Upon returning to Kansas City, Missouri and settling back into my home, driving up and down the familiar streets and reuniting with friends and family I can’t help but to reflect on the life changing experience that my fellow Leapers and myself endured over the past ten weeks.

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The start of our last week began with us returning to Santa Teresa after our weekend in Tamarindo. The next couple of days were spent with a final bit of shopping, getting as much sun as possible and eating at our favorite spots one last time. However, Kat and I weren’t exactly ready to say goodbye to Costa Rica.

On Wednesday, the two of us took off for the Caribbean side of the country to a backpacker favorite type of town called Puerto Viejo. Don’t worry, we only had to take a shuttle to the capital, San Jose, for 6 hours with a ferry ride in the middle. Followed by a not so fun taxi ride, a two to three hour bus ride and another hour and a half bus ride after that. Making for 14 hours of travel time. We were exhausted. With that being said, after finally getting some food and a good night’s rest, we fell in love with the town. Not to mention, our hostel might as well have been a tree house.

Costa Rica beach

We spent our days there exploring the beaches and eating the Caribbean food. On Friday we rented a couple of bikes and rode them up and down the beaches. Speaking for the both of us, it reminded us of riding bikes as little kids.

Back in Santa Teresa the boys finished up their ten weeks with a final couple days of surfing, last dinners, and kayak fishing. The kayak fishing was 5 miles out into the water. With the fish they caught, Chris made them a last steller dinner. On Saturday, we all reunited in San Jose before our flights the next day. We spent the last night with a couple drinks and talking about our first impressions of each other just ten weeks ago compared who we are now.

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Sunday was a day of farewells and goodbyes but not forever. Out of the five of us that remained, Kat, Michael, Coco, Henry and myself, Coco’s flight was first. We said our goodbyes to him at the hostel because his flight was earlier than the rest. It was a movie scene goodbye as we watch the taxi pull up, gave our last hugs and watched Coco walk down the hallway, get in the taxi and drive away. The rest of us left for the airport a few hours later. After checking our bags and passing security I was the next to leave. Followed by Henry, then Michael and finally Kat. As much as I didn’t want to get on that plane, I managed to walk on with very few tears.

After a few days spent at home, adjusting to the culture and the cold, I decided to write my final and last blog. I had an amazing time in Costa Rica and I’m grateful that I got the chance to share it with all of you.

For my fellow travelers as they adjust to being home just like me and to the ones that have been home for a couple weeks now; I honestly couldn’t have picked a better group of people to spend ten weeks with. We had our ups and downs, that’s for sure. I’m never going to forget all the nights we spent at La Lora, Banana Beach, or just sitting at Jakera playing poker. And of course my wallet and I, will never forget all the money spent at tacos, The Bakery, or even Super Ronnies. Wishing you all the best of luck to whatever the heck comes next. If any of you happened to find yourself in Kansas City, Missouri, the door is always open. As I know it is for me in Cyprus; San Francisco; Portland, Maine; Hamburg, Germany; Ireland and of course Chicago. We will be keeping in touch.

iPura Vida Mae!