Deep in the jungle in Costa Rica, climbing high above the treetops, all that lies before us is lush vegetation for miles and miles as thin fog rolls through. A light breeze brushes my cheek, as the chatter of monkey echoes in the distance, a natural musical. This is where I feel free, above the chaos, in the heavens where clouds walk and rain dances. The purest air you will ever taste, and the most breath-taking silence you will ever know.
Costa Rica is the devastation of the modern world, as a third world country. By definition, a third world country is meant to be ridden in poverty and drenched with sadness. What I witnessed was entirely the opposite. Though they had little to give in material goods, they had something else that each local provided: joy. The Costa Rican people, also known as “Ticos”, gave the gift of happiness with a simple smile.
To be a traveler, it is essential to discover the beauty of the land, to find the marvels never seen before, to speak with a people never asked the reasons why they dance. The slope of the lush mountains to the soft grasses of the fields below to the people living in a world modernizing around them but fail to notice. Sometimes we forget. We forget simplicity, we forget a world beyond media, we forget who we are and where we began. Remembering the wind whistling through the trees, or the ocean rolling in across a blanket of white sand. But the people are the greatest remembrance of all, their passion for life.
The world is not only defined as the land and the people but also the oceans. The color of the open sky, glistening in the sun. Floating in the cooling Costa Rican waters, below the surface, a silence encases the noise of the outside world. Thoughts race through the mind, and out of them climbs a longing for peace.
Harmony amongst the creatures who dwell in the depths and amongst the visitors who dare to venture into the watery world. The weight falls from my shoulders as I just let the water rock me back and forth. And in this moment I am free.
I guess freedom is not always the most amazing discovery but it does find its way into your spirit. A sudden burst of energy propels and an utter feeling of flight; this is how I describe freedom. Not with a liberation of stress but with a silence. A silence that envelops your soul and allows you to see yourself. For a single moment, the world goes quiet and all you can hear is the sound of your breath: in and out. I found my place and personal freedom in the humble country of Costa Rica. The breathtaking scenery and the deep blue ocean called to me, spoke to me in a gentle voice and lifted me above the confines of modern society. It is not the final destination that defines you but the journey you take. Allow yourself to wander through life and surely there will be a final destination awaiting your arrival.
About the Author: My name is Morgan Thompson and I am a second year student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I am currently studying biology and psychology in hopes of pursuing a career in Veterinary Medicine. I believe that travel is the best way to experience different cultures and understand our world. Find her on Facebook.