Pura Vida

I’ve been very fortunate in my life that for one reason or another – business meetings, sporting events, pleasure – I’ve traveled a great deal. I’m also fortunate that I have a life partner who also enjoys traveling. Heather and I have seen an awful lot together, and no matter where we travel or what the reason for the travel is, we always try to learn something new. A language, a tradition, a piece of history, something – especially when traveling abroad.

This time it’s Heather’s work that has taken us out of the country. She is teaching a study abroad course in Costa Rica right now, officially “Global USC in Costa Rica.” Of course, I had to join her for a few days.

Among other things, we have learned that Costa Rica’s official national motto is “Pura Vida.” The phrase translates literally to pure life, with other common iterations like full of life, or this is living! But, Costa Rica’s motto is better translated in action than in words. The locals don’t seem to stress about anything. Life is laid back, carefree, and most importantly optimistic. Pura vida means being thankful for what you have and not dwelling on the negative.

Caught in a torrential downpour walking to dinner? Pura vida.

Locked yourself out of the apartment? Pura vida.

Stuck on a bus with no air conditioning for four hours? Pura vida.

Can’t get the Internet to work and missed an important work email? Pura vida.

At some point we’ll return back to the hustle, bustle, and high stress of our jobs in the United States. I can only hope we are able sneak a little Pura vida through customs! We certainly could use a little in our lives long past our time here in Costa Rica.

Most likely, so could you.