One of my favorite parts about traveling through or living in Costa Rica is the “calming down effect” one can get there. The reason why I said so is because the life in Costa Rica is so simple and the most stressful decision one has to make is probably where to watch the sunset. Apart from that Costa Rica is a place where you can easily see roosters roaming the streets and monkeys playing in the trees. It is in Costa Rica where I learnt the true form of “calmness” and I am still very surprised by how many people out there in another countries, do not fully understand the country.
One of most common mistakes people usually make is how they tend to mix Costa Rica with Mexico or Puerto Rico. Most of the expats are also surprised to know that tortilla chips and margaritas are scarce. The most common food eaten by the native Costa Ricans, also known as Ticos in native language, are rice and beans. Some local friends would often prepare family-sized pan early in the morning and at breakfast, it is normal to be served with chicken or fish, beef and an egg. For dinner, fresh cabbage salad is a common dish. Among other things I notice while in Costa Rica is how expensive it is to drink wine. The price is usually tripled the price you can get in the US.
Rainforests, jungles and beaches are the famous trademarks of Costa Rica. I love how beautiful and pristine they are although sometimes you can only find a few beach bars there. However, there is a reason why to this though. In order to preserve the nature, the government has set up very strict laws regarding the location of a bar, house or even hotel. Other than that, there are also things that turns my stomach such as a man holding a baby with just one arm as his bike speeds down the main road. This is insane, don’t you think? But there’s always a reason to everything you see in Costa Rica. After all, it’s a laid-back country, don’t you think so?
In a small town in Costa Rica, more often than not, a way of shopping is by placing an order at a woman who would knock on your door with a catalog packed of colorful clothes and French beauty products. Flip through the pages, find the things you desire and a few weeks later you can expect to get your item. That is if you are staying in Costa Rica for a longer time. This is actually how most expats shop in small towns of Costa Rica, when the closest big cities are a few hours away by car.
The slow-paced lifestyle in Costa Rica makes me want to stop for a while from my busy life. It makes me want to explore more and just live there. The worst case scenario I have ever seen was probably when Americans were seen yelling and pushing in the immigration line in the open-air airport in Costa Rica. My advice is simple when it comes to this. You’re in a laid-back country, appreciate the moment of being there and respect the culture.