Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Costa Rica

Loving life (and having my hair chewed by SOTW pup Mellow)

I'm back! OK, I've been back in the country a while - but hey, I'm back to Limbo! As you'll know if you read my last post, I recently went to Costa Rica for two weeks to do a photography and yoga course and... it. Was. Awesome. Every now and then I just get a hankering for an adventure, and this was certainly that.

When I arrived after my very long journey (13 hours, plane change in Madrid, yawn) the first thing I noticed was the smell. The country smelled.... lush. I don't know how else to describe it. It smelt luscious, green and basically how mother earth should smell. It was also very humid, which I welcomed wth open (/sweaty) arms after the cold drizzly weather at home.

I arrived at the school at about 6pm. I was greeted with a coconut to drink, had a quick tour of the school and was shown to my room. I felt so jet-lagged that I was dizzy and genuinely thought my room was swaying, so decided it was probably best to head to bed. Of course then there was the loudest, most intense thunder storm in the world, but I still managed to sleep for a good 12 hours. 

My days at the School of The World went like this: Wake up, shower, eat cereal/breakfast bar, go to photography class, wander around town, find lunch/iced coffee/fruit smoothie, go to photography field trip, take a shitload of photos of incredible things, come back to the room/hang out by the pool, go to yoga, get bitten by all the mozzies, shower again, go out for dinner, drink rum at Swell surf bar, get bitten by some more mozzies, sleep.

It was a routine I quickly adapted to. I also got one free weekend while there and am pleased to say I took full advantage. On Saturday I tagged along with some students to do a canopy zipline tour, so basically was zooming around the rainforest at a great height thinking 'I might die but this is AWESOME'. On Sunday a few of us woke up after 2.5 hours sleep (...that was a fun night!) to visit Manuel Antonio national park. We explored, made friends with naughty monkeys and racoons and swam in the sea - perfection.

Highlights: Listening to Carlos talk about art / The sunset at Playa Blanca / Stepping well and truly out of my comfort zone on the canopy zipline tour / Dinners at the Greenroom / Iced caramel macchiatos / Lunches at the Soda / Seeing parts of Costa Rica you wouldn't normally see on photography trips / Doing my first headstand in yoga (for 10 seconds) / Dancing after too many mojitos / Almost being robbed by a racoon / Thanksgiving with new friends.

I won't lie and say it was all perfect - felt a little like an outsider at the school during the first week. I'm a self-confessed introvert, so chatting to strangers (especially in the big groups we were often in) was difficult. And yeah, during the first couple of days I did wonder whether or not I made the right decision to do this - but as is almost always the case with things like that, it got better. I got to know people gradually in more one-to-one style interactions and by the second week I felt truly at home. 

I would definitely recommend going to School of the World - the staff, the accommodation, atmosphere - all of it was perfect. And the country is just stunning. I can only hope to return one day and see more :) Until then, I'll just look at these pictures...


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