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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pura Vida!!!! Jacquel's solo trip to Costa Rica

Pura Vida everyone!

I have returned from my solo trip to Costa Rica.....Yes, solo trip you have heard right!

How did I end up doing  a solo trip you ask?
Well as the clock struck 12:00 on my 31st birthday, I found myself sitting alone on my couch lurking scrolling through Facebook. As people posted their pictures of travel and people enjoying their lives, I found myself feeling envious. Here I was at  31, single, fabulous, with a great career, and blessings in abundance and my life had become existing and not living. So on a whim I googled "safest places for solo women travelers" and Costa Rica popped on the list and something said "yes here". I rationalized that it was  not too far away (I'm very afraid of flying) and before I knew it I booked my flight and found an amazing and cheap villa in a small coastal town called Quepos ( I paid $60 per night) on Air BnB and I saw myself click the book button and  by 12: 45 am my solo trip was booked. Then the panic set in.........

WTF did I just do!!!!! I was shitting bricks  extremely panicked. This was so out of character for me! I hadn't done any research, I just clicked and clicked. This was sooooo not like me, but I shrugged my anxiety away enough for me to go to bed. I woke up looked at my credit card the charges were there, but I was still in denial, I  texted  Amira  and then it became real.
 I was excited. As I began to tell more people, I grew scared. I got a mixture of responses. Some people admired me for conquering my fears and not letting the lack of people stop me from doing anything I wanted to do in life. While others admonished me on how could I be so foolish to travel alone. Two weeks before my trip, I started doing more in depth research. Then the fudge moments started, Quepos is 2 1/2 hours from the major airport in San Jose, I panicked and then my awesome airBnB host email swooped in to save the day as it was full of plenty of info. It contained shuttle, taxi, and an offer to solidify a driver, at cost, for my travel too and from the airport. Sold! Then I learned public transport via shuttle starts at 6 am and ends after 6 pm, my flight landed at 8:30 pm and my return flight departed at 7:20 am (double fudge, since you have to be at the airport 2 hours before for international flights). I was able to adjust my villa stay duration and get my money back and get a hotel in San Jose for the night I landed and I coughed up the $175 for a shuttle ride home as I 'm a nervous nelly driver in the US, I wasn't prepared to drive 2 1/2 in a foreign country at 2 am in the morning alone.  The relief set in an now I could finally enjoy my trip.

My trip:
My flight was majorly delayed, totally ruining my preboarding wine buzz, and I didn't land until 10 pm CST (12 am EST), I was so glad I stayed in San Jose! I arrived at my comfy hotel 15 mins and $30 later, the taxis will get you, but I was only taking legit taxis so it was worth it. I woke up nervous to what was around me and was blown away by this super modern town. I found myself anxious to wander and get some yummy food, and I wasn't disappointed
The view outside of my hotel window
High Rise apartments in San Jose
Yummy food. Rice and beans is a staple feature in every meal in Costa Rica.

I left San Jose after check out and after a 2/1/2 hour ride/mini site seeing tour ,with an eclectic group of tourist from as far as Scotland, I arrived a cute little town and my very nice villa.
 This is "La Casita"
La casitia in Casa Pargo

"La Casita"  Pool and Ocean Views
The Pool

I had 2 bathroom, one bedroom loft style apartment and I'm obsessed with lofts, access to a swimming pool, and walkable distance for food and a not really popping nightlife, but every Spanish country has to have a discoteca, of course.

My stay in Costa Rica was amazing! I was able to walk the streets no one bothered or harassed me and having been in foreign countries, you stick out like a sore thumb as an American. I walked into to stores and ordered food, no one marked up prices, and actually they were elated to have the business and I had amazing service in the Sodas (these little storefront like stores, that had cheap and super yummy food). Although no one tried to rip me off , but be careful to count you change and convert it back to US dollars if you use it as your currency, as I did my whole trip without a problem, as they don't always recognize the value of our dollars (Looking at you Wacky Wanda's bar).

I did two excursions, I did a catamaran and a horseback riding, both were under 100 each. The catamaran came with 8 alcoholic drinks, a lunch of rice beans, fish, and salad. Two Jacuzzis, water slides, and snorkeling. Some people jumped off the side of the boat and swam (NOT I! I traveled thousands of miles by myself that's all the adventure I need.) I did snorkel and it was so much fun, although I saw nothing.
I'm on a boat

This where they filmed Jurassic Park

No one likes a shady beach crop top
Macy's Junior size Large

Fatkini life!
Shades Charlotte Russe
Belle Lingerie swimsuit top
Lane Bryant Swimsuit bottom

My 2nd excursion I went horseback riding, I got both breakfast and lunch that were super delicious and  I got to push a JAG!
Whipping the Jag!
Convertible book bag/pocketbook bag and sneakers

Chasing Waterfalls

Horseback riding was my Cardio that day!
Texting is my cardio shirt
Sears Juniors

Jaguar the horse that it is! I had never ridden a horse, but it was one of the most liberating albeit painful experiences ever (I had on yoga pants, you constantly bounce, and are using thigh muscles you didn't know existed, to hold on. In the moments Jaguar galloped, I felt so free and a sense of elation and giddiness overcame me. I knew then Costa Rica was where I needed to be, I was supposed to be there, this was living life.

Most of the trip I mellowed out by the pool,ate, and it explore the town. I did meet people, but I think the two people who impacted a lot were David and Amanda. A sweet and devoted couple who were on there own adventure through Costa Rica and we happened to meet on their  stop through the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. They were both from  the Northeast Coast, like me, and they were amazing. We had deep conversations about life, God, and what it means to live a life and live it on purpose. I needed to meet them, without going too deep, a lot was happening inside of me, emotionally, and it was meeting them it helped me come to a resolve. Although they never knew what they did, I thank them for that.
Dave and Amanda aren't they just the cutest

David feeding the monkeys

Costa Rica was a trip that needed to happen for me. I got a lot of time to recharge, relax, and breathe. I hadn't realized how outside of me, meaning my personality, I was living. I needed to plug back in to the essence of Jacquel. I think that traveling alone truly allows you to stop listening to all the voices around you and listen to your own voice as there is no one to talk to and collaborate with but you. I think I connected and heard God in my trip.

Some people asked me if I would travel alone again, and after deep thought, I said it while it wouldn't be my first choice,I got lonely the 2nd to last day, I don't think the prospect of being alone will ever stop me from going anywhere or doing anything ever again. As while I was fearful, fear is the lack of faith. I want to start having more faith, in the universe and especially in myself.
I hope you enjoyed my story and thanks for reading.

Please hit up the comment box below if you have any questions, need tips, or want to share your solo travel journey with us.

Toodles Darlings,
P.S. Enjoy some extra pictures from my trip!

Say hi to Mr. Monkey

Leaving my footprints in the sand

1 comment:

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