Unlike the outward self, the inward self is very sensitive to the world and bringing her out of her shell can sometimes require a complete change in place. I believe Costa Rica is the best place to do this— it’s healthy vibes, lack of rules, abundant nature, safety, and endless adventure makes it an oasis for the inward self to thrive. Here are my top five reasons why you should ditch whatever you are doing and come find yourself in Costa Rica. 

Lack of Rules & Enforcement

My inner jungle likes to be free and wild so rules really aren’t her thang. And this makes life in Costa Rica a forever spontaneous interlude that is full of possibilities. Do you want to take the 9 dogs that are following you to the beach? Done. The popo isn’t  going to make you put them on leashes. Eww…leashes. You want to get a 6-pack of beer and watch the sunset on the beach? Done. The popo will drink one with you! Want to make bread and sell it at the farmers market? Health & Safety isn’t going to stop you. Your inner voice relishes in a world where innate ideas aren’t hampered by regulatory garbage, allowing you to expand whatever comes to mind.

Healthy Vibes

Believe it not, your inner jungle likes to be one healthy girl. Yeah, the occasional drink or two gives her the liquid courage to bust moves on the dance floor and feel alive for the first time in months since taking that boring office job. However, continual loud music and lights, hangovers, late-night pizzas, and sleep deprivation are more than enough to make her retreat into a deep dark place, unretrievable to the world without the help of a therapist. Costa Rica is rupturing this habit because everyone there is serious about their surf…stay with me for a moment.  When you surf, you have to be in tune with rising sun, the tide, and the energetic force of the universe. You can’t be staying out late, getting drunk, and then waking at 5:00 a.m. to align your board with a Tsunami—it just doesn’t work. The culture in Costa Rica is to be in sync with the natural rhythms of the earth and this extends into to every aspect of life there—your food, water, sleep, nature, and relationships. Everyone and their crab is on the same page, and this is a synergy that invites you to become the most healthy version of yourself. 

Nature Lives with You 

Once I was dining at a restaurant in on the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, where the restaurant had a giant tree in the center of it. The waiter ran over to our table and told us to look into the tree. Through the tree’s corridor, incoming into the restaurant, was a momma sloth and her baby sloth, curiously and courageously becoming the lives of the party. Unlike most western nations, these spontaneous interactions with wildlife in Costa Rica are far from rare. With 25% of Costa Rica’s landmass being protected areas, it is home to some of the most diverse populations of plants and species on the planet. And integrating ourselves into their home is what Costa Rican culture is all about. The love of nature in Costa Rica transcends every aspect of your experience from the clean and fresh rivers that flow through Arenal to the protected beaches of Tortuguero where turtles come to lay their eggs at sunset. Every day in Costa Rica is an opportunity to celebrate with the diverse and spontaneous characters that surround you. Just don’t be let them fool you into thinking you’ve been transported to another planet. 

Safety

Doing things on your own, (nature walks, hiking, etc) is an important part of removing yourself from the outside world to let the inner voice come out and you want to feel safe as you do this. As a woman who’s traveled to many countries, I’ve never felt quite as safe as I do in Costa Rica. In my eight months of traveling through the country, I’ve stayed in the homes of people I met on the bus, partied in hostels, walked around towns at night, etc., and not once have I been robbed or harassed. Of course, there were men that would catcall and blow kisses, and while this was embarrassing, most people in Costa Rica see this as flattery and rarely is it an indication of a threat. Like anywhere you go traveling, you want to be mindful of your surroundings and keep your personal belongings (iPhone, passport, money) near you, especially in areas that are more touristic. Every town will be different in terms of the level of safety and you will want to ask an expat or local of the “do’s and don’t” in the town. I wouldn’t do anything they wouldn’t do, which in some towns will be to not walk on the beach at night. I would try doing things they believe are safe to do, for example in the town of Santa Teresa it is very safe and common to hitchhike. Not only will you get a free ride, but you’ll meet some amazing people as well. Known as the Switzerland of the Americas, there is a strong mix of expats and locals and you’ll find that they are genuinely kind and honest people willing to help. Being a very safe country, Costa Rica is a beautiful introduction to the Americas, allowing you to go beyond in jungle with the confidence that the culture and people really do have your best interest at heart. 

Adventure

There’s nothing that makes your inner crazy say Hallelujah more than an adventure! Do I even have to explain this one? Your inner jungle is a thirsty girl for the thrill. It’s like that feeling when you’re riding your bike, and you see the green light turning to yellow and you are like hell no! So you clench your handlebars and thrust yourself full speed into a red light, causing all traffic to seize, momentarily, as a sweaty flower child warps through, screaming “Hallelujah, I’m alive!” Yeah, Costa Rica is this feeling all time but with much cooler stuff like jumping off waterfalls, snorkeling amongst the stinging coral, flipping your raft on white waters, and catching a two-foot tuna. The cool thing about Costa Rica is that its varying geography, but small country, and cheap bus tickets, allow you to easily climb a volcano at Arenal one day and then white water raft yourself to the Caribbean for snorkel the next day. Costa Rica has all the adventure you need to engage the wild in you.