This year, we decided that our family vacation would not be to a place we’d been before. Or even to a place where we knew the language. We have traveled quite a bit in Europe, and speak French. After weighing a couple of options, we decided to make our first trip to Central America and visit Costa Rica.
Last week was my son’s spring break, so we were able to carve out 8 full days in Costa Rica (with some brutal travel nights at either end). I like to dig deep into a place rather than try to rush from one place to another during vacation, so I chose Mt. Arenal (the town of Fortuna) and Manuel Antonio (near the National Park) for our two spots.
Planning ahead takes some of the spontaneous fun out of travel, but is good when a place is busy. We weren’t able to zip line because the company we wanted to use had no openings. Instead, we did a hanging bridge hike in Mistico Arenal Park and saw monkeys, and other animals. We also decided to spend a day at a Hot Springs spa, which was a lot of fun (and very relaxing).
I heard that Manuel Antonio was the place to go to see wildlife (and had a beautiful beach), so we spent 4 days there. It was there that we also began to relax. I spent time every day taking in the view, writing in my journal, and starting to dig into a new manuscript. I had made a decision not to bring my laptop with me, so instead I hand wrote my pages every day. It helped take me out of my every day routine and jump start my creative process.
Getting out of my comfort zone was really helpful for my writing. Everywhere I went there was something new to see. New animals, new flowers, new views. I enjoyed it and felt like it definitely made me feel far more creative. I hadn’t realized how much I needed a vacation until my shoulders relaxed down from my ears and I sat enjoying the view from our balcony.