San Jose, Costa Rica
I met Tina, from Finland, while making breakfast for the travelers at hostel Beku in Costa Rica.
My main job while volunteering at the hostel was to make breakfast for all of the guests and other volunteers, which was nice to be creative and cook in the quiet pura vida mornings- alone with my thoughts as I sliced pineapple and mixed generic pancake mix in water.
A slender girl about my age, always wearing tights and a loose fitting prismatic tee shirt would typically be the first to come in and make tea. She was cute with bobbed brown hair and eyelashes that fluttered off of her eyes like that naturally framed and darkened her eyes without mascara. Now I usually hate talking in the mornings, but with her conversations came naturally.
When I’m in the place I live in, I’m typically an introvert and desire silence, but I would force myself to wake up and interact with this girl.
“What are you doing up so early? I hate being up at this hour.”
“ I have started doing yoga here.”
‘Of course you do,’ I thought to myself, ‘every white girl comes to Costa Rica to yoga.
“I had a lot of issues with my back and it really helps.”
Whelp, I’m quick to judge.
But it was nice to have some company as I whipped up the pineapple juice off the counter and added cinnamon to the pancake batter.
“Where are you from?” I asked unable to specifically identify her accent.
“Finland.” She curtly replied
After emerging from my introverted turtle shell I said, “Omg, you are far from home!” and couldn’t stop asking her questions about her home life.
She was the first person I had ever met from Finland, and I was fascinated with why she chose to travel to Costa Rica and what it was like to be in an environment so far the one that completely contradicted her home life.
Tina needed to find a place that was a 180 from her 9 months of snow, before becoming complacent with her beautifully simplistic life above the arctic circle. She decided to go and explore a climate and people on the other end of the world away from her reindeer eating folks men. Flying in with a come what may attitude, Tina has not been disappointed with the challenges she has faced and exposure to new perspectives that have blossomed within her in a warmer world without snow. This trip has generated great reflection and better understanding about who she is fundamentally, and how she wants to construct the scaffolding of her future. Here’s her story.
In this podcast episode, we discuss
- What it is like to live above the arctic circle.
- The psychological and social aspects of being in darkness.
- What life in Finland is like.
- What it is like to live in a world dominated by snow.
- How to socialize with Finnish people.
- How to cook reindeer.
- Why she chose to travel to Costa Rica.
- What she has learned about herself while traveling.
- The self-growth she has experience from travel.
- How to tell really bad jokes in Finish- spoiler alert- they hate talking.