I went out on my own for the first time yesterday. I was on my way to take the bus to the beach and a local friend said she'd show me a secret way of getting there. The colectivo is an unmarked carpool taxi service, they'll drive you for a flat rate of 500 colones, 200 colones more than the bus. The drivers line the same street every day with cars that look like they've been in multiple car accidents. Probably a service I won't utilize on my own, for obvious reasons.
It was my first day off since I arrived in Costa Rica. I went out to Kecha beach in hope for surf to stave off this feeling of homesickness. But there wasn't much for waves so instead I ordered breakfast with a side of beer. It felt good to be out on my own.
I was nervous to brave the streets of Quepos by myself. I've traveled a bit but I've never really been to a foreign country on my own, I've always been with or met up with friends. So going out alone was a little scary. But as I was walking into town I was taken over by energy. The cars whizzing past me dangerously close filled me with an adrenaline that gave me confidence. A familiar feeling that I experience when paddling a new River. I couldn't stop smiling.
Costa Rica so far is pretty easy to navigate, especially here in Quepos where the majority of people speak english. I try to speak spanish as much as my "extensive" vocabulary will allow.
The people are friendly and patient. The only thing I'm having trouble getting use to, aside from the stifling heat, is how forward the men are. The cat calls and whistling make me feel uncomfortable and disrespected. It's a cultural act I suppose. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they're intentions are not to hurt me and simply to tell a beautiful woman that she's beautiful. Still, I put my head down and pretend I don't hear them.
My job is one of a kind. I get paid to take people paddling along the coast, jump off waterfalls, and body surf in caves. It sounds crazy, and it kind of is. I've been the queen of seasonal work since I dropped out of college and this is by far the most random of them all and by far the most fun.
We take customers on full day tours to some of the areas greatest waterfalls and to one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to. It's very different from any tourist job I've had in the past. Although I am looking out for the clients safety and ensuring they are having a good time it feels like I'm hanging out with friends, showing them all the things I love about living here.
I love meeting new people and learning their story. This job allows me to do that every day and create connections that are short but impactful.
I'm a week in and already feel like I'm part of the Paddle9 family. Looking forward to seeing what the next few months brings.