Today’s guest will tell us an interesting story of:
How ElasticTrip Made his Travels Through Costa Rica More Enjoyable
“I had been dreaming of a warm, tropical getaway from my life in Moscow all year. Sure, that doesn’t sound like a long time, but it was eating at me. I needed some sun, some relaxation and—to be quite frank—an excuse to wear my collection of sundresses, sandals and bathing suits. I suppose, more than anything, I craved experiences that were new to me and different from my Russian ideals. Whatever got me out of my comfort zone, I was all for. And that’s what led me to Costa Rica.
Initially, my best friend Sasha was all on board. We were doing this Central American thing together, and I couldn’t have been more excited! In fact, we had been planning what beaches we would hit, and what foods we would try, and even some of the activities that appealed to us. It was exciting, for her and I.
Unfortunately, Sasha ran into some unexpected financial troubles and backed out right when we were starting to plan things. She needed to save the would-be vacation money for some things that were a bit more urgent. I couldn’t blame her; none of it was her fault, and she wanted to go to Costa Rica just as much as I. But, as much as I love her, that didn’t mean I was going to postpone my own travels to stay with her.
I enlisted the investigative skills that I had learned from my years in journalism school and took to the web. I found a few options: I could volunteer with others, and I wasn’t opposed to the idea, but I had already garnered motivation to take this time for myself (and there’s nothing wrong with that). I could stay with locals, which seemed like a really neat idea, but I was not confident enough in my Spanish skills just yet. Or, I soon discovered, I could take advantage of ElasticTrip, a site that connects solo travelers looking for a buddy to accompany them throughout their journeys.
I chose to go with ElasticTrip. I thought it would be a really neat way to connect with others who had the same motives as myself, which included learning about a world different from my own and ingesting all I could of such a beautiful culture and land. In what felt like no time, ElasticTrip introduced me to an American woman named Rita. We began chatting, and ultimately decided when and where we’d meet up as well as some of the things we’d like to do along the way. However, we both chose to keep the itinerary pretty loose for the sake of adventure. I was all about it.
I had four weeks to travel, so I chose to take the first and last weeks to myself. That left two weeks for Rita and I, and it allowed me to have some solitude to gain independence and confidence in my traveling abilities. I also figured I could cross over to Nicaragua during my last week, which is another place that I thought would be neat to visit.
When the time had come for my travels to begin, I was raring to go. I felt like I couldn’t leave the hustle and bustle (not to mention the cold) of Moscow soon enough. My first stop was Liberia, as that was the closest airport to Playa Samara. I figured I could start my week of independent journey there, and make my way toward San Jose where I’d be meeting my fellow traveler, Rita.
Playa Samara was a great way to ease into the Costa Rican lifestyle. It wasn’t too off the beaten track, but it still exudes fantastic beach vibes, and I even got to take surf lessons in the sea! Afterward, La Fortuna called, as did a natural hot spring adventure, which did me a lot of good as I had been walking and hiking a ton over the past couple of days and knew I wouldn’t be stopping anytime soon. I couldn’t miss Montezuma, so I took a ferry there from Puntarenas and explored jungles, waterfalls and more. It was exhilarating, but after it all, I was so ready to meet my travel partner and have someone to experience Costa Rica with!
Rita and I got along without a hitch, and enjoyed exploring colorful San Jose together. It was great that we were together so we didn’t have to travel as solo females in the area. After just two nights there, we moved on; we were ready for the beaches once more.
Puerto Viejo was not only beautiful, but also full of long-term travelers and even expats, so we had a lot of fun socializing. We hit the Cahuita National Park for a day and saw wild monkeys and sloths. I was so happy to find out that we both love nature and hiking, so we chose to make the journey to Manuel Antonio National Park as well. Sloth slightings galore, and parasailing for two! We would continue to discover new and exciting experiences as we kept on our Costa Rican trail.
After just two weeks, I felt like Rita and I had been old friends for quite some time. It’s funny how quickly you can bond with someone while traveling, and ElasticTrip only made this process even smoother. No having to wonder whether the person has the same interests as you, where they’re going or what they hope to get out of their travels. That’s all laid out on the table from the start.
When the time came for me to move on to Nicaragua, once more on my own, I was ready. But I was also grateful for having met and traveled with Rita, and for taking the leap and signing up for ElasticTrip when I did. You never know where life will lead you!”