Have you ever gone to a place completely open to new experiences and people? If not, you definitely should. Simply letting go and fully allowing yourself to enjoy your vacation makes it that much more worth it.

This past weekend we traveled to Playa Jaco on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Again, since we are all looking to spend the least amount possible on weekend trips, we took a fairly inexpensive route. So, no judgments please.. and I will definitely say that it wasn't bad at all. There will be many more such trips.

The cheapest mode of transportation (aside from walking or riding a bike of course) is taking the bus. We were able to take a direct bus from Turrialba to San Jose for about $2.50. Then in San Jose we got on a collective bus to Jaco which was $3-4ish. Total it took us about 4 hours on the bus to get there.. and for less than $10, I think that is a success. Yea, you may not be riding the bus with the, uhhh let's say.. "cleanest" of people, but honestly it wasn't that bad. As long as you don't stupidly leave your luggage unattended you are just fine. Naturally, we even made friends on the bus with a couple opening a new restaurant in Jaco. Our goal is to make as many connections and friends around the country as possible. Makes for a fun time!

As for living arrangements, we stayed in a hostel just a block away from the beach. For those of you who aren't too familiar with hostels, they are basically a place to sleep and shower. No frills. No A/C. No hot water. No maids or room service. Just a bed and a bathroom. You can stay in the "dorms" with lots of people or pay a little extra for a private room. Since we had 5 in our party, we just went for the private room  with several bunk beds, and it came to about $10 per night for each of us. When you aren't really planning on spending that much time in your room anyway, this is just fine. We didn't need anything fancy. We just wanted to go to the beach and have a good time. Here's a photo of the outside of our hostel, Jaco Inn. It was quaint and very nice when it comes to hostels.

Jaco is a fairly small beach town that has recently seen an influx of tourists for surfing and vacations. So the demographics fit us fairly well.. 20s to early 30s, students, vacationers, and plenty of hostels to choose from.. It was basically one street packed with restaurants, bars, gift shops, etc. that allows access to the beach at just about every crossroad. I will say though, it was very Westernized. And by that I mean that this quaint little town has been developed to completely satisfy all tourist needs whether it be for American food, a horse ride on the beach, or cute little gift shops selling "unique" crafts (that are exactly the same at the next store ;). But all in all it was just the escape we needed. And, for me, a nice taste of home.

We got there around 9:30 pm Friday night and got ready to go out. In just one night out at the bars, we danced the night away and met a music producer from D.C., a German-Tico surfing instructor, a group of Europeans staying at another hostel, and a group of U.S. students on a study tour learning Spanish in Costa Rica for a few weeks. Needless to say... we had a blast.

The bars down here are more like clubs with crazy lights and loud music. Definitely made for a good time. We stayed up all night hanging out with our new friends and just enjoying the experience. When we sat outside you could hear the waves crashing into the beach like one of those sound machines people pay tons of money for.. here its just a part of the experience. Completely complimentary.

We were having such a good time we ended up staying awake until sun came up around 5:30 am. At the time we didn't even realize it was that late (or early, I suppose). We were just hanging out with friends and started to notice it was getting lighter on the horizon. It was a really cool moment.. we just stopped and stared. So much blue. The sun comes up on the other side of the country so we didn't see the actual sun rise, but what we got was pretty darn breathtaking..

See.. I wasn't kidding. Nikki and I walked down to the beach and just took some time to take it all in. Not often do you get to see something like that.

Saturday was spent lounging in the sun on the beach, hanging out, and swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Needless to say we are all now a solid 2-3 tones darker than when we came here. As for me.. Apparently I now look like a Brazilian... not mad at all!

That night was pretty much the same. Hanging out with good friends, dancing.. the whole shebang. Again we stayed up, and this time we were prepared and sitting on a log on the beach waiting for the sunrise. Talk about incredible. Just sitting, with new friends, enjoying nature and taking in all that there was to see. It was kind of freeing to just be able to sit there after a long night of partying and even more dancing.. and take it all in.

You know that feeling when you meet new people on a trip and the good times just keep on coming. And then at the end of your time there you have to wonder what's next. But honestly, and let's be real here.. no one knows. In just two days we met tons of people that we would love to stay in touch with, but there's no way to truly know if that will actually happen. Yea, everyone may want to stay in touch, but that requires work and in today's culture, that's not really something people are willing to do.

But have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had kept in touch with those random strangers you met on the road? Why don't we keep in touch with them? Is is out of fear? Or maybe its laziness? Honestly.. who knows. We can't spend all of our time worrying about past decisions. All we can do is make the best of our present circumstances and have faith that it will all work out in the end.

So we left Jaco on Sunday afternoon, with many new Facebook friends and even more connections. We spent the day lounging by the pool and enjoying the company of new found friends and gradually parted ways.

We will surely be back. And traveling to new places to meet more new friends. I really can't wait to see what all is to come. Seeing as this one weekend was an experience I could never have replaced, who knows what waits for me next? There are still months and months ahead of new experiences and people. There's no looking back. I'm here and ready to live my life.. Bring it on!


  1. Loving your blog!!! Sounds like you are having a blast- SO jealous!!


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