Pura Vida! – Like a kid again, in Costa Rica

The draw to nature…it’s a lot bigger than you and I. Yeah, we have our responsibilities, our to-dos, our daily structure – tugging at us all. But folks like us, you and I, we sure don’t try to turn down an invite from the great outdoors.

To dig into those places which remind us of what matters. It may be that when we get dirty and grimy during a long hike or maybe while camping and gazing up at the stars – that we start to feel like kids again. And in that, maybe we begin to find ourselves? Maybe that’s too deep. Yeah, maybe we’re overthinking this. Regardless, these moments and memories are hard to beat.

On a recent trip, my fiancée and I headed out to the Costa Rican Rain Forest for one hell of an adventure. Once in country, and with the help of a local guide named Ivan, we navigated the waters of the Pacuare River via raft. We arrived at our landing at the eco-lodges 2 hours later.

Those rushing waters were ever-present. They were combined with a late night roar of howler monkeys, a variety of wild birds and a refreshing, swirling night wind. No doubt this sound track was better than any greatest hits play list you can download.

During our stay, we hiked some challenging trails. The last of which splashed us down below a beautiful waterfall, in a pool of crystal clear water. The forest was green, lush and really humid. A good bit of that thickness sticks with you most hours of the day. You’re definitely gonna sweat in Costa Rica.

So we hiked, rafted, zip-lined and even took in some early morning bird-watching. Soaring between those massive trees were hawks, toucans and flycatchers. All colors of the rainbow in those feathers. Pure greatness.

One peaceful morning, as we were enjoying an amazing local coffee, a trail guide introduced us to the greenest of green tree frogs. As Maureen connected with that little critter, she smiled like a young girl with so much wonder in her eyes. It was in that moment, that I realized there really isn’t one particular reason we need to connect with nature. It is as personal and individual as it is social and cultural. It’s challenging and real and envigorating. Bottom line? You have your own reasons to “get out there.” No need to overthink it.

And those aforementioned howler monkeys? Like clockwork, at about 5:30 AM, those crazy little dudes groaned from across the river. They ensured we woke up early for a fresh new day in the rainforest. But, ya know? We’d take that alarm clock any day over the daily ring of our smart phones back home. Meeting the friendliest of locals and exploring this land of beauty and wonder – we’re already dreaming of our next trip back. This place definitely taught us a few things about ourselves. Costa Rica delivers the pure life. Or as the locals say, “Pura Vida!”

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