One of the things that my wife and I love to do is travel. I guess it has kind of been a staple in our relationship. She asked me on our second date whether there was any possibility that I would move to Germany! Pretty bold question, but I guess it didn’t scare me off and was enough of an incentive to stick it out and see where the relationship went. After dating a while, visiting Germany and our future employer Unterwegs, we were engaged, married and moved to Germany for 2 years to work at a campus ministry in the southwest part of Germany. During our time living in central Europe we took advantage of the close proximity and cheap travel to many of the neighboring countries. As this was the first 2 years of our marriage, it also became formative for a lot of interests as a couple. And what did we do a lot of together? Travel!
So as this past Thursday was our 3 year anniversary and I have a flexibility in my schedule and we have had a pretty rough past 2 weeks and my wife receives flight benefits through her job and I am about to finish this blog post in about an hour, we are going to fly to Costa Rica in the morning. To tell you the truth I have no idea what to do or see in Costa Rica and have not put one thought into what will happen tomorrow because I have been so busy getting school work done to be able to do this at all. And I’ll tell you, as a graduate student, there is a lot to do. I am sure that many you can relate. So why don’t we take a little time to look at some of the reasons to travel to Costa Rica, other than the fact that your wife really wants to.
From a social work perspective, I was drawn first to some of the social and health related facts, which are very surprising. Here is a quote from Wikipedia:The New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranked Costa Rica first in its 2009 Happy Planet Index, and once again in 2012. The index measures the health and happiness they produce per unit of environmental input. According to NEF, Costa Rica’s lead is due to its very high life expectancy which is second highest in the Americas, and higher than the United States. The country also experienced well-being higher than many richer nations and a per capita ecological footprint one third the size of the U.S.
It is also interesting to note that Costa Rica’s healthcare system is ranked higher than that of the US despite having a lower GDP. However, many people aren’t going to be interested in visiting a country because of their health care system. What other characteristics should we know as a tourist in the country? One primary fact is that the climate is tropical year round! I guess if you are going on a 2 day vacation, then you probably want it to be in a tropical country.
Many of Costa Rica’s developments could stem from the fact that it is the oldest democracy in Latin America, founded before 1950. Costa Rica also abolished its army permanently in 1949. A British think-tank called the New Economics Foundation listed Costa Rica as the greenest country in the world, a partial result from the country announcing their desire in 2007 to become the first carbon-neutral country in the world by 2021.
Are you interested in traveling to Costa Rica? At least now more than before? Are you at least armed with more random trivia facts for your next trivia night challenge? I hope some or all of these are true and will bring back a little more first person perspective to share. Hopefully the have a different dress code than the Austrians.
So do you have any random trip stories? The last minute planned road trips or drives to the beach at 2 in the morning? Share some of your own travel adventures or dreams below!