(written by Heather)
What an honor to join these traveling honeymooners on the last leg of their journey! As this was my first time backpacking in a developing country, Daniel and Joo's discernment and guidance along the way was essential to my survival, and they kept me from having to break into my stash of immodium even once through the week ("I wouldn't eat that if I were you").
Learning about the country in preparation for the trip, I was facsinated to discover that Costa Rica has not had an army for over half a century, and as a result is not as impoverished as other Central American countries. And if its rated in terms of its beauty alone, it very well may be one of the riches countries in terms of landscape and mother nature. From the clean beaches of Montezuma, to the clean air and rainbows of Monteverde's cloud forrests, my nature quota was filled for the year!
Add this to the richness of the flavors and colors of food there, and you can see why tourism makes up about a fourth of the countries income... fresh fish, mouth puckering fruit drinks, locally grown coffee, fried plantains, etc. I can't say a whole lot about the people of the land themselves, Ticos, partly because my interaction was limited due to my stale spanish, and partly because so much of our interaction was with other foreigners who had either relocated to live the "pure life" or were traveling like ourselves. The culture of life among backpackers themselves intrigued me, and I found it to be a trusting, caring (and daring) community...
There are times where survival wouldn't be possible without the aid of a fellow traveler, and I loved and was challenged by this aspect of the trip. Thank you Daniel and Joo Yeon for letting me experience life with you as a traveler, and for creating an adventure with me equal to those I've heard so much about in the past (see Daniel's blog below)!