Pura Vida

A moment lived in Costa Rica by A-Lotta-Travelling, a traveller from Finland

On a recent trip to Costa Rica we learned the phrase Pura Vida in the arrivals hall at the airport.

It’s a phrase all locals use and it translates to Pure Life. We started throwing the words around for fun while there, but it wasn’t until one of the last nights of our two-week holiday that I truly understood the meaning of those words.

During our trip we were travelling around Costa Rica and Bocas del Toro in Panama and we saw some of the most beautiful turquoise water with white sand beaches in the world. We experienced real jungles and ticked off seeing countless different species of animals, snakes and birds during the trip. Everything was extraordinarily beautiful and we experienced so many things. We also travelled a lot on shaky buses and never stayed in one place for more than two nights. I think it was because of this that I didn’t reach a full level of immersion until the very last stop of our trip.

What made the last stop of our trip on the Pacific side of Costa Rica so magical was the local experience we got to have. We had booked a very last minute Airbnb, and the host came to pick us up from the bus station. He was a few minutes late and still had salt water dripping from his hair when we stuffed our bags around his surfboard in the pickup truck. Our host was the literal humanisation of the phrase Pura Vida. He was so relaxed, only did things in life he enjoyed and really didn’t seem to have a care in the world. It suited him well, he could have passed for a 25 years old, when he really had 20 more years on his back.

Our host, let’s call him M, took us to our quaint Airbnb room and casually mentioned he was going back to the beach if we wanted to join him. This then turned in to him offering to take us on a boat ride to see more of the beautiful coast. We left shore around 3 pm and slowly puttered in his fishing boat around the water. He showed us the exquisite hidden mansions of Michael Jordan and other celebrities and we stopped at a hidden beach for a quick dip in the turquoise waters. We continued on to another beach with an amazing cave with surging waves within it and crabs running around the beach. We climbed to the top of a cliff on a beach and took in the views. During all this time M was telling stories of the life of locals and how he as kid grew up learning all the nooks and crannies of every beach and cave inside and out.

When we headed back towards the harbour the sun was just setting and we were sitting in silence moving with the waves. At this moment in time I felt a deeper sense of relaxation and happiness than I’ve ever felt before. I was calm and content with myself and I was taking in the beautiful views to a higher level than before. It felt like I was truly understanding the beauty of everything around me, and I really felt like there was nothing else than that moment.

I was very lucky to achieve this sense of transformation, as it truly was the cherry on top to an already amazing trip. During the stormy and rainy days in Ireland, I can just close my eyes and easily float back to that time on the boat and just go back to feeling that level of relaxation and happiness again. Until I open my eyes and I see the grey and rainy sky again, that is. Yet, I still have a smile on my face.

This traveler has a travel blog : Lotta

credit photo : A-Lotta-Travelling

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