When I started solo traveling, I did mostly volunteer travel. I stayed in barren rooms with no running water, took cold bucket showers, and slept in beds that were harder than rock.
Eventually I graduated to student travel. This meant I slept in bunk beds with my valuables as a pillow and waited in line for the communal shower. I ate cold toast and drank stale tea alongside backpackers and students from all over the world.
Now, I've graduated once again. This time to the position of travel blogger. While I miss the raw experience of voluntourism and value the community found at hostels, it's hard to feel too sorry for myself when I'm staying in boutique bed and breakfasts and luxury spas... Often for free.
So it's with true gratitude for where my path has taken me that I share with you my first "home" in Costa Rica, appropriately named, "Mi Casa".
A modern gem with a touch of classic charm
The minute I stepