Sometimes taking a trip to a country far away allows you to truly appreciate where you came from. Costa Rica offers an immense amount of beauty and unique cultural aspects that make it easy to be proud to be a “tico.”
There comes a time in your life where a change is necessary. Whether the routine of everyday life is wearing on you, or perhaps you have received a new job opportunity in another country, or maybe even circumstances just seem to align and force you to question yourself; is it time to go? Some of us have this opportunity thrust upon us- the chance to leave our home in order to experience new things and to see Costa Rica from a different perspective, sometimes in places very far away. You never know what real distance feels like until you are gone.
How do we see Costa Rica? Well, as a Costa Rican I believe that it is very easy to compare, and while being honest, to criticize. Throughout the beginning of your journey, your head is in tourist mode. You consistently think and explore your new home, city, friends, and all of the exciting new experiences that are at your fingertips. This leaves little time to miss anything more than family. However, once this tourist period comes to an end and you grow tired of hearing jokes about the way we pronounce our “r’s,” you begin to realize how much you truly miss Costa Rica, especially after finding a “tico” on the street. It is like finding a piece of home and allows you to truly understand your place in this different country. You realize the words and phrases that are unique to just Costa Ricans, or the types of food that our country thrives on that differs completely than the rest of the world. Finding someone who shares these customs and has a similar culture feels like a gift.
After spending a significant time away you begin to miss the most insignificant things that Costa Rica entails. Things like eating a pejibaye, sharing a meal of Gallo Pinto, or even posting on Facebook to learn who is traveling nearby in order to have them bring you “guayabitas” so you can have a little taste of home from thousands of miles
Yes, you can compare the efficiency of transportation in other countries or the clean streets, or even the difference in the feeling of security as you walk home in the dark streets at night, but in reality, no matter where we are, Costa Rican people are proud of their country. I know that I am. Every time that someone presents me with an opportunity to speak about the beauty of my country, I am sure to take it. I could spend hours talking about the way of life in Costa Rica and the immense beauty that it boasts. There is always a degree of satisfaction that draws a smile to my face when a foreigner complements Costa Rica. Despite being such a small country, people across the world know that we do not have an army, and this makes us incredibly proud. You need to travel far away in order to truly experience this feeling, or to be purely happy when your nickname becomes “mae” because you say it so much.
We as Costa Ricans do not just feel proud, but we also always find a way to encompass “Pura Vida” with everyone that we meet and to make a good impression on others to show how “ticos” live. We strive to make an impact on others so that they want to come to Costa Rica to find what we have been talking about this entire time.