Today was our first day full day in Costa Rica. With the sun shining through my bedroom window, waking up this morning felt like a breath of fresh air. Although much of the day was spent walking the streets or indulging in the fresh fruits, there was still a significant takeaway. Essentially, my expectations were completely blown out of the water in regard to this trip. Any layover we had was most definitely worth it.
Before traveling (in our pre-departure meetings), our group discussed different aspects of the Tico culture, like their history, values, and home-life (among others)–which all seemed to be centered around this idea of independence, inclusion, and individuality. Their way-of-life seemed not only different compared to that of the United States but sort-of refreshingly unique. Through this exposure, I definitely anticipated the people here to be friendly and willing to converse with “Los Gringos” (us Americans). Also, I very much expected their values to be centered around the family. However, I was unsure to what extent my level of knowledge of the Spanish language would prove beneficial/useful to me in my homestay or as we explored the streets of Heredia.
After today, I can confidently say that the first day here confirmed all of my expectations and washed away any nervousness. The Ticos are extremely amiable and willing to get to know you through a simple conversation in the street. I chatted with an older man for a while about himself as well as why I was visiting the country. Through this conversation, I not only learned the how big of a role family plays but also all of my predisposed fears of whether or not I knew sufficient Spanish to communicate immediately disappeared–a feeling that is simply unparalleled.
Entonces, estoy muy emocionada por el resto de esta aventura y ojalá que pueda conversar con más Ticos en las calles.