Life List With A Twist. My Trash May Not Be Your Treasure, But My Past Could Be Your Future.

Fellow blogger sarah (read sarah’s blog), offers readers her life list. Inspired by the Day Zero Project, she has compiled a list of 101 things she aims to accomplish over the next 1001 days, and, after less than 1 month into her challenge, she has already crossed a number of items off her list. The concept behind the day zero project is to create a structured bucket list complete with pre-identified goals and a deadline within which to achieve them. It’s your mother not only asking you what you want to be when you grow up, but its her making you take the courses, attend the classes, and compete in the competitions – essentially encouraging you to do whatever necessary – until you get there someday and before its too late.

Although the purpose of sarah’s life list (and also the underlying point of the day zero project) is to plan for the future, I was instead inspired to reflect on the past. The last 1001 days to be exact, and my reflections? I’ve got 101 of them. At Costa Rica Travel Blog, you already know that we aim to provide valuable advice and recommendations to travellers based on our own (and our clients’) experiences. Since readers rely on our thoughts, opinions, narratives, and photos to paint an image in their mind of something they haven’t yet seen, perhaps a life list with a twist – one that focuses on all that has already been seen and done in costa rica – can inspire others to come to know this incredible country firsthand.  For those already planning a vacation to costa rica, my hope is that one or more of the following 101 items will tempt you to want to do, see, hear, smell, touch, or taste the same that I have, and that you welcome the experiences accumulated over my days as motivation over your next 1001.

Mmmm... strawberry water

Mmmm… strawberry water

FOOD & DRINK (13):

* Discovered strawberry water as the best natural fruit drink available (it can be ordered at any restaurant)!
* Tried fresh tilapia and sea bass
* Became a vegetarian
* Found the best “soda” restaurant – soda visquez in la fortuna/arenal
* Perfected the art of cooking gallo pinto (rice and beans)
*Discovered the joys of baking with ingredients available at costa rican grocery stores
(baking powder is not actually powder – it comes in tiny balls, and who knew that food coloring could be granulated, not liquid?)
* Ate mamon chinos & water apples
* Ate dinner at a restaurant built out of an airplane
* Picked coffee beans
* Drank the world’s worst mixture of lime juice & salt (rumoured to help with stomach aches)
* Got sick by eating too much papaya
* Drank pipa juice straight out of the pipa!
* Became a fond lover of tang (as on the space shuttles, it is widely available here!)




* A sloth up close
* A volcano erupt and lava flow (surprisingly towards town, not away from it!)
* One of the world’s smallest orchids
* The rarely spotted quetzal in its natural habitat
* More than 40 hummingbirds in one place
* More than 20 macaws in one place
* A typical costa rican child’s birthday party (hello, piñatas!)
* A typical costa rican wedding (hello, money dance!)
* A monkey die in my husband’s arms
(it was lying on the side of the road after falling from a tree – we were transporting it to the nearest zoo/animal rescue center)
* A coconut being cracked open using a machete
* A typical costa rican bullfight (bulls are not killed in costa rica – they are prized possessions!)
* A scorpion in my hotel room (it was dead, and the “hotel room” was a small hut in the middle of the jungle)
* The deadliest of all costa rican snakes – the fer de lance – about 5 meters away eating a frog
* Children bicycling in the ocean (with the bikes in the water and waves crashing in around them!)

