I’m Erika. I’m a student, writer, and champion procrastinator. I update this blog with a sense of gravity and seriousness akin to an aspiring Nobel Prize nominee, but my initial intention was to create a casual personal blog chronicling my day-to-day struggles and triumphs as I attempt to maintain my “pura vida” mindset.
I also have a book blog.
Before my “epiphany”, I was concerned about the environment, but not enough to even recycle or to always remember my reusable shopping bags at the grocery store (it’s still hard). I did zip to back up my beliefs, did ZERO research, not to mention I lived with my non-eco-friendly parents, so you know, no agency. My personal comfort and convenience outweighed my environmental concerns. What changed me, and how did I decide to model my life around a simple, two-word phrase?
In July of 2010 I went on a summer study abroad trip to Costa Rica. It’s a beautiful country, and is home to sea turtles, mangroves, rainforests; basically the things those crazy environmentalists are always going on about. It’s a great place to travel, right?
Well, yes, but I wasn’t going to Costa Rica to lay around at the beach.
I was going to learn about the sustainable practices and policies. Translation: I would be sleeping outdoors at a farm. I couldn’t be polluting the streams with the runoff from my synthetic lotion/conditioner/toothpaste/younameit.
I had to spend the weeks leading up to the trip finding natural and biodegradable alternatives to pretty much every hygiene product I owned. I had to catalog all of the things I discarded for a week. It was a pretty harrowing exercise in self-examination. I had to get CREATIVE. I had to CARE. That took effort. And let me tell you, mosquitoes DO NOT respect all natural insect repellent.
In the end, it was worth it. I had a wonderful experience, where people will tell you “pura vida,” instead of “you’re welcome.” To the people I encountered, living a pure life is the most fulfilling, gratifying experience one can have, and to say that it changed my world-view would be a near-offensive understatement.