“Oh no, I’m lost!” This was the first thought that came to mind as I rushed down the many streets, looking for the correct bus station. Today I was going to visit a friend in Ciudad Quesada, about two hours away from San Jose, Costa Rica. The only problem was that the written instructions given to me earlier were unclear at the time and the excitement of the city distracted my attention. You would think the smartphone in my pocket would have been useful, but since I didn’t purchase an international plan, Google Maps was not here to save me. The only solution then was to keep searching.
When I finally found the station, I boarded the bus with the other passengers and headed out to what I thought was Ciudad Quesada. After two hours passed, it became obvious that Ciudad Quesada was not the bus’s destination. I was six hours away from the city, traveling along a small dirt road, surrounded by scenic mountains that stretched across the horizon. The landscape emerged with vibrant colors that compelled ideas of imagination and innovation. In that moment, I was inspired by the authentic beauty of nature. It was while traveling that I gained insight into my passion for originality and creativity. With that said, I knew that the journey was now beyond my control. I sat back in my chair, waiting for the bus to arrive somewhere.
At the last stop I quickly gathered my things and headed out to search for the friendliest-looking person who would lend me their phone. Turns out I had landed in Montverde, a small town hidden behind the mountainous forest that was well known for adventure tourism. I didn’t know it at the time, but this ended up being one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I met amazing people and stepped out of my comfort zone by trying some of the outdoor activities.
As a traveler, I learned that getting lost is a part of what you sign up for, especially when you’re alone. Although it can be scary, it may be worth it to fully embrace the journey you’re on. Expect things to go wrong, but also understand that you will eventually find your way back. I also learned that getting lost while traveling provides for the opportunity to see, feel, and experience things that were new to me. It allowed me to see the world differently, which contributed towards my creative imagination.