Costa Rica–cool place to visit and my first big international trip.

This past week, my mom and dad treated me to an awesome adventure. It was a gift for graduating from high school. I wanted to go somewhere in a foreign country and somewhere by the ocean so we decided on Costa Rica. My dad had heard that it was a cool place and not as touristy as some places like Mexico. So, we got our passports updated and made our plans. The plane rides were kind of painful because we had long layovers getting down there and the seats were uncomfortable. But, we made it without any issues. As we got there, we took a shuttle bus to our rental car place and picked up a car. Then, we hit the road. Speaking of the road, it was pretty beat up and had tons of potholes. It was a very bumpy ride. It was cool though because we were in the real IMG_1918back country of Costa Rica. There were people riding bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, horses and just walking along the road. You never knew what you were going to see around the next bend. There were also dogs running free wherever you looked and chickens roaming around outside of coops. There were also these very cool looking cows all over the place and horses just tied up on the side of the road. It was very different than the USA where everything is behind fences and people all drive cars even on short errands. Costa Ricans are probably healthier because they get lots of exercise. Anyway, we made it to the house that we rented for our stay. It was really cool. It wasn’t real big but had nice wood ceilings and a great courtyard with hammocks and a swimming pool. My favorite thing was that it was very close to the beacIMG_0347h and we could just walk to everything that we needed. It was fun to just be outside and not reliant on a car. I loved all of the trees and you could watch these cool little crabs crawling all over the place in the evening. They had vibrant orange legs, bright purple claws, black bodies and yellow eyes. They looked like little Halloween decorations. Plus, they kept sneaking into our house. We would just be laying on the couch, would look down and there was a crab staring up at you. It was kind of funny.
The beach was awesome. It went on forever and the sand was perfect and clean. My dad liked to dig up crabs that had buried themselves in the sand after the tide had passed. All of a sudden, he would jump down and scoop up two handfuls of sand and there would be a crab sitting in the middle of his hands. I’m not sure how he knew where to dig because it all just looked the same to me. My dad is like a little kid sometimes. He gets excited about little things in nature. Every time any deer come in our backyard, he has to go watch them. I think the ocean animals have the same effect. I love that about him.IMG_1893
So, anyway, it was fun to swim in the ocean. It was really salty and the waves kept pounding you so it was hard to stay out there too long but I loved being around it. The waves have a soothing rhythm. It helps my anxiety. In fact, I really didn’t feel hardly any anxiety the whole time we were there which is pretty amazing. My OCD never was problematic in spite of all the changes on the trip. That’s pretty cool.IMG_0355
The next day, we decided to go on a zip line adventure. This turned out to be one of my favorite things on the trip. It was in the mountains away from the ocean so we all rode in the back of this truck on another really bad road, full of steep climbs, overhanging trees and huge potholes. That was probably the most dangerous part of the day. It’s a good thing we all had our helmets on for the zip lines because they came in handy on the way there. IIMG_0363t was like an adventure by itself. We heard some howler monkeys in the trees but couldn’t see them. The jungle canopy was very dense. We made it to the top and got our final instructions and then it was time to go for it. I looked down at the zip line cable as it disappeared into the jungle and I’ll have to admit that I was pretty nervous. But, it was too late to back out and I really wanted to do it so I just manned up and went for it. The first time, one of the guides rode with me. That helped calm my nerves. It was so awesome!
It felt like I was flying through the air like a bird. Actually, part of me just wanted to let go and just hang by the harness but I couldn’t make myself do it. At one of the secIMG_0370tions, my guide asked if I wanted to go upside down. I said no but I should have tried it. My dad did it and said it felt surreal. Maybe next time. I definitely could do this again some day. I loved overcoming my fear and doing something completely new and exciting. How plain would life be if we never tried new things? I love having the opportunities that I have been blessed with to be able to go on adventures and to experience different things. Thanks mom and dad.
The next few daIMG_0411ys in Costa Rica were spent just relaxing and hanging out. My dad took a surf lesson and he spent a few hours practicing what he learned. My mom and I had some good moments walking along the beach. I loved just being out there even though I didn’t feel like swimming any more. We watched the sunsets and took some pictures and just enjoyed nature. Oh, the spoiler each night was that the day had to end.
Overall, I lIMG_1902oved the trip. It was so beautiful there. I liked the people and the food. I didn’t have to branch out too much from my usual diet much to my dad’s dismay. Maybe next trip, Dad.

Aaron. International traveler. Zip line champion. Lover of oceans.

About author

Aaron Jepson

I am a 21-year old male who was diagnosed with autism at age 3. I am only partially-verbal and have a very difficult time expressing my thoughts by mouth but I am able to type on an I-Pad. My goal in life is to help other people with disabilities, and to let the rest of the world know that most people with autism are intelligent and capable and can make a great contribution to this world. I am funny, athletic, and most of all, handsome. And I am a fast runner, a cool skier, and a sweet mountain biker.

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  1. REPLY

    DON C JEPSON says

    Aaron, I am so jealous of your trip. You did a wonderful job of writing about it though, so I felt like I really experienced it along with you. You are very expressive. Grandma and I are so proud of all of your accomplishments and are happy when you post a new story or tell of a new experience. I think you are becoming a wonderful author and will inspire many people in your life through your writings.
    Love you, Grandpa Jepson

  2. REPLY

    Melanie Walthall says

    Aaron, thank you for taking me along with you to Costa Rica. The way you wrote it made me feel like I was experiencing it with you. I really like your characterization of your Dad being a little boy. 😁

  3. REPLY

    Bonita Klingler says

    Love hearing about your adventure! You are a very lucky person. You have such a great future ahead. -Aunt Jo

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    Paula says

    Hi Aaron! I loved your post. I work with Mrs. Melanie at the preeschool. I am from Costa Rica actually and you transported me to my country. A place with streets full of potholes, as you said, but full of beautiful things that only the nature can show you.
    I am glad that Costa Rica made you feel so relaxed and well. I hope I can keep reading your posts about your adventures.

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    Jason Valle says

    Hola Aaron! My Name is Jason Valle, I work with your dad in the ER, I am also a tico citizen, & when your dad mentioned that y’all were going to C.R., I gave him the low down! I loved reading your blog and am soo happy that you and your family were able to enjoy my country! It’s a peaceful beautiful place, where if you allow it, the Pura Vida will enter your soul and heal all your wounds! I loved your blog and remember, this is just the beginning mi amigo! Maybe some day you can lead autistic kids to CR and they will be able to understand the Pura Vida✌🏾

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    Marie Wood says

    Aaron, that was so great that you wrote about all those things. I loved the “crab” adventure. I have always wanted to do a zip line event. Now that I am so old, I am not sure I am up to it. So it is wonderful that you expressed how your adventure was for you. They have zip lines all over the mountains here. Your cousin Bethany was working last year near Park City and supervised people getting ready to go. Maybe when Ben gets back you can come over and have another zip line trip. Thanks again for sharing.

  7. REPLY

    Amanda Veloso says

    Helloooooooooo There! we’re here with your brother and your parents, we heard so much about you! we loved to learn how adventurous you are,
    and talented as well! Feel more than welcome to come to Brazil to surf with the sharks hahahahaah! just kidding.. there are many cool things to do here.. we would love to have you and your family here! keep writing.. keep being awesome!!

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