I have been wanting to write this one for a while. Some of you reading this know that recently my husband and I took our long awaited honeymoon to the gorgeous paradise of Costa Rica. Also, SUPRISE, we decided to move there so now we are on the fritz of selling our belongings to make our way back to a place that instantly felt like home to both of us! We will follow that journey more as it unfolds...let's get to the gritty of a few things that I wish I knew before heading to this piece of Heaven.
(Boy oh BOY what I wouldn't give to be sitting in this exact spot again right now!) Okay, jump right in to what you came here for. Lesson number one. YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED JEANS OR LONG SLEEVE SHIRTS. I am yelling this at you because I know most of us love to overpack, especially when going to unfamiliar territory, but I beg of you to just trust me on this one. When I say this place is hot most of you are going to jump to the Florida or Alabama humidty and think "ehh, I have handled that before." Yes, I have too, I lived in Mobile, AL for 4 years. This Costa Rica heat is a beast of it's own. Plus side, if you walk a lot, you will drop inches in like 3 days because you will just sweat your existence away. And don't even think that maybe you will need one for the night time...I promise you won't. Sometimes the nights were even warmer than the day. I tell you this so if you DO choose to overpack, at least make them items you can use so you aren't wasting space like I did. (PS, bring some f lip flops and a pair of tennis shoes if you explore, you most likely won't need your heels one single bit, and pack lighter colored clothes since black is just naturally hotter)
Lesson two. If you are a makeup lover...I personally wouldn't waste my time with a full make up bag. Most days I wore absolutely nothing but my sunscreen. There were a few outings where I wanted to look a little more presentable, but here was way to go about this so you didn't quite literally sweat your face off. 1) Tinted moisturizer. 2) Setting powder or a bronzer powder to hold the makeup/sweat. 3) Waterproof mascara. 4) A good lippie, this is optional, I opted out. Honestly that was it. These items held up the best to the humidity and heat without leaving me in a complete sweat streaked face at the end of the night. Pro to this, you save SO much room in your bag! And for the love of everything good and clean in the world, do NOT forget a deodorant. I used men's because it is stronger, and if you are a gal like me...let's just say I need extra strength and I did not regret my decision on this one. Lesson three. Do yourself a favor, download Duolingo, and get a few basics in Spanish. Not because you have to, as most locals there speak English, but because it's respectful and they absolutely LOVE and appreciate hearing you put in the effort to communicate with them. This is how I made some of my most favorite connections there. Just know I am doing you a solid here and trust me. You do NOT have to be fluent by any means...just learn some basics and never be afraid to ask to learn more. It is so much fun. Lesson four. THEY HAVE LIZARDS THAT LOOK LIKE DINOSAURS. Some of you are probably thinking "hell yes! I love scary scaly beasts that we aren't use to in the states." Your girl over here on the other hand wasn't a big fan of these gigantic creatures and I felt like they were just staring into my soul every time I refused to feed them. Don't get me wrong, they do not attack...I am just a big ass sissy with unfamiliar animals and when one ran past my foot on our last day I think I blacked out and met my maker for a split second. Came back too and double checked my feet to be relieved to find all my toes were still intact. I don't really say this to scare you as much to just let you be aware. Maybe so I can prevent you from having an over dramatic near death experience such as mine. Lesson five and I will stop here. This one is my absolute favorite. DOGS ARE EVERYWHERE! They will be with their owners just bar hopping or grocery shopping, or they will just be free roaming around and wanting snuggles and a bite to eat. Costa Rica is one of the most dog friendly countries and it made me the happiest girl in the world. I just wanted to share this one for fun and serotonin.
There are a few more things I could have gone into here, but this seems like a good enough place to start. You can always leave comments here for me to get back and answer later! Just promise me when you are there you take the time to appreciate the land and the people that live there. Don't hull yourself up in your hotel and forget to explore and see all the local places. You will miss out on some pretty incredible places and even more incredible people that can turn into family...like our friend, Conejo, here. Pura Vida Xoxo, Cait