Flying Solo: My First Experience Traveling Solo (Costa Rica)

Costa Rica

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” - Rachel Wolchin

My decision to travel solo came from realizing that if I continue to wait until the time is right for everyone else, I’d never go anywhere worth reminiscing about.

So, in December of 2016, I decided I was going to transform my daydreams into memories.

I was no longer going to live my life based on other people’s circumstances. No more making plans for travel and then being let down by friends and/or family when the time came to put down a deposit.

Admittedly, with this being my first time traveling out of the country (let alone, by myself), I took baby steps…and did A LOT of research. I eventually decided to play it a bit safe and book my trip through a travel group. However, with me being in my late twenties I did not want to end up with a group of my elders.

I stumbled across a travel group called, Under 30 Experiences. After spending an unhealthy amount of time on their site, I booked their most affordable trip- Costa Rica Starter Trip. This 5-day trip was just a little under $800 (airfare not included).

When I boarded my flight to Costa Rica in July 2017, I thought I might feel nervous or scared. But I didn’t. I felt like I was finally doing something for me and nobody else. I had given myself permission to live life on my own terms.

This was hands down, the most amazing experience of my life.

There’s a certain freedom you experience when going somewhere you’ve never been and being surrounded by people who don’t know anything about you. So, when I went white-water rafting I didn’t have anyone there to remind me that I’m supposed to play it safe. When I ziplined through the Costa Rican rainforest, I didn’t have anyone there to remind me that I have a fear of heights. I didn’t have anyone there to talk me out of being fearless and talk me into being the version of myself they were comfortable with. I didn’t have anyone there to distract me from striking up conversations with complete strangers, which led to the sharing of stories and valuable life lessons.

Experiencing different cultures, truly makes you take your own into perspective. Upon first arriving to Costa Rica, our native tour guides had to give a disclaimer, as all of us on the U30x trip were Americans. They let us know that everyone runs on “island time.” They didn’t hold tight to schedules and they were never in a rush. Throughout my short time there, I gave my type-A personality a rest and I just lived in the moment (with no regard for time). When I returned home, I realized how much of my life was being lived in a rush.

My prayer is that you choose not to just rush through life. I pray you experience new cultures, new mindsets, and a new version of yourself. And as I’ve said before, I pray you do more than just exist.