Pura Vida

I’ve been consistently trying to travel for about two years now and I’ve found so much beauty and amazing memories along the way. A place that has become very important to me is Costa Rica. I made my first trip here in November with one of my best friends, read about that here! A goal that I have had for a long time has been to become bilingual in Spanish. I took five years of Spanish throughout high school and college, but without using it in everyday life, I never became conversational.

What are the odds that my favorite place in my first trip to Costa Rica also has a language school with Spanish classes? I knew I needed to give it a try. The school is called Intercultura Costa Rica and they have two locations, one in Heredia and one in Samara(right on the beach)!  

The view from the school’s courtyard

FullSizeRender (5)What better place to immerse yourself in a foreign language than in an amazing town right on the beach? I signed up for a week of classes including a homestay with a local Tico family.  If you have the option of doing this, I recommend staying with locals, at least once. My mama Tica was amazing, as well as her whole family. No English is spoken…so this is truly immersing yourself in the language.

When I wasn’t in class(4 hours each day) I was at the beach. I’m from a small beach town, but my daily life is pretty busy so I don’t have many opportunities to enjoy our beach. In Samara, I get to spend as much time as I want soaking in the sun. I also would partake in some fresh fruit margaritas, pina coladas…you name it, I was drinking it. I tried eating different things every day, whether, from a restaurant or a street vendor, everything is good! You have to try their typical food, which is gallo pinto. Lots of dishes have rice, chicken and some sort of veggie.

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I think I’ll stay here forever.

The classes were great by the way! Small group classes, an informative teacher in an informal setting. We learned a lot, but also spent plenty of time sitting around doing our absolute best to converse in only Spanish. The school is also such a melting pot! In my class, there were two students from Switzerland, one from California and one from New Jersey. We were all so different, but this little beach town brought us all together.

If you really want to learn a foreign language, get to know the locals that live there. Speak with them in their native tongue as much as possible. Just listening in on conversations can be extremely helpful too. Remember Andrew from my first trip to Costa Rica? I was lucky enough to keep in touch with him and get to experience Costa Rica through the eyes of a local. He told me that a trip up the coast headed towards Tamarindo would be a fun weekend trip, so off we went!

Tamarindo is only a couple hours away from Samara, but there are several cute beaches to stop at along the way. We took the back roads and several small detours so we could see a lot! He has a friend who lives near Tamarindo and we ended up watching the sunset there and it was gorgeous!

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One of our stops along the way
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He also helps me with my Spanish 🙂

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Just perfect.

Tamarindo is a really great town! We weren’t there for too long, but it definitely has a lot to offer in terms of places to eat, things to do and bars. I would definitely like to come back to this spot one day!

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It looks photoshopped, but nope…just naturally this beautiful.

Costa Rica holds a little piece of my heart. I think anyone who has traveled here before can relate to this sentiment. The people are amazing, the local customs, the food and the scenery. Everything draws you in. I’ve fallen so much in love with this place that I am returning in November for 70 days! I am extremely excited and also nervous to embark on this adventure. Hopefully, by the time my stay is over, I’ll be writing my blog posts in Spanish 🙂 Have you ever stayed more long term in a foreign country? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments!

Happy travels! 🙂

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