Fourth of a series on what makes Costa Rica a great place to start traveling by Doris Gallan
It used to be that people traveled mostly to get away from it all: work, household responsibilities, the city and traffic, family and a million other things that caused stress. People made a bee-line to beaches or ski resorts, went hiking with the kids, toured Europe and found dozens of ways to relax and recharge before going back to their normal lives. They are looking for a place where they can enjoy and learn.
Costa Rica with its diversity of locations offers exactly that. With beautiful beaches, exciting volcano tours, walks around trails to spot wildlife and many other activities, this Central America country has everything to enjoy with family or friends.
Baby Boomers now want more out of their vacations. They still want to get away from it all, but they also look for meaningful experiences that will provide a better understanding of the world, an opportunity to learn new skills and/or to help make the world a little better.
Costa Rica makes it easy to fulfill all of these reasons for travel. Getting away from it all in a land with so much variety of environments compacted in a small nation allows travelers to experience mountains, beaches, forests, cities and farms â€“ all within a couple of weeks.
You can gain a better understanding of the world and of how developing nations are faring in the current economic crisis. Meaningful experiences are available through volunteer work with the poor in neighborhoods of San Jose, orphanages, hospitals, clinics and schools. Other opportunities exist on organic farms, in turtle protection programs and monkey monitoring projects.
Learning experiences abound through a great number of language schools, universities and technical schools where you can learn alongside other travelers, ex-pats or locals. You can even arrange for a home stay which will give you a window into the everyday lives of the people you live with while providing the opportunity to improve your Spanish.
And doing good in this country is as easy as connecting with one of many organizations run by locals and ex-pats who will hook you up with a group that needs your skills and knowledge and provides you with the mind-expanding experience you seek from your travels.
Doris is a Baby Boomer living in Costa Rica. She and her husband traveled around the world for 26 months visiting 40 countries on six continents (including Antarctica). You can read more about their travels and get travel tips at www.dorisgallan.com. Follow Doris on twitter @dorisgallan.