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Introduction of Costa Rica's Pura Vida (#1)

A great Costa Rican phrase that will stick with you

By Richard SoullierePublished 3 months ago 3 min read
A photo I took on our honeymoon in Guanacaste province, Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica, there's a saying, "Pura vida." Transliterated, it means "pure life". Is that a philosophy? A euphemism? A relationship? Costa Rica is nowhere near as backward as you might think, so this saying is definitely not a euphemism.

I will admit that we chose to spend almost a week in Costa Rica for our honeymoon in the dry month of January and our intent was to stay inland so we could experience a bit of everything the country had to offer. Adoption of the less-frazzled pace took us less than thirty minutes after leaving the airport in Liberia in Guanacaste (gwan-ah-kah-stay) province. The warm (not hot) temperature helped given we arrived after a direct five-hour flight from Canada one day after a snow storm!

Switching back to our tropical destination of Costa Rica, there is one thing that happens every moment you are there, but it takes a conscious moment of reflection to realize what it is that is happening. It happens when you are sleeping, when you wake up, when you walk around, when you eat, when you drive.... That one thing is a special kind of focussed attention wrapped in acceptance.

To clarify, I have not been diagnosed with A.D.D. or any such acronym. The application of la pura vida is simply this: when you are going around, in order to do whatever it is you want to do a certain call for an internal alignment takes place. Answering that call first requires acceptance of the circumstances/situation/environment. This is fairly easy since there is so much natural beauty, precision, artful waves, natural sounds...that the gap from acknowledgement to acceptance is a barely a baby step apart, let alone a full hop!

Photo taken by Tima Miroshnichenko, available on pexels.com

Also, I am not referring to mindfulness or any such techniques/aims that soooooo many people talk about online. That tends toward a conscious effort of harnessing your mind to focus on a specific thing in a given moment. In contrast, when you pay a little bit of attention to that call of alignment, you experience a very focussed and slightly more fulsome version of what you wanted instead of only what you wanted. It's both precise and situation-specific - perfect for satisfying wants.

To offer less theoretical terms, la pura vida means you answered the (fairly obvious) call to pay attention to the abundance of things that are right in front of you that heightens your awareness prompting you to alter your decisions ever so slightly such that no better result could have happened. Don't get me wrong, the universe still gets a vote, Murphy's Law still applies, and all the rest of it. But, if you are in a situation where you are aware that your wish in that moment transpired in a way that you were satisfied even with everything else in reality also weighing in (i.e. it happened in the best possible way), how can you complain? Frankly, I consider la pura vida to be the likely culprit behind all the Costa Ricans we saw on our trip not complaining at all to anyone about anything - even if we were listening in as we passed by.

Why be this? (Photo by Keira Burton, available on pexels.com)

When you can be this? (Photo by Asad Photo Maldives, available on pexels.com)

Now take being aware of results being the best possible and apply it in every situation throughout your day. With this particular kind of obvious-ness from actions taken when in this mindset, it should come as little surprise that Costa Ricans say, "Pura vida," in so many situations, not just greetings.

I will illustrate this concept over a few articles that include where we stayed inland, visiting nature in various places, and beach towns. That said, I will start with driving in my next article as my wife and I learned a few key things I would like to impart. Plus, driving in Costa Rica is the easiest way for me to show you how la pura vida differs from anything else. After all, experiencing la pura vida in Costa Rica is something I really recommend.

To check out the other articles about our honeymoon in Costa Rica as they become available on Vocal Media, click here.

To check out other articles I have written on Vocal Media, click here.

travel tipsnaturehumanityculturecouples travelcentral america

About the Creator

Richard Soulliere

Bursting with ideas, honing them to peek your interest.

Enjoyes blending non-fiction into whatever I am writing.

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