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Photo by Adrianna Anderson, used with permission.

Nature is everywhere. We are constantly exposed to it, whether we are aware of it or not. Sometimes you just need to take a closer look at your surroundings and appreciate them. Whether you’re walking to work or waiting at a bus stop, there is nature around you. It may not always be beautiful rainforests or exotic animals, but it’s still there and it’s beautiful in its own unique way.

Recently I got the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica. While I was there I got to see all kinds of nature that I had never been exposed to before. There were breathtaking views of the mountainsides, ancient forests full of life, and all kinds of amazing animals. From the moment I landed I noticed the difference environment. The hotel we stayed at the first night had gorgeous palm trees on the outside, and colourful gardens throughout it. It was fascinating getting to see the birds who roamed around the hotel as well.

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Photo by Adrianna Anderson, used with permission.

The first day there we were taken on a bus tour of San Jose and the surrounding area. The streets were filled with huge trees and street merchants who paraded the streets trying to sell fresh fruit. Once we left the city we were engulfed in lush green vegetation. There was green as far as I could see. Every now and again we would pass a waterfall or a river that flowed through the rainforest. One river in particular stood out. You could see where the light blue water met an orange coloured water, it was very interesting.

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Photo by Adrianna Anderson, used with permission.

Proceeding this, we travelled to a national park surrounding a white sand beach. It was spectacular how diverse the nature was there. On the railings that navigated through the park there was a plethora of caterpillars of many shapes and sizes. Beyond the railings there was a variety of trees and other plants. My favourite part of the park was the animals that we were able to see. There were many different types of monkeys that would interact with us and the other tourists in the park. Sloths also inhabited the park, but they were not as social.

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Photo by Adrianna Anderson, used with permission.

On one of the final days in Costa Rica we got a boat tour through the rainforest. It was eye-opening how much life there was surrounding the water. All kinds of plants grew around it, and in these plants lived a variety of monkeys, lizards, and birds. It was remarkable seeing all the life that flourished here. We were able to see the monkeys play around in the trees, and the lizards race across the water. It was unlike anything I had ever witnessed before.

We were also given the opportunity to go snorkeling in a nearby reef. I am not huge fan of water, and had never gone before but I decided to try it out. To my delight, it was truly beautiful. Schools of fish swarmed around me. They were so colourful and vibrant, I had never seen anything like it. I would definitely recommend snorkeling

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Photo by Adrianna Anderson, used with permission.

Overall the trip was phenomenal. Not only did I get to enrich my life by volunteering and interacting with the locals, it opened my eyes to just how beautiful nature is. We got to see some of the largest alligators in the world, eat insects off a tree, explore butterfly reserves, and do a variety of other amazing things. There is so much wonder in nature, and nature is everywhere, one just needs to look for it.