2 weeks ago, I was in 85º weather, sitting in my room of suitcases waiting to be packed. Now, here I am. Sitting in my room with suitcases that are really begging me to finish unpacking them. In my weeks since being home, I’ve tried to cling on to everything Costa Rica that I can including my boxed up life. Lucky for my floor, it has finally been mostly cleared and again has room for my little feet to dance around on again.
Being back has been arduous, to say the least. It started out great, getting picked up at the airport by my wonderful friend, Emily. But even that was bittersweet as I for the first time, said goodbye to Amy and Brandon (and Shawnté in Houston) in three months. Over the last week I’ve battled missing Costa Rica and trying not to talk about it non stop. I still order with “Quisiera….por fa”, run out in traffic like a lunatic, and drive thinking that I own the road. Pedestrians have the right away, say what!?! Tis the season for millions of people to jam into malls, resulting in naturally bumping into people. This poses the challenge of still saying “con permiso” “disculpame” and “perdon” (with permission, excuse me, pardon) and getting looks of “that girl is loca”. There’s lots of other things I didn’t prepare for with reentry, like how freakishly small a dime is, but for the most part I’m hanging in there.
I have also made numerous strangers uncomfortable with popping their personal space bubbles. In Costa Rica, personal space is pretty nonexistent, so respecting Americans and their large bubble has been hilariously awkward. My favorite moment? I reached for a sugar packet at a coffee shop, and because my little hand went within 4 feet of this man standing on the other side of the counter, he backed away. I literally laughed out loud and he looked at me like I was the crazy one. Oh, gringos.
It’s been getting easier, but I find myself missing Costa Rica like crazy. I miss speaking in Spanish, reading Spanish, and being in a Spanish speaking world. (I don’t miss the cat calls or avoiding eye contact with Tico men, though.) I am overwhelmed with gringos everywhere I go; we’re so loud, obnoxious, and pushy. My not-morning person self is thankful when I wake up, though, to not have to immediately switch to Spanish. I’ve been coping by looking through pictures, studying Spanish vocabulary, reading a 4th grade-level Spanish book, and listening to Prince Royce and Yaco on a loop. My family is being really great. Letting me be a slob and a walking ball of unrestrained emotions has been, I’m sure trying, but for sure therapeutic (for me).
The climate here has ruined me, too. Since when did 34º become an acceptable temperature at which to dwell? Answer: I wanna kick that brilliant person in the shins.
One thing I know; Costa Rica changed me for the better. I grew and changed so much as a person in three short months through the challenges, the fallbacks, the exciting joys life there treated me to. I miss you humidified curly mop. I miss you friends who MADE that adventure what it was. I miss you warm weather. I miss you Costa Rica.
Siempre, Pura Vida