Some Love for Costa Rica

Pura vida, the slogan for Costa Rica. You can see it EVERYWHERE. It’s on shirts, bags, magnets, and the locals say it. It means ‘pure life’ and you get that there, or at least I did.

Everywhere you look it’s green and fresh and bright (although it rains a lot). From a twenty-something American’s perspective, life seems a little more laid back. Not as fast or rushed. Granted we were only there a day, but one hell of a day it was.

We got of the cruise ship and there were these guys on some kind of xylophone thing playing and singing and it was perfect. We walked over to the bus car thing (it was more like a van but with about 25 seats). Our guide and bus driver were laid back and excited. It felt genuine. They’d stop to show us animals and plants and were more than happy to let us take pictures. They even spent 10 minutes to try and catch one of these cute little guys.

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Then we got the the Veragua Rainforest Park and OMG it was amazing. First off, I went to use their restroom and I’ve never washed my hands in such a beautiful place. I don’t have a picture, but imagine washing your hands in the forest with lush greenery everywhere. We then took a little tour of their exhibits of frogs and snakes and their butterfly garden. And then we ate this delicious lunch.

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Those rice and beans though. I ate all mine then some of a friend’s. I still dream about them. So simple, but so delish.

After lunch before the next big event we saw a frog and our guide picked him up and he ended up jumping on me. We named him Bob after Bob Marley and it was a great frog birthday hug.

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And then we went zip-lining and that was the absolute best. This was on my bucket list. Not necessarily to do it in Costa Rica, but when I saw that this could be an excursion and I told Mom we had to do it. Gliding through the canopy in warm weather under blue skies with the chance of seeing stunning, incredible wildlife? Hell yeah count me in! I don’t really have any other words for it other than it incredible.

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So incredible. All of it. I left my heart in Costa Rica and I’d love to go and get it back. I’ve always dreamed of the tropics- warm, humid weather, blue skies and even bluer oceans, white sand beaches, and laid back locals. I’ll go back some day. 😉

A Quick Journey Into Plants

I haven’t always been “anti-animal” products. I used to love a good burger (hey-o Shake Shak), a bratwurst, the usual evening ice cream, etc. Ice cream was my one true love. I didn’t discriminate, I loved it all. I’d devour turkey on Thanksgiving and I loved eggs over easy. I’d always tell my lactose intolerant friends that “I could never go away from cow’s milk. I can’t do the taste of almond milk. I’ve tried.” Well that didn’t last long…

I’ve always been fascinated by the vegan movement. I’d watch YouTubers and think “wow I wonder how my body would feel if I ate just plants?” I’d go through stints of eating clean, but would soon give into temptation. See, my mom’s a food blogger and I still live at home, so you do the math. My mom’s friends joke that she was the reason I chose to stop eating meat because, in fact, it was something she made that sent me over. Mom went to Austin for a work trip in February and cooked up a turkey for us to eat while she was away. I brought it to work to eat as my dinner one day and as I was pulling it apart with my fork I was thinking to myself “this is muscle. I work on muscle” (I’m a massage therapist). And then I went home that night and got into those documentaries on Netflix. I had watched them before and they resinated with me but never pushed me over the edge. I then decided I wasn’t eating milk anymore and wasn’t going to use cows milk in my cereal. These were the first steps I was taking.

I eat vegan about 95% of the time. I only buy vegan products. On the cruise we went on I was Pescatarian. The only time I eat animal products at home is if Mom makes something (her famous cheese filled crepes with strawberry sauce *insert drooling emoji*) that has milk, eggs, or butter in it. Look for a future post about why I don’t think I’ll go full vegan until a couple years from now and I think that’s ok.

So this is just a short explanation of my story into becoming an avid consumer of plants. If this is something you’re thinking about doing or you were like me and always had the thought of “oh I could never…”. Just do it. Do it for yourself and your health. Or do it for the planet and your community. Or do it for both. Or just try it. See how you feel.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @atravelingveggiefor updates and daily pictures! 🙂