Experiencing Costa Rica as a Vacation Nanny
When you hear the word vacation, typically thoughts of rejuvenation, self-exploration and long lasting memories come across your mind. I know they do for me but when you’re offered an opportunity to travel to a beautiful destination as a part-time vacation nanny, sometimes the beautiful thoughts associated with a vacation can quickly get challenging.
The first day of us traveling together was not as stressful as I anticipated. It was great to see the children, catch up with everybody and they were actually sweet enough to book me my own room. The children invaded until all hours of the night but I couldn’t hold their excitement against them. It was only day one but I could already see all that Costa Rica was going to offer us on these next two weeks.
Yes, maybe this wasn’t the most traditional vacation but I was with a family, sharing and creating these memories with them.
My responsibilities really started kicked in by the third day. I would help the kids get ready in the morning, sit with them in the back of the van to make sure there were no arguments over who got to sit where and be their entertainment on those two-hour rides, which felt like ten for them.
I must that admit at times, I was tired! Some of the toughest nights were when I was not so fortunate to get my own room and had two little roommates. Of course we had our arguments over who got which bed. Clearly, this was not a job for the impatient, and there were moments when I thought maybe I made a mistake deciding to come.
Early on, I needed to make a mental adjustment. I couldn’t let my role on this trip ruin the experience. Yes, maybe this wasn’t the most traditional vacation but I was with a family, sharing and creating these memories with them. And I felt as though I was part of their family. It could have been easy to dwell on the bad but I couldn’t let myself because this country had too much good to offer.
The children also left me with moments of pure happiness. Some of the things they would say and do completely took me by surprise and I couldn’t help but burst out in laughter or keep a smile on my face. I had my own views and thoughts of each beautiful sight we saw, like Arenal Volcano and the beaches of Monteverde but to see it from their perspective at such a young age was inspiring. Kids don’t let you take the easy way out. They continually challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone to try new food or hold a three foot snake that we found in the rainforest. For that I’m grateful.
Kids don’t let you take the easy way out. They continually challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone to try new food or hold a three foot snake that we found in the rainforest.
When it came to an end and we said our goodbyes, the kids ran up to me, arms wrapped around my waist telling me how much they were going to miss me and at that moment I realized that I would miss them too. We had quite the adventure in Costa Rica, hiking through rainforests, eating delicious food and meeting interesting people and now that it was coming to an end I was able to take a step back and see how fortunate I was to spend my time with them.
So, were all the tears, temper tantrums, and “pranks” on me worth it? Yes! I may not have had a typical vacation filled with quiet relaxation and escape from stress but sometimes you need to change your definition and take on a new perspective to see all that life has to offer.
Photo by Unsplash.