Just arrived from an impersonal and industrialized European country, my apprehension concerning Costa Rica was all about animals biting me or about my Spanish, so hard to understand for local people. I could not imagine how far I was from the truth…
Actually, just a couple of days have been enough for me to consider things differently. Of course, I haven't yet met any scary snakes or spiders bigger than my hand, but I'm not afraid any more. Do you know why? Because this country gives you confidence. Because people here give you faith in what you can accomplish. Because nature here gives you a reason to fight. All my apprehension and my fears completely disappeared after a few steps into this culture, this lifestyle.
When you first arrive in a country you have never been before, you wonder how people are going to welcome you. You hope you won't hurt any tradition or any habit they have. Ticos are wonderful for helping you deal with that. I spent my first night in a hostel in San José, close to the Costa Rican University and I had really no idea about where I was. I didn't even need to ask. People just helped me out. While I was waiting for a bus which didn't want to come, a boy just dropped me to place I wanted to go. I didn't even need to ask. The day after, I wanted to have lunch in a typical local restaurant while avoiding the pest Mc Donald's and I found in San Pedro what I was looking for. Inside the restaurant, all the meals names looked the same to me, and a man came to me (I obviously looked as a tourist!) and told me, have a "casado". I didn't even need to ask. I don't know how people here can anticipate all your needs, but as long as it is possible for them, they will give you everything. I guarantee you, you won't have to ask!
The name Costa Rica sounds good to your ears. When you hear it, you think about a heaven, beaches made of the most beautiful sand ever, and wonderful landscapes, taken from a movie. This is actually not imagination. The sight will take your breath away, no matter where you are in the country, you will have a pleasant view. The night I arrived, I was skeptical. I thought: "Ok, it is the night, but still, I've been told so much about all the mountains and the landscapes, where the hell are they!!" The morning after, I just shut up. I couldn't speak anyway. The day after, I had a walk through the rainforest and I saw all the prosperity of Costa Rica.
What I'm talking about here, it is love at first sight. No matter what you thought before coming here, you are going to love it even more. This is the point of no return: you cannot get over Costa Rica!