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Julia’s PARALLAXploration in Costa Rica

Julia_Zipline

I soared through the canopy at the base of a volcano. I hiked to a waterfall. I wandered through rainforests filled with monkeys springing from branch to branch in little leaps of faith. My objectives for my PARALLAXploration were to explore, connect with locals, learn, and relax, and I can say without hesitation that my trip was a success.

At our first destination, Rancho Cerro Azul, we were welcomed with perfect hospitality by Tatiana and her family who own the small hotel. The group of individual cabins is located within walking distance to La Fortuna town, and a hearty walk in the opposite direction, up a hill that leads to the La Fortuna waterfall. What we noticed right away was the calm and peaceful energy of the place. Our cabin was modest but clean and decorated with fresh flowers clipped from the garden.

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It was at the owners’ house that we were introduced to the “typical plate,” which we proceeded to eat wherever we went. The typical plate costs $7 US (or 3776.50 Costa Rican colones) and includes rice, beans, fried plantains, a tortilla or bread, salad or fruit, and a protein (eggs/chicken/fish/steak).

Our next stop, Tabacon Hot Springs, was over-the-top luxury and perfect for a honeymoon. Some of my favorite things about this place were that it smelled like fresh powder and that the springs were designed with maze-like paths to explore. We were only there for one night, but somehow managed to visit the hot springs three times during our stay!

Our final destination was Arenas Del Mar Rainforest and Beachfront resort in Manuel Antonio. This resort is luxurious without feeling pretentious – perhaps due in part to the resort’s commitment to sustainability. The golf carts used to navigate the hilly resort are electric so they cut down on pollution and they are very quiet. The sounds of the jungle (howler monkeys, birds, frogs) are all you hear.

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What really made our stay special was our time spent with Ersel – a naturalist guide who helped me to meet my goals of learning and connecting to the culture of Costa Rica. With Ersel, we took an introductory Spanish lesson and practiced Costa Rican slang. We were taught how to make Costa Rica-style tortillas by hand. We can now speak to the differences between the two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth. Ersel led us on a nighttime nature hike, pointing out the classic green tree frog with red eyes that graces the cover of all the travel magazines. We witnessed a giant sea turtle burying her eggs and making her slow crawl back to the sea. Ersel’s enthusiasm for his work and passion for the native wildlife was inspiring and infectious.

I wasn’t prepared for how magical Costa Rica would be: its calm and peaceful energy, how many moments would be so perfect that I’d hear myself expressing my gratitude out loud. Mucho thanks to Guusje and Jonathan for making this trip possible. Thank you also to the people of Costa Rica who were generous with their time and energy and made me want to be more generous with my own energy.

One of the tico (Costa Rican local) phrases that we learned during our Spanish lesson was “solo bueno,” meaning “nothing but good.” How was my PARALLAXploration, you ask? Solo bueno!

If you want to see me take my own leap of faith like the capuchin monkeys of Costa Rica, check out this video!

 

  1. This Company Not Only Mandates Vacation For Its Employees, But Pays For It, Too – Created by admin – In category: Business – Tagged with: – The News On Time – Minutes by minute following the worldwide news

    […] themselves who know firsthand the inspiration derived from travel,” Parallax team member Julia McCann told The Huffington Post. “They wanted to find a way to share their passion for travel with […]

    11.19.2014

  2. This Company Not Only Mandates Vacation For Its Employees, But Pays For It, Too | The Daily Float

    […] themselves who know firsthand the inspiration derived from travel,” Parallax team member Julia McCann told The Huffington Post. “They wanted to find a way to share their passion for travel with […]

    11.19.2014

  3. This Company Not Only Mandates Vacation For Its Employees, But Pays For It, Too | Times of News | Online breaking and Latest News From USA

    […] themselves who know firsthand the inspiration derived from travel,” thinkPARALLAX team member Julia McCann told The Huffington Post. “They wanted to find a way to share their passion for travel with […]

    11.19.2014

  4. This Company Not Only Mandates Vacation For Its Employees, But Pays For It, Too | Jozz Site

    […] themselves who know firsthand the inspiration derived from travel,” thinkPARALLAX team member Julia McCann told The Huffington Post. “They wanted to find a way to share their passion for travel with […]

    11.19.2014

  5. thinkPARALLAX

    Hi Jean,

    Thank you for sharing your plantain knowledge. Would you believe that we ate savory plantains at our morning meeting today?! The stars must be aligned.

    I’ll be sure to pass your resume information along to our hiring manager.

    Best,

    Julia

    11.24.2014

    1. jean buschmann

      P.S. –

      The “foodie” part of my personality was so focused on sharing my passion for PR cuisine, that I forgot to mention my motive for linking to your post in the first place.

      …I was so impressed by the progressive policies at Parallax which encourage employees to use their vacation time! This is no small accomplishment in a society that fosters fear-based soul-sacrifice at the feet of the insatiable twin gods “Commerce” and “Consumerism”.

      The system as it now stands creates such an unsustainable, unrealistic, ever-increasing pressure for people to “live to work”, instead of “work to live”.

      Whereas the Parallax system seems to support a healthier hybrid, especially for creative people, whose work is often their passion. – Or as a very wise esteemed former VP of Marketing used to remind me “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

      So I was thrilled to see a company set itself apart from the unsustainable model that is now the norm.

      I could see the all-consuming model coming and design my professional life to avert it, to some degree. (As a freelancer with loyal clients and established connections.) But I have shared the article with others less fortunate, who have all but given up on taking any time off. Which is a real shame since, as the article so eloquently points out, time away clears the mind and revitalizes the soul, and THAT is good for business.

      So kudos to Parallax for leading the way to an evolved work-life model!

      11.26.2014

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