Aero: Marriah Gough – Costa Rica 2015 – Travel


Aero: Marriah Gough – Costa Rica 2015 – Travel
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Marriah Gough – Costa Rica 2015 – Travel


Marriah Gough

Holy Crap I made the biggest choice of my life by choosing to study abroad for two weeks over Christmas break in Costa Rica. The information that I was receiving from classmates who previously attended the trip was hooking me, and dragging me in. The only hesitation I had was leaving my family, I am a homebody. The farthest that I have traveled my entire life was to South Carolina twice, and both time my family was there with me, as well as it was for an athletic tournament with all of my teammates. So, needless to say, I wasn’t the least bit alone. This time, I am by myself, with one other classmate, and eight other strangers, including the professors, and will be staying with a host family who I know nothing about and who speaks a completely different language. Before even getting to Costa Rica, there was this little thing called flying, and going to the airport. Yet again, an experience I have never encountered in my life and for whatever reason for my first experience I decided to go halfway across the world.


ML@FLCC Costa Rica
2015 Flickr Gallery

When at the airport, I couldn’t help but be excited, but deep down I was still nervous. It hadn’t quite hit me that I was leaving the country for two weeks just yet, but when hugging my parent’s goodbye that was a different story. Going through security just in Rochester was nerve racking. They weren’t kidding around. We all walked away after being patted down, even in the strangest places. Better safe than sorry though that’s for sure! As I walked through the boarding gate, it hit me. I had the biggest smile on my face and was ready to roll! Arriving in San Jose though, yikes! Customs was an experience and a half. We waited in line to have our passports looked at, and our immigration papers signed, and yet again, no messing around. It was just a bit overwhelming because I wasn’t 100% sure of what I was doing. Leaving Costa Rica and returning to the states was ridiculous. Before we even left Costa Rica, my poor little horse on a stick gift had its head chopped off simply because his stick could be considered a weapon, so right off the bat things took a turn. As we arrived in Washington, it was security after security. We had everything looked at yet again, but then when we had our immigration taken care of, we did it electronically even though we were all given the paper to fill out which was annoying. Funny story was that Pablo was going to have us get some strawberries and bring them home; I’m glad I didn’t! For the immigration process, we were questioned so that we didn’t bring back livestock or fruits or anything like that. Needless to say if I brought back those strawberries, I am not so sure I would have made it back!! Overall, it was certainly a needy, and annoying process but worth it so everyone is protected. As far as traveling in the city itself, walking around with the tour guides and host families was the best. Taking the taxis and public busses made it seem as if you missed out on a lot and didn’t get the same insight on things. As far as future traveling plans, I cannot wait to do it again. Word of advice though, don’t pack as much clothing, especially jeans and sweatpants for a warm climate; you won’t need them and they take up space in the suitcase and aren’t needed.

Marriah Gough
LEAF Contributor