Thursday, October 18, 2012

Internship Abroad in Costa Rica - Summer 2012 Scott Embley Pura Vida- Photo Essay Contest Winner- 2nd Place

Life has treated me well, and I was blessed with a great internship in Parks and Recreation working for a tour company in Costa Rica.  Some say that my work here was nothing but play time.  What can I say?  I love what I do.  But that got me thinking, why aren’t more people doing what they love to do?  Why don’t we follow our hearts and pursue our love of life with vigor and intensity?  Is it the fear of failure that holds us back?  Is it the intimidation of the unknown?  Or is it solely laziness, not wanting to sacrifice the mental, physical, emotional, or possible spiritual pain needed to achieve our goals?  One thing that is for certain, we are the only ones holding ourselves back.  

I could not help but regularly pondering on my study abroad experience how life is so full of opportunity and how it can take us to so many different wonderful places.  Then as I met other students and professionals here, sadly, I learned a surprising and unexpected lesson: Many people are literally stuck in places they don’t want to be in life and don’t know how to change their circumstances.  Even more crazy to me are those heading full boar in a direction that they do not want to go.  How can we make the changes to fully take advantage of the open doors life gives us?
In my time in Costa Rica I had the opportunity to experience a unique phenomenon called the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle.  Many will say that it means that the native people are laid back and even lazy.  For some, yes, it is true.  For others I believe that it means they are comfortable with who they are and have learned how to be what they love most about life.  Wherever we are individually, we can come to understand where our choices have brought us thus far, and know that we have no reason to fear the future, for it is our path to pave

It may not be the case with all, but many or most have been blessed with freedoms that allow us to make choices for ourselves every day.  What am I going to do?  Where am I going to go?  Honestly, we never HAVE TO do anything in life.  Its true.  As much as the pressures of family, peers, finances, and education press on us, there is nothing in life that we have to do.  On the other side of the same coin, we can do ANYTHING that we want to.  We are incredible beings with misunderstood and untapped potentials.  Many times we undermine ourselves by simply not believing that things are possible, or that we even have the capacity to even approach certain dreams or goals.  In one thing we are all equals, we each get 24 hours a day to do whatever we choose with it.  What are you going to do? 
Where are you going to go? 
It is your choice.

Whatever path we end up choosing, I believe anybody is going to make the best mark on life doing what is closest to their heart and soul.  What are your passions?  What are you doing to lead the way to accomplish your goals and reach your dreams?  Can you say to yourself that you are living the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle?  I believe my study abroad helped me better understand where I have been and where I want to go in my life.  Where are you going with yours?

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