Chapter 2: The Way Less Traveled By

Learning a New Language: Not Even Once

I liked learning Spanish.  A lot. Not because it was easy (it wasn't).  Maybe because it's the hardest thing I've ever done.  I'm not a "natural" language learner--if such a thing exists.  Every word I know and every sentence that comes out smoothly when I talk has hundreds, or maybe thousands, of incomprehensible attempts at… Continue reading Learning a New Language: Not Even Once

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Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida

Interpersonal Relationships; Lessons Learned in Costa Rica, Part I

There's something about being in a foreign country that exaggerates the good and bad of interpersonal relationships; perhaps we make crazier decisions or maybe we see their impact more clearly in unfamiliar situations.  Whatever it is, I feel I've learned a lot of the type of lessons that can't be taught, only experienced. I have… Continue reading Interpersonal Relationships; Lessons Learned in Costa Rica, Part I

Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida

Being Someone Else’s Daughter; Living with a Host Family, Part III

The picture above is my host family and me on my host dad's birthday (hint: I'm the blonde).  Judging from the shirts, it was also game day (yeah Heredia!). This is Part III of a post about the reality of living with a host family.  You can read Part I about my first impression of… Continue reading Being Someone Else’s Daughter; Living with a Host Family, Part III

Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida

I Feel Like a Real Person!

My first week of my second semester in Costa Rica was not at all like my terrifying first week of school last semester.  It wasn't that circumstances changed; it was that I had changed. This semester, I am taking three regular courses through the university and two Spanish classes for extranjeros.  My three regular classes… Continue reading I Feel Like a Real Person!

Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida

Backpacking is Nothing Like Study Abroad

Obviously. Somehow I had this subconscious assumption that the only real difference between study abroad and backpacking would be no homework to worry about.  In reality, though, I wouldn't even put them in the same category--they don't have much in common, other than travel. The biggest difference is the types of relationships you make.  One… Continue reading Backpacking is Nothing Like Study Abroad

Chapter 1: The Quest for Pura Vida

Second Star to the Right, and Straight on Till Morning; Getting Directions from a Tico

"Which way are you going?" "I go to Calle 0 and take a right to get home." "Calle 0?? Where's that?" "You know, it's the one that ends in Central Park." "What?" "It's maybe, I don't know, 5 blocks down?" "5 blocks." "Yeah, you turn right like 100 meters after the Pregnant Women Park." "Well,… Continue reading Second Star to the Right, and Straight on Till Morning; Getting Directions from a Tico