Here we are, over a month since returning home to Scotland and I still can’t stop thinking about this trip and the incredible memories that were made each day. Going to Costa Rica was by far the most memorable, beautiful and exciting experience I have ever been blessed with and it will certainly stay with me for the rest of my life. For someone who has never travelled outside of their own country before, experiencing Costa Rica with all it’s insane beauty and culture was like nothing I had ever seen.
From the very beginning, each day of this exchange brought a brand new adventure. I remember waiting, anxious and excited, before boarding my first ever flight with two weeks of unknown experiences ahead of me.
From just walking out of the plane, I could instantly feel the heat and humidity like I’d never felt before. There were new and amazing sounds, smells and visuals all around me. We were all very tired from the long flight but this brand new environment around us was enough to keep us awake and curious. Swimming there that night in the beautiful Costa Rican ocean, the incredible view around me felt like a dream and I didn’t think that I could feel any happier than I did in that moment.
Being in Costa Rica helped me gain so much confidence in myself. I found myself doing things I could’ve never imagined, including speaking Spanish on my own in a room full of people I’d never met before and flying 65mph high across the rainforest. Although there were some struggles along the way, each day I felt even happier as new memories were made and strong friendships were built.
As an anxious person, I was really nervous before meeting the Portuguese and Costa Rican groups, I had no idea what to expect or how to communicate with them. However, they ended up being some of the best and amazing people I have ever met. Although we weren’t able to communicate so well through language, this allowed us create a different connection through sharing our culture and laughter with one another. We quickly became close with the Portuguese group and I’ll always appreciate how they helped us to interact with the Costa Ricans better as we had very little Spanish and they had very little English. The positivity surrounding these people was inspiring, their smiles were enough to make your whole day better.
Throughout our short time together, I learned so much about these villages and their way of life. I love the way that they are so passionate in keeping their culture alive and I feel very privileged to have seen their beautiful art, dances and other traditions in person. The people there were just so so lovely and I can never thank them enough for how they welcomed us into their villages. The friendships and memories made are just so special. Leaving Rey Curré on the last, my heart ached as I had to say my final goodbyes to the beautiful village and it’s amazing people – we took so many photos together, exchanging hugs and letters to hold onto every last moment we had left together. Since then we still keep in touch through facebook and video-calls, it makes me so happy that we can still connect with them from the other side of the world. They will always be in my heart.
There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing this trip was. There are just so many new incredible things that I experienced, it’s hard to take it all in. If given the chance, I would return to Costa Rica in a heartbeat and do the whole trip all over again. Everything about it was perfect and I can’t thank everyone who made it possible enough. I am really looking forward to the second part of this exchange when the young people from Costa Rica will visit Scotland. I am excited for us to share our culture, history and language with them and I hope they will enjoy it every bit as we enjoyed their country.
Chan urrainn dhomh na faclan lorg airson sealltainn dhuimh dè cho sònraitche sa bha an turas seo gu Costa Rica dhomh. Chunnaic is dh’ionnsaich mi torr mu dheidhinn an cultar, eachdraidh is nàdar a th’aca thall an sin agus rinn mi torr chairdrean phrìseil a bhitheas na mo chridhe gu bràth. Tha mi faireachdainn fada nas misneachaile is toilitche le mo fhìn as-deidh an turas seo is chan eil mi ag iarraidh cail eile ach a bhidh air-ais comhla ri mo chairdean. Tha mi coimhead air-adhart ris an darna pairt den pròiseact nuair a bhiteas na duine òige a Costa Rica tighinn gu Alba airson an cultar againne a sealltainn dh’iadsan a-nis!