As an adventure and nature guide for the last 12 years in Costa Rica I find it interesting to hear people comment to me about their many different travels as we experience people looking for adventure from all over the world. You often hear from one person or another that they have “done the Grand Canyon”, “done the White Nile” or that they have “done Machu Pichu”, “done the Amazon”, and the list goes on. We also get many emails that people have “done whitewater rafting before so they would rather not in Costa Rica” and many people have been to Costa Rica and they just want to let you know that they have “done Costa Rica”.
The question always has to be asked just how much have many travelers actually “done”. Unless you have stopped and put yourself in the present moment on all of these adventures and completely soaked in the actual event to its fullest allowing your senses to give you the full site of everything that is going on and the grandeur of the event then you might have been missing the actual experience. There are many tourist today that can say they have “done Costa Rica” which to me is the idea of being able to check it off on your bucket list. If you really want to be able to say you have “done something…” then you have to fully experience it in the present moment and you have to take time to purposely experience the present during these adventures. Its not always about the next adventure, the next hotel, the next meal, where to buy souvenirs, what to do on your free time, what the other tourist are doing, or what we are missing? When you have a enormous volcano, a jungle vibrant with life, and miraculous scenery as far as the eye can see, the top of your “Vacation to-do List” should be to stop, take a few breathes, and just enjoy the moment.
Before you venture off on your next vacation, ask yourself if you are really going to experience the place you are going or if you are going to rip through it like it was a bunch of task on your to do list back home.