My name is Roxi Wessel, and I’m from Fort Collins, Colorado. I love books (particularly Harry Potter), music, and being outside, especially when there isn’t much between myself and the elements of nature. That’s a big part of what propelled me to take this trip in the first place, and I feel like this trip connected me with nature, among other things, more than ever before. Every hike we took, night or day, every environment we visited - it all had an impact. Not only that, it connected me with others who were on the trip with me who appreciated nature as much as I do. It was nice for me to see that others shared my love of the environment. Costa Rica truly was a lovely place for a nature enthusiast, too - a step outside a hotel door revealed wonders in the form of exquisite wildlife and beautiful forests.
But honestly, nature wasn’t the only thing that moved me on this trip. Another thing that amazed me was that a country could be so friendly - in America, people are (in my opinion) more commonly judged on their appearance than on their actual personality. In Costa Rica, however, a person would really take the time to know you before pressing judgement. Some of that rubbed off on me, and I find myself being a little more reluctant to judge as quickly as I admit to being before the trip - I think that this would be an excellent habit for more people to develop because a person’s looks really don’t define who they are on the inside. Though I knew that before, the trip really highlighted that fact.
I found even more inside myself while in Costa Rica - I found an ability to discover common similarities between myself and others as well. Laughter became a big part of this trip because my travel group and I discovered so much together. We all saw the beauty of the land together, and we’ll never forget this experience that we all shared. Most importantly, I found out things about others that I never knew before, and we became so much more comfortable with each other because we knew those things. The trip taught me to never give up on being someone’s friend based on only a few aspects of their personality, and that you can learn a great many things just by sitting by someone you don’t know.
The real lesson for me to learn was that fun and work really aren’t so different, as this trip has proved - because I was having fun, not just sometimes, but all the time, and I loved the service projects, and the food, and the tours, and the activities - there isn’t a single thing I regret. I am still Roxi Wessel, resident of Fort Collins, Colorado, but my life has been impacted in a major way.