Why do people travel solo? Isn't it nerve racking and unsafe? There are a great many blogs and sites that encourage people travel solo at least once. Especially in their 20s because its supposed to be life changing. I'm sure you've seen this quote before "Travel so far that you find yourself". I thought I knew myself pretty well, but I wanted to push my limits. I was 25 and full of energy so I decided to test out this theory and see how much, if any, my outlook on life will change.
I chose Costa Rica. Reason number one, JetBlue had direct round trip flights from JFK to Liberia for only $196! It was too good of a deal to pass up. I tried to get some friends but I booked my flight and knew that I would go with or without them. It ended up being the latter. Reason number two, what drove me to book the flight was research I had done a few months back on safest and best places to solo travel, especially for a female. Surprisingly, Costa Rica was on the top. Having this knowledge in the back of my mind while I was looking at the flight times, I got the confidence I needed to reserve my seat. My flight was scheduled for a month later.
This is a beach in Cahuita Nacional Parque.
Two weeks before the trip, it was planning time. I researched road conditions in Costa Rica because I wanted to rent a car and see as much of the country as I could in 5 days. Research also included places to stay, Airbnb is the best there is, and activities. I did bungee and super swing, both of which drops you from 470ft and you have one second to question your life's decisions before you jump.
My travel itinerary will have the details of all the other activities and places I visited. I was able to fit in Northern Costa Rica, La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, Limon, and Parque Nacional de Cahuita.
Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna
Now the real question, was it life changing? No. It didn't change my outlook in life, but I was amazed and beyond impressed with my level of courage. I got what I wanted out of this trip. I wanted to see my potential, my breaking point. Every morning I'd wake up questioning my plan for the day and feeling afraid because it included long drives and my Airbnb places were literally scattered across the country.
What if my car broke down, or I got lost? Can I really trust anyone? Keeping these thoughts in the back of my mind and getting in the car to start my day's activities took guts. I wasn't used to this. I did get my car stuck in the mountains with nothing nearby but farmlands. Luckily I knew enough Spanish to ask a local family for help after walking for a while. I was nervous at first, but after I made it out of this incident ( very first day in Costa Rica), I trusted people a little more and knew not to follow my GPS blindly. :)
Overall, I now know how stressful and rewarding traveling alone can be. My relationship with myself increased 10-fold. I no longer doubt myself when I find something new I want to try. This realization to me is priceless and everyone should feel the gratitude and love for one's self that this trip has taught me.
Playa de Cuajiniquil- Beach for locals because it's no where near any tourist spots and 30mins from the border of Nicaragua.
Request an itinerary of Costa Rica for more detailed layout of the best places to stay, eat, and visit for your trip. Itinerary also includes recommendation to make it easy, fun, and have it all on a budget. :)