Overcoming My Fears

Overlooking the fog that covered the peaks of the most diverse and green mountains, it hit me that I was in Costa Rica. I found myself in a lodge full of unfamiliar faces that would share the next 3 weeks immersing in Costa Rica’s culture, wildlife, and lifestyle. Little did I know, to every great experience there are ups and downs.

Throughout the trip, my body viciously reacted to the bug bites, the lake water and humidity caused rashes and irritation that spread throughout my body. Towards the end of the trip, I caught a bacterial infection which caused a high fever and the worst aches and pains that made me think that I was on my last thread of life. Through all of this, it did not stop me from making the most out of my trip. I went rafting on the Pacuare River, was hosted by a Costa Rican family with only a Spanish dictionary to communicate with, painted a school in the small village of Tres Equis, created a trail in the indigenous community of Yorkin, and made deep, close, and lifelong relationships with some of the most incredible people. For 3 weeks, I seized every opportunity to make my experience worthwhile.

While on the trip, I was also able to face so many of my irrational fears of height and water. There was a point where the leaders of a rafting expedition stopped and took us up a boulder and told us to jump off and swim against the current to shore. I had no choice than to jump. Although I could have easily cried my way out of jumping off, I thought it was important for me to take the risk so that my fears would not control the quality of my experiences. My trip began to be filled with me conquering my fears on a daily basis. I slowly began to feel less anxious about the idea of water and heights. While we were rafting to the next lodge, our guide told us to get off the raft and swim. I of course held onto the raft, but he pushed me in and I began to see how peaceful it was to float in the stream and disconnect from my illogical fear of the water. There was a surreal moment of serenity that I would not have felt if I did not immerse myself in my fears.

Although my trip to Costa Rica was only for 3 weeks, I have learned the importance of letting go of stresses, fear, and insecurities. There is a saying in Costa Rica called ‘pura vida.’ This literally means pure life, but in a lifestyle sense it means to live in the moment and relieve yourself from tension and worries. During my 3 weeks, I learned how to embody this saying and take this part of Costa Rica and apply it to my own life in Boston.