Scuba diving the caribbean

Scuba diving the caribbean


* Went scuba diving in the caribbean sea
* Stood atop the continental divide in the cloud forest
* Ziplined through the rainforest
* Rode the puntarenas ferry
* Drove through a river in a 4X4
* Toured the hanging bridges
* Got a tattoo in Spanish (and one in english also!)
* Rode two aerial trams
* Visited seven waterfalls
* Fed a blue morpho butterfly
* Swam in the caribbean sea, pacific ocean, and waters of the nicoya peninsula
* Soaked in natural volcanic hot springs (free ones, and not-so-free ones!)
* Played the costa rican lottery (especially “el gordo” at the end of the year)
* Purchased costa rican artwork from local artists
* Created my own costa rican artwork
* Attended a number of costa rican futbol games (from local neighbourhood games to matches played by the national team)
* Touched a mimosa pudica plant (and watched it hide)
* Rented rafts, kayaks, and bikes in spirit of self-guided adventures
* Went rollerskating
* Planted a tree
* Was dangerously close to a crocodile (twice!)
* Visited the zoo
* Fell asleep in a hammock
* Fished in arenal lake
* Crossed over the longest bridge in the country
* Toured an art gallery, a gold museum, a jade museum, and the national theater
* Fed more pigeons than one could ever count
* Kayaked the caribbean sea
* Stayed at accommodations from hostels to all-inclusive resorts, as well as rented a vacation house
* Drove to the very top of a volcano
* Donated to a number of costa rican projects and initiatives
* Fell out of a raft on the pacuare river
* Wore flowers in my hair
* Hit hundreds of giant potholes when driving in the dark
* Sunbathed on 15 different costa rican beaches
* Hiked until my legs almost gave up
* Overpaid for souvenirs at the international airport
* Stood on giant lava rocks that were once shot out of a volcano
* Was surrounded by about 30 caimen at one time
* Used public transportation (costa rica’s bus transit system offering collective and direct bus routes), shared shuttle services, private transfer services, speed boats, ferries, rented vehicles, legal taxis, and illegal taxis to manoeuvre myself around the country
* Visited an elementary school assembly
* Carried a farole (lantern) on September 14th (the night before independence day in costa rica) as tradition dictates
* Overlooked the ocean from a tree-top treehouse
* Been bitten by a stray dog (thank goodness it was healthy!)
* Purchased and wore a costa rican national team futbol jersey
* Used the waterslide at the local public pool
* Been birdwatching so many times I can decipher the call of a keel-billed toucan from a chestnut-mandibled toucan
* Had emergency dental work done (twice – what is with the food here?)
* Watched my husband play with a marimba band
* Fell off an old-school banana seat bike (rode right off the side of the road into a bush!)

View from the bike seconds before I fell into the bush to the right

View from the bike seconds before I fell into the bush to the right


* Costa rica wakes up at 6:00am and goes to bed at 8:00pm (the country is early to rise, early to bed)
* It is dark by 6:00pm
* Hamburgers ordered in restaurants typically come with a slice of ham atop the beef patty (you may also get a fried egg in there too)
* An alarm clock is never needed if you live near roosters
* A deeper understanding of the spanish language (and costa rican slang, mae)
* Costa ricans really do eat rice and beans every single day
* Leaf-cutter ants are the smartest and hardest working insect in the world
* The true meaning of pura vida
* The lesson that too many possessions can actually posses us
* The value in living a “simple” life
* What true love means
* The point that most people are filled with more talent than their opportunities in life allow them to reveal
* The struggle associated with “long distance” (recognized in romantic partnerships) extends to include missing family and friends
* The idea that life is easily adaptable
* The truth behind the phrase “home is where your heart finds love”

Our costa rican wedding

Our costa rican wedding


* Ran out of gas in a rented vehicle (classic.)
* Adopted a few stray animals (a number of dogs and a cat)
* Survived a few earthquakes
* Made friends with some of the most incredible ticos (costa rican people)
* Was proposed to at the top of a dormant volcano
* Got married amongst the most beautiful costa rica setting
* Purchased costa rican land
* Continued developing the business Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated
* Started costa rica travel blog

If you are currently in the process of planning a trip to Costa Rica (or are considering planning one) and have questions, send them to us at and we can answer them for you. We’re happy to let you know where, when, and/or how we managed to experience everything listed above so you can do the same!

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Do you have your own life/bucket list? What’s on it? Share your post links!

Pura vida!

3 responses to “Life List With A Twist. My Trash May Not Be Your Treasure, But My Past Could Be Your Future.

  1. I teared up reading your list of amazing accomplishments! Collect moments not things has been my mantra and its inspiring to read about making it in another country. Way to go! We’re looking to have a elopement style wedding on the beach in September. I plan to scour your page for advice and travel tips. So far I’ve been super impressed. Your site has been the most informative. Thank you!

  2. Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a good
    article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

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