I rang in 2014 on the beach in Costa Rica, covered in glitter, with Cacique cocktails and 16 new friends. We’d all come from different places, physically and in our lives. Three in business school at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and a couple from Finland who got engaged here in NYC on their way to meet us. A bunch from Canada down to the California coast, a native English woman, a native Bulgarian. Plus, our group leader, a small but mighty Costa Rican named Marcela, who inserts a high-pitched “Whaaaat?!” into nearly every sentence. It was a motley (and crazy!) crew.
Having always traveled as part of a couple or with girlfriends, this was an adventure for me before it even started. But, I decided to bust out my backpack (in storage since my post-college graduation trip to Europe in 2001) and take a chance. This trip was part of our tour company’s “YOLO” series and it’s true: you only live once.
Among my many outdoor adventures was canyoneering, a mix of waterfall rapelling and romping through the rain forest. Our largest waterfall was 220 feet.
You know that I’m afraid of heights!
And, then, there was our afternoon of surfing.
In case you’re wondering whether I stood up on the board when it was actually in the water, the answer is: not a chance. It was pretty challenging. But, I’m glad that I tried it.
During our last phone conversation before I left for the airport, I joked with my brother that I was going to Costa Rica in search of the meaning of life. And, while it may not have been a spiritual awakening in the deepest sense, it was an epic journey in that I feel a renewed sense of optimism. Some questions were answered and lots of others still remain, but, the most important one just may be: where to next?!