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Found in Costa Rica: Best New Year’s Resolution

by Sheron Long on January 8, 2015

Pristine Costa Rica beach with no footprints, illustrating the idea of a clean slate ready for a New Year's resolution. (Image © Robert Long)

A beach with no footprints is like the start of a New Year.
© Robert Long

Unburied on a Costa Rica Beach Walk

Travel busts up routines and sends you off in new directions. Travel over the New Year does even more: it inspires you to set a new direction back home.

My New Year’s trip took me to Costa Rica—a democratic country with no standing army, a 79.9-year life expectancy (higher than the US), and an environmental record unsurpassed in the hemisphere.

Map of Costa Rica, showing its extensive coastlines and beaches. (Image © Peter Hermes Furian/iStock)

Costa Rica, smaller in size than West Virginia, has 933 miles of coastline and beautiful beaches for finding insights to treasure.
© Peter Hermes Furian/iStock

And there’s more—Costa Rica has a free and mandatory education system with a literacy rate over 96%. I was sure to learn something!

I did. All the adventures of the week came together in the world’s best New Year’s resolution. It occurred at the end of the trip as I walked down an isolated, untouched Costa Rica beach on New Year’s Day.

Live Life to the Fullest with Fine Feathered Friends

by Meredith Mullins on January 30, 2014

Birder with binoculars, trying to live life to the fullest with the bird a day challenge (Photo © Meredith Mullins)

Staying focused on the Bird-a-Day Challenge
© Meredith Mullins

A Bird-a-Day Makes for Challenging Play

Swampies. Rumpies. Sharpies.

Sound enticing? Well, yes, in a way. But what are we talking about?

Is it a secret code? Adventure apparel from Banana Republic? Characters in a new video game?

Welcome to the wonderful world of birding. We’re talking about Swamp Sparrows (swampies), Yellow-rumped Warblers (rumpies), and Sharp-shinned Hawks (sharpies).

And when it comes to birders, we’re talking about an international community bound by a passion for the beauty, the personalities and patterns, and the sweet songs and operatic trills of our bird friends.

Culture Smart: How’s Life in Costa Rica?

by Sheron Long on October 6, 2013

Tile floor showing the traditional Costa Rican greeting "Pura Vida," which represents deeper cultural values on the love of life

Tile floor in a Costa Rican restaurant greets visitors with a love of life.
© Sheron Long

When It Comes to Greetings & Good-byes, “Pura Vida” Sings

Ciao! That’s a pretty universal way to say “good-bye,” though in Italian—the language that gave this word to the world—it’s used for both “hello” and “good-bye.” In that respect, it’s much like aloha in Hawaiian or pura vida in the Spanish language of Costa Rica.

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