If you are expecting this post to tell you which zipline to visit and which are the best beaches then this is the wrong post but I can assure you that the information in this post can help you enjoy more your experience in Costa Rica and all future travels no matter where you might be visiting.
I’ve mentioned in post before that there is a difference in just “visiting” a country/place and actually “experiencing” a place. Here I am going to go over 5 different ways to actually “experience” more your time during your vacations.
1. The Brain on Adventure - Everyone wants the feeling of well-being in life and keeping the brain happy will get you there. Studies have shown that physical exertion and taking part in adventure sports like white water rafting can increase levels of dopamine in the brain which result in excitement and immediate pleasure which leads to endorphins in the blood which result in a longer lasting feeling of well-being.
With this said one suggestion to experience a more fulfilling vacation is to involve some physical activity or even step out on a limb and do something that you would not always do. We never push our guest to forcefully do something they don’t want to but if we know it’s safe we always make a good effort to convince them to take the challenge as the reward is nothing more than a “happier life!”.
2. The Presence of Adrenaline - In our modern day lives we live in the worries about the future or the regrets of the past. Our time in the present moment is almost impossible for some to experience. This is what vacation is all about, being able to detach yourself from the worries of the future and regrets from the past. Because of our society its not so easy for us to break this train of thought in one short week of vacation. Mild adventure on a vacation has allowed our minds to be forced into the present moment where we do not have to worry about the stressors of life. Just imagine while rafting the Pacuare River in Costa Rica before one of the large class IV rapids the last thing you are thinking about is the problem with your mother-in-law or the deadlines you need to meet at work. This adrenaline puts us into the present moment and offers us a new found sense of self self-confidence after the adventure. This can also be met by morning or afternoon walks in the forest. Ask your guide or your guest about taking short walks in the early evening.
3. Morning Mindfulness Excercise – If I say morning meditation everyone gets scared of some funky, weird, I would never do that! feeling. If we say Mindfulness which the University of UCLA has developed a center for studying and researching the brain then it sounds OK. The importance of mindfulness should be enough to do it everyday of your life. The benefits are many and the affect it can have on a vacation can be life changing. If you have never practiced mindfulness their is no better place to bring it into your life than vacation. In Costa Rica the best part is that the sun is up at 5:30am every morning and you become a morning person wether you like it or not. Take 5 minutes every morning with your Costa Rican coffee and just sit in one spot. Have your back strait and just concentrate on your breathe. It is a very easy and relaxing excercise. If your thoughts wander just bring them back to your breathe and try and keep yourself in the present moment. You do not need any funky candles or incense burning. The only thing you need to do is be present with your breathe.
4. Experience the Cuisine – Many vacations are spent going from place to place by the time you get a meal you want to scarf it down in a matter of seconds. Chances are you will be eating foods that you might never eat again or that might be entirely new to you and your body. Take a moment and enjoy the food. It is kind of a big deal for your body to be trying a fruit it has never had before. Make a big deal of that moment! If you want to enjoy the little things in life then this is one of them. Think about where the fruit came from, the farmer on the land, the family of the farmer, the transportation to where you are. These are all interesting questions to be able to experience a country and culture.
5. The People The People The People – Costa Rica is home to some amazing people. Some have hopped onto the “fast pace & high stress” lifestyle that we Americans have passed on as the “The American Dream” but many Costa Rican’s still have a clear idea that the idea of consumerism to the max is not the key to happiness. These are the people that can give you so much on your vacation. If you get the chance to experience the people no matter where you travel and see their lifestyle and culture with an open mind you will surely be getting the max out of your vacation.