An American Teenager: My Life & Experiences In Costa Rica

I am a fifteen year old girl from bright and sunny South Florida. What is something different about my life from every other American teen? I am one of the few who’ve been blessed with the incredible experience of moving into a different culture. Currently, I reside in the beautiful mountain terrain of Costa Rica with my father, mother, & my younger brother. We have lived here since the summer of 2010, however, living in the States again last school year.

Being homeschooled has helped immensely with our travels because it gives us the flexibility to venture the country as we please.
We have traveled around to many places around Costa Rica and surrounding countries. Sure, driving isn’t always the most fun, but looking out the window and drinking in the scenery is fulfilling. Whether it is the touristy type activities like zip-lining, 4-Wheelers, horseback riding, etc., or the excursions we take on our own as a family, we always have a good time.

Natural Hot Springs of La Fortuna, Costa Rica – It feels like nature’s jacuzzi

Though some may assume that Costa Rica is a poor or neglected country, that isn’t the case. Of course, there are areas in Costa Rica that are best described as the “slums”, but the whole country is not like that at all. Just like the United States, Costa Rica has their classes of people. There is the higher class, who live in big, beautiful houses, nicer neighborhoods, nicer towns, etc. & there are middle class people who live in their nice homes, in nice towns, but the only difference is that there might be a lower class neighborhood on the other side of the street. We have large shopping malls and industrial plazas, typical fast food (McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc.) & restaurants like Applebee’s, Outback, Hooters, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, etc. These everyday casualties in America are newer to Costa Rica, but they have brought somewhat more of a “homey” like structure for those gringos who have either relocated to Costa Rica or are just visiting.

Volcano Arenal in La Fortuna, Costa Rica – My family and I have traveled here on several occasions

I get the common question from a lot of different people asking me if I like it here, or if I have struggled with the move at all, etc.
Of course, when we first moved here in 2010, I struggled ridiculously with coping. I never thought of us moving as an asset, only a detriment to my life in some way. I was acting out pretty badly; something I am not at all proud of, but at the time it was all I knew to do. Boy, was I wrong to do that. I wish that back then I would have been smarter and absorbed the move and thought of it as something that would better my future. To be honest, I love living here. Sure, there are things and people I wish I could have here with me, but I know that with time I will have the opportunity to enjoy it all again. The slower-paced lifestyle I have makes it easier for me to be relaxed and focus on areas of interest academically without much distraction.

-Raquel Brown

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  1. Wonderful tarot work! This is the type of information that should be shared across the net.
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