Monteverde, in english, translates to “Green Mountain”, which is hilarious but also ridiculously accurate because the town is painted with all shades of green. The bus ride from the San Jose bus station to Monteverde was one of those things where no matter how good of a camera you have, no picture you take will fully capture the beauty of what your eyes can see.

It was a charter bus filled to the brim, literally. There were people who stood on the bus and sat on the floor of the bus for a 4 and 1/2 hour bus ride. The road all the way there was twisting and turning through the mountains of Costa Rica. Our emotions would range from petrified of falling off the side of a cliff to breathless and at a loss for words because of the scenery. It was definitely something one has to experience to understand-which I would say rings true of this whole country.

My friends and I went “Adventure Zipling” in Monteverde, which holds the longest zip line in Latin America. The whole afternoon consisted of 6 lines, 2 of which were “Superman” style, meaning we were locked in with two harnesses on our backs, then we just lay, with nothing below us, and holding onto nothing. Yes, this was absolutely terrifying, laying facedown above the treetops over 200 meters off the ground does that to a person, but was absolutely the most incredible thing I have ever and probably will ever do in my life. Flying above the rainforest, traveling for a mile, watching your tiny little shadow glide atop of the trees, makes one realize how small we truly are.

We are so small. And we live in a huge great big beautiful world.
I seriously suggest spending time in a place that makes you realize this.
The world is happening and changing and living and breathing and we’re going to miss out on it if we don’t realize that it is here for us to experience.

Which brings me to my birthday. Yes! I am 20 years old now! How exciting indeed! Nothing really changes when you turn 20, I soon realized. Other than no longer being a teenager, I feel the same. Which is fine with me, I love who I am and where I am in my life.
But what a way to celebrate no longer being a teenager- being in a different country, doing something incredible, experiencing the first thing I have ever done totally on my own.

On my birthday, I opened some gifts that my parents packed for me in my suitcase (yes, I know they are the best parents in the world). That was hard for me, only because this is the first birthday that I wasn’t with my family. However, I believe with my whole heart that I am the luckiest person in the world, being gifted with the most beautiful hearts in the friends I made in Costa Rica. The whole day on my birthday they were constantly making me feel loved, I had “Happy Birthday” sang to me three times, which is more than the amount of times in a single day I think has ever happened. My friends took me out to dinner and said whatever I wanted, they would make it happen. We ended up at a restaurant called “Casita Azul”, meaning “Little Blue House”.

The food at this place was the best food I have had since being in Costa Rica. The night was filled with great food, so many laughs, and stories shared between all of us. Spending the night of my birthday with my new friends made me realize that the bond between friends is not time-sensitive. The 6 of us were complete strangers on Sunday, May 3rd. Strangers from all over the world, even. But the way that these friends made me feel loved on my birthday, after just meeting me on Sunday, made me feel like the most special person in the world.

I have found the most beautiful souls in Costa Rica and I know that these people will always have a piece of my heart.


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