Universidad de Costa Rica

koch, marlene

Marlene Koch in Costa Rica

by Marlene Koch

This is part of one of my blog posts from “La Pura Vida” during my time abroad at the University of Costa Rica in San José from February-July 2013!  

Have you ever been dumped out of your raft and floated down a river in a Costa Rican canyon? Watched an ocean-sunset 3,000 miles away from anyone you know and love in the company of strangers (and lizards/monkeys)?  Swam in a waterfall with a volcano-view? Canoed through a crocodile-infested national park? Zip-lined Superman style over the rainforest? Sat on a virgin beach with not a single soul in sight?

I have. And I soaked up every single crazy, unbelievable, peaceful, awe-inspiring minute, but not a single one went by without a prayer for the people I love back home. I couldn’t believe how much I missed them, how much I love them, and how much I wanted them next to me.

However, missing those I love made those moments all the more precious and personal. I see now how beautiful it was to experience them by myself, to feel sort of alone in a great big world, that feeling of wonderment when you stand (or soar or float) feeling like you were dropped into a giant painting or onto another planet. You recognize nothing in the beginning, but you grow to belong to the place, and the place to you, in a way you just can’t inside the comfort zone of the presence of your friends and family.