This beauty commonly expresses itself during my weekends here in San Jose, Costa Rica, but in particular the weekend I visited Arenal - an active volcano. The first activity I experienced upon arriving at the Arenal Volcano National Park was a jungle canopy tour, where I zip-lined through the trees. The fact that the rope acted as my only sense of security between my harness and the zip-line was the coolest part of the experience. Eventually, I was pushed out into the jungle just to fly by the rope of the zip-line. It was absolutely incredible. I swung over the trees quietly, amazed at the beauty I was flying over. I couldn't help but be jealous of the birds, as they had the best view in the world. The last leg of the zip-line journey was pretty cool too. It was a 600 meter leg that I did superman style. Again, I felt like I was flying, and I loved it!
After zip-lining, I headed to the waterfall at La Fortuna. I loved standing in front of one of nature's beasts, feeling the mist on my body and its strength on my feet and in my ears. I wanted so badly to swim behind the falls but a security guard politely informed me that my wish was not an option. So instead, I swam in the river and dipped myself in the water in front of the falls.
As if that day hadn't been amazing enough, when I arrived at the hotel later that day I was stunned yet again. In one day I had traveled from beautiful nature to magnificent human creation. The hotel was probably the nicest place I will ever stay in my entire life. It had nearly 30 hot tubs/pools, some with bar islands, all that were filled by natural hot springs. My room had a balcony with a clear view of jungle and volcano. Around two or three in the morning, as I sat admiring the view and fresh air, I was able to see the volcano's rocks light up bright red and orange due to the heat of the lava. Needless to say, this was just beyond cool. I couldn't help but think about how vast the beauty of the world is and how incredibly powerful nature can be.
Shortly after, I fell asleep and slept like a rock until nearly 10 a.m. All I can say from this experience is that life is beautiful, and if you disagree, I challenge you to take another look because odds are there's something beautiful right before your eyes.
Sydney Spain is a CEA student currently studying abroad this Fall 2011 semester in San Jose, Costa Rica.
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