Learning Acceptance in Costa Rica - Kirsten Alana

Learning Acceptance in Costa Rica

It was a difficult pill to swallow, that moment when I finally realized camping in a rainforest was not for me. I always wanted to be more like my friend Duzer, who survived a month living off the land in the jungles of Venezuela.

Acceptance is a funny thing. I spent so much of my energy in my teens and 20’s trying, very unhappily, to be something and someone I wasn’t because I couldn’t accept that there might be a different way of doing things that was actually open to me. Now, in my 30’s I’ve thrown caution to the wind and even though it isn’t always easy I am living a life that defies a lot of rules and conventions to pack every day full of growth, adventure and new opportunities. Yet, I still have trouble accepting my own limitations and the realities of the consequences of some of my choices. There’s a constant yin and yang to this adventurous, travel-filled life and sometimes all I see through the cloud of my persistent stubbornness … is the yin (dark side).

When my mother and I finally reached Parador Resort & Spa following the jungle camping experience – I was happy to see real walls, doors and even air conditioning. My happiness was immediately squashed when I took it as some sort of failure on my part. I’d failed to be adventure girl who could treat jungle camping like it was the best thing to ever happen to her, instead I practically ran to the swim up bar screaming for a mojito. With my tail between my legs. The thud of my self-inflicted shame hammering in my chest was deafening to my ears.

After a few nights at the incredible Parador, stress melted away from soaks in the infinity pool, I came to accept that my “failure” wasn’t the end of the world. Nor, was it a failure as much as simply one more learning experience. One in a patchwork quilt of a life that, hopefully – has unmeasurable proportions and a depth greater than the sea crashing just beyond resort walls.Learning Acceptance in Costa Rica - Kirsten AlanaLearning Acceptance in Costa Rica - Kirsten AlanaLearning Acceptance in Costa Rica - Kirsten AlanaLearning Acceptance in Costa Rica - Kirsten AlanaLearning Acceptance in Costa Rica - Kirsten Alana

Once I fully relaxed, I began to think about all the ways I’d like to experience Costa Rica. Hopefully one day I can return and volunteer in Costa Rica. That’s now at the top of my list.

And though I didn’t love it, I certainly did survive sleeping in the rainforest for three nights. It won’t be the last time I try something that may turn out *not* to be my cup of tea.
I’ve accepted that life really is a give and take, there’s always going to be a Parador that follows the scary rainforest, eventually; and the ability to accept the good with the bad is a tool that I want to possess. The only limitations on my life are the ones I inflict upon myself; so, I’m going to continue to push myself, travel and try new things …
Learning Acceptance in Costa Rica - Kirsten Alana

My trip to Costa Rica was provided by the Gift of Happiness campaign sponsored by the tourism board. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine.