Packing for Pura Vida

Sydney Perlotto
January 27, 2014

It is finally time to leave! Tomorrow morning bright and early I will board my flight to Costa Rica for a new adventure. I am slightly apprehensive, but from past experiences abroad I know that once I get there it will be completely amazing. The past week has been quite a struggle in getting everything ready; I am chronic over-packer because I feel like I must be prepared for every situation. Yes, on past trips I have been the girl who carried emergency toilet paper in her bag – but friends traveling with me never complain! I finally was able to compile the ultimate packing list for my trip using various sources from the internet as well as past IES bloggers (thanks!). Here are a few essentials that I am taking with me on my trip to Costa Rica.

1. Waterproof watch: Past IES bloggers have recommended this for Costa Rica because of the humid climate as well as outdoor adventures. I definitely heeded their word and bought one with a light in it so I can see in the dark as well.

2. Waterproof camera: Another recommendation from a past IES blogger, although disposable cameras work as well. I plan on exploring the outdoors as much as I can while abroad, and I don’t want a nice camera to be damaged in the process. Waterproof cameras are built for endurance.

3. Sunscreen and bugspray: Based on advice from friends and relatives who have traveled to Costa Rica in the past, it is good to bring sunscreen and bugspray because they are expensive in-country.

4. Present for my host family!: I bought my host family some nice chocolate, including turtle shaped chocolates to represent my home school University of Maryland – go terps! Hopefully my Mama Tica has a sweet tooth.

5. Waterproof hiking boots: If you haven’t already noticed, there is a theme emerging. I have been packing as many waterproof items as possible because Costa Rica is humid and wet. I am expecting these hiking boots to serve me well on many excursions but especially during the second course at EARTH University.

Those are my five recommendations, and I will make sure to check back again at the end of my trip to let you know what worked and what didn’t. The semester will be over before I know it, but I can’t wait to share my adventures along the way!

Hasta luego,


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Sydney Perlotto

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Sydney Perlotto, and I am a junior at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in Global Social Change and Development and minoring in Latin American Studies and International Development and Conflict Management. I am originally from Atlanta, GA but came to UMD because of its proximity to DC (and snow!). You can often find me volunteering around campus, baking tasty treats, or just generally frolicking! After traveling to Chile for a short term study abroad my sophomore year, I have definitely caught the travel bug and hope one day backpack throughout Latin America. Costa Rica is bound to be an adventure of language, culture, and biodiversity - and I have my waterproof hiking boots at the ready!</span></p>

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