In the beginning of fall last year, I had this random but obsessive need to travel outside of the country, and to do it alone. Kind of strange, right? All of my friends already see me as this spontaneous travel nut, so this was no shock to them when I told them I was planning on traveling to a foreign place alone. So I started to follow this feeling.
I googled and researched for a few weeks on travel organizations that was for young people looking to travel. And that’s when I found Under30Expereriences, they had many destinations to choose from and was a traveling organization for the people between the ages of 21 – 35. Exactly what I was looking for!
Since living in Chicago, I knew I needed to go somewhere warm and with a beach since I was going to be facing the next couple months of gloom and cold weather.
Although it was tough to choose from all the amazing destinations, the Starter Costa Rica was the first to really catch my eye and was one of my top places I wanted to visit.
Booked a spot on the January trip, booked my flight on the same day, and I was ecstatic.
Finally the end of January rolls around and I was beyond ready to go.
Looking out the plane when we first landed really hit me with the culture shock. But it was beautiful. Everything was so green and luscious. The hills looked like mountains and the water was a gorgeous blue. I was in heaven.
Over the next few days, I had some of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life with 6 incredible strangers. From the time we woke up, to the time we went to bed was filled with something to do. We hiked, took surfing lessons (and was the first to actually ride a wave, but not bragging here), went ziplining, snorkled, had plenty of beach time, played some intense games of Jenga, had cuddle movie nights, and most importantly made lifelong friendships.
Now why was this trip so important to me? Why did it change my life?
Before going to Costa Rica, I couldn’t shake this feeling of feeling lost with myself. I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted to be doing with my life or what my true purpose was. I knew that gut feeling out of nowhere was calling me to Costa Rica for a reason. I wanted to take something back home with me that I knew was going to set me on this new path somehow. This trip helped me bring to light something I had been trying to uncover for months. As I was on the plane leaving this beautiful country, I realized I needed to keep traveling and to help give back to the countries I do visit in some way. Since then I’ve made a travel blog to share my experiences and to connect with more people in the travel community who also want to give back to countries in need, bought myself a nice camera to document my adventures, and have even signed up to volunteer in Thailand and Cambodia at the end of this year. I now know my true purpose in life is to help this beautiful planet one country at a time.