Study Abroad Costa Rica: Tranquilo

By Katie P., Guestblogger from Coronado, Costa Rica Independent Teen program

travel to Costa Rica with intention, with plans and reservations and a return
flight already booked. Unfortunately my age, and obligation to high school does
not allow for infinite vacation and so I am one of those people who came and
fulfilled my intention, with only the luxury of flexibility and no schedules on
the weekends.

back from a nightclub with friends in Puerto Viejo I met Nate. A tall, skinny,
white Australian guy, unshaven with a head full of blonde dreadlocks, wobbles
up next to us on a rickety bicycle that was much too small for his height. I
recognized him from our hostel and he introduced himself and kept up
conversation while trying to ride his bike at our walking pace-which was very
entertaining to watch. Our conversation followed the casual flow of small talk,
which is common when meeting other English-speaking foreigners in a foreign
country. Our newly acquainted chat was short but different and it made me smile
and got me thinking about life.

Me: “So
how long are you in Costa Rica for?”

(thick Australian accent) “Well now mate, I don’t quite know. You see I got a
place to live and a job.”

really? That’s sweet. What’s your job?”

“The Lady
at that restaurant down the street asked if I wanted a job. So now I’m working
at that café. Yeah its totally cool.”

“Nice man,
how long have you been here in Puerto Viejo?”


something I will really miss about Costa Rica. The freedom, the flexibility,
the ‘Tranquilo’ mentality of no stress and no hurry. Back home everyone is
always stressing and rushing around. Seeing Nate wobbling on his new ride, and
just chillen in Costa Rica with a home and job for however long he wants; that
is the pura vida.

The next
day as my friends and I were walking to the bus stop we saw Nate again.
Wobbling on his bike, riding at the walking pace of a local Tico, practicing
his Spanish and making new friends. He waved at us and shouted, “Good day
Mate!” and we smiled and waved back.

I realized it’s not only tourists who live with
tranquility and peace of mind in Costa Rica. The Ticos seem to include the
business of work and living into a tranquil sort of system with many ‘Pausuas’
(breaks) during the workday and with weekends extending into Monday.  In fact, most businesses are closed on
Mondays! Ahhh!!! This IS the life! 

Click for more information on AmeriSpan’s Independent Teen program in Coronado, Costa Rica.

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