Almost four years after my first study abroad experience, I remember the excitement and the start of my trip as if it were yesterday.
It was three a.m on January 5th 2008. I knew I was on a journey that would change my life. I was nervous, but so excited to finally study abroad in Costa Rica. After managing customs, baggage claims and a seven hour flight, I was finally there! I remember the warmth and heat of the sun washing over me like a wave. I boarded the bus for the ride from the airport to my host university. When we arrived, we saw fifty-two women standing outside and soon realized that all the host mothers were standing outside waiting for us. There was only one problem: Which one was mine? It’s not that I didn’t have the language skills to ask, but imagine asking fifty woman if they are your host mom. Luckily, even though I didn’t know her, she recognized me. She came over and greeted me warmly, welcoming me to Costa Rica.
That night after unpacking, a city tour and a traditional dinner of gallo pinto (rice and beans) with a salad and other Costa Rican dishes, I went to bed exhausted, but before I fell asleep, I knew that living in Costa Rica would be the best time of my life!
Even today, I look back on that first day and a huge smile appears on my face!
San José, Costa Rica
Photo courtesy of puroticorico.