You Are Not a Tourist – Letters From Lindsay
You are not a tourist...
You are an amazing person, traveling so far in order to discover the culture, traditions and history of Costa Rica.
Your temporal home is in a rural village, you enjoy eating in the kitchen, close from the woodstove, learning to make tortillas and coffee without an electrical appliance...
You are not a tourist; you are part of the family.
Sometimes you help washing the dishes or putting the table, you also can look into the pots in order to get an extra portion of homemade food.
You are the one who walk barefoot in the house, the one who laughs, and the one who miss the people you leave far away, when you decided to come and make a difference here...
You work here, you help Mother's Nature, and you share with local people and play with the Costa Rican kids. You are not a tourist, you are part of the family, part of the village, and you are also from here.
You are the one who has a schedule, the one who pays for working! The one who gets a smile and hugs instead of a salary after your volunteer service.
How much you can buy with a smile?
Well, too much! Enough. The courage to give back to the world in a very deep way...
Yes, you are not a tourist. You are the one who learns Spanish, the one who practices the basic words, the one who enjoys saying GRACIAS after tasting a delicious and fresh meal, after getting a coconut drink or a piece of fruit.
Are you the one who travels? The one who enjoys adventure tours?
Yes, you are. You deserve it, too.
You are not a tourist. You are a temporal "tico". You are the one who will always have a space in our village, your village...
Next time when you think you are another tourist exploring the world, take a minute to remember, you are much, much more.
Written from the land of Pura Vida.
Lindsay Padilla is a nature lover and mom of two boys. She has been teaching Spanish since 2006 and working for the development of rural communities in Costa Rica. She enjoys writing, reading and swimming.
Are you interested in learning more about the Costa Rican way of life, called Pura Vida? Our service programs which can be added on during any of our retreats include opportunities to stay with Lindsay and her family and support our efforts in their village. Learn more here.