Joining the Peace Corps – Part 1

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / Joining the Peace Corps – Part 1

Costa Rica Peace Corps volunteers surfingJoining the Peace Corps in 2005 was a definitive turning point in my life. I remember the day when I received my notification of acceptance.

“Good evening, Wells Fargo Financial, this is Travis”.

“Travis I have your notification for Peace Corps and I know where you’re going!”

“You opened the notification without my permission?”

“No, I can see the country of service, though”

“Open it!”

“Costa Rica.”

In June of 2005 I received my letter of acceptance to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica. My role, as read in the description of service brochure, was to work as a Micro-Enterprise Development Volunteer. At first, I was disappointed. I thought to myself, Costa Rica? Why? Isn’t Costa Rica that country that is already gringonized, developed, and not in need of our services? Wait, mind-check, take it easy, stand-by, and relax. Ok. Again. Isn’t Costa Rica that country that has amazing waves, beautiful beaches and is in every surfer’s dreams? Okay, so those were the two extremes of my thoughts, and somewhere between those two extremes, existed my equilibrium, I just had to find out where.

Arrival to Costa Rica

In July of 2005 I arrived to the land of Pura Vida – Pure Life. For three months I received intensive trainings; cross cultural, language, safety and security, medical and micro-enterprise development. I lived in the small mountain village of San Juan Sur, a 1.5 hour bus ride from San Jose. For approximately 90 days, I would wake up to the most common alarm clock in Costa Rica, roosters. 72 of the 90 days, I would shower under ruthlessly cold water. 32 of the 72 days under ruthlessly cold water, I would only get my hands wet and call it a shower. Big friggin’ deal, right? Ok, I will stop my ranting. Three months of training flew by and shortly I was becoming a savvy Spanish speaker. No longer was I saying JACKO, when it was JACO!

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About the author


Travis is a head surf instructor and social entrepreneur at Bodhi Surf + Yoga. When Travis is not at the beach getting guests stoked on surfing, he is probably at a community meeting, on a Skype call, or spending time with his lovely daughters, Maya and Clea!

1 Comment

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