Spain) but more so for the fact that I would be returning to a rural life, a life I haven’t lived since I was 18. In short, by the time last Friday rolled around, I was so desperate to be ANYWHERE BUT ON CAMPUS that when my plans fell through to leave for the beach, I cried. Hard. Which then resulted in drinking vodka and watching Disney movies by myself on my back porch.

After a tin cup full of Absolut Mango and pineapple flavored pop, I came to the realization that this probably wasn’t the best way to deal with my anxiety/sadness, so I went to volleyball club with disgustingly red swollen eyes and pounded out some serves and felt a lot better.

The next morning, I called a taxi to take me to the bus stop (yes, the bus stop is that flippin’ far away) and waited for the direct bus to Puerto Viejo. Now, waiting on the side of the highway for a bus is never fun, but it is especially LESS fun while obsessively scanning the hundreds the road trying to discern which bus is MY bus out of the hundreds that pass by. After an hour of waiting, a trio of three wheezing tour buses passed by all at once, one after the other….and my bus was in the middle.


This of course, resulted in another swearing cry-fest, and a hysterical call to my co-worker who advised me “Get on the next bus you see and just figure it out. And stop trying to kick a hole in the bus stop.”

5 hours, 3 buses, and many cuss words later, I arrived in Puerto.

This was my face::::::

Or as one of my dear friends from Ireland comment, “This face is the definition of “disgruntled.”

Still, I had FINALLY arrived and wasted no time in finding a private room in a hostal and taking a well-deserved nap.

My disposition greatly improved, I spent the rest of my weekend wandering aimlessly throughout the Caribbean chillness that is Puerto Viejo. Basically, just imagine Jamaica but with Spanish subtitles. I did a little shopping, including an adorable turtle necklace carved from jade (I named her Manuelita) and a gorgeous Guatemalan style textile purse for my sister–not sure how I’m going to get it to her, but I’m sure that will be another exercise in frustration.

P.S. The real best thing about the beach? PIPAS aka fresh cold baby coconuts that are hacked open with a machete to access the delicious fresh coconut water inside. Phenomenal. Pipas en la playa