Reaching New Heights in Costa Rica

By Samantha Hardcastle, TTC Ambassador & founder of Amore Social


I got more and more lightheaded with each second the tram inched its way up the 2625ft mountain. Was I really doing this? I really couldn’t back down now?? I had just been told that the 7 zip-lines were how we got down the mountain. There was no picking and choosing – you had to do them all! This was the universe telling me “it’s time to go all in on this adventure.” 


When Costa Rica called out to me, I was surprised. Why all of the sudden did the idea of lying on the beach for 7-days straight not appeal to me? Was my day-to-day restlessness and boredom starting to affect me on a deeper level? Whatever it was, this became very clear: escaping the mundane was priority #1.  


And as I was flying down that cable at 50mph through the rainforest, there was nothing ordinary in sight. I felt a sense of freedom and fearlessness stronger than I ever have. Pure bliss and flow washed over me as the green jungle pulled me in. I felt as mighty and accomplished as the majestic Arenal volcano that was quickly coming into view. And for that half-mile ride, however quick it flew by, I knew that this is what life is supposed to be like. A natural state of joy and happiness.  

After my adventure, I spent the next few days enjoying the peace and calm of nature. Quietly contemplating in my hammock, while listening & keeping an eye out for colorful birds and reminiscing about my out-of-character quest.  Why couldn’t every day be so wonderful? Why should I have to wait another 4-5 months to feel this way again? It was then that I realized that I had to make serious changes to the way I lived my life. I couldn’t wait for these fleeting moments to appear every once in a while, I had to create them for myself… and anyone else who was seeking exploration.  

Travel shows us what we want more of in our lives. And it’s usually easier to attain than we think. I believe the magical transformation that we feel during something challenging & exciting can be infused into every experience, and we shouldn’t have to travel far to feel it. But there is something spectacular about venturing into the unknown, immersing ourselves in other cultures, and embracing other ways of life. Now when I travel, I always make sure to plan for outdoor adventure, as well as cultural exploration and relaxing self-reflection (because a day or two relaxing on the beach never hurt anyone). 

kelsey bumsted