San Jose, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the only country I've traveled to outside of the United States. I went twice, both times to a city called San Jose. A group at my church organized the excursions, each time focusing on aiding native Costa Ricans in need. The picture above, taken by a friend, shows me leveling off a cement floor in a Costa Rican's home. Prior to our trip, the houses we worked on where all dirt, making adequate hygiene for its inhabitants almost impossible. While there, I participated in other activities including interacting with children from a local orphanage, cleaning, painting and fixing up the nearby schools. I loved my time in Costa Rica. The everything from the people to the food opened my eyes to a different culture. I hope to go back as soon as possible.

Anyone that can go to Costa Rica should. A part of what made my trip so amazing was that I didn't stay in the overly Americanized tourist traps. I stayed in a mission set-up in the heart of San Jose. We weren't near any hotels or spas, and because of this, really got a feel of how Costa Rica actually is. Many go there to surf, stay in five-star hotels and eat at top-notch restaurants. While this probably makes for a nice vacation, it does not allow you to get the real cultural experience of Costa Rica. I wouldn't trade my trip for any amount of pampering in the world!


United States

I've been all up the East Coast of the United States. Both of my parents are from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (GO STEELERS!), and I spend at least 1 week there every year. My sister and I are huge Pittsburgh Steelers fans. We both have our own jerseys and watch games together any chance we get. Another place I visit often is Franklin, North Carolina. My boyfriend's family has a cabin up there. It's beautifully rustic with no phone service or internet connection. It's nice to get away from everything for a few weeks every year.

I have a dream to travel to every single state, even if it's only for a moment. I think it would be such an accomplishment to say I've seen and been in all fifty states. The United States is such a unique collection of states. We have virtually every type of weather and terrain. Without leaving the states I can see snow, heat, deserts, mountains and so much more. I can't wait for my adventure to continue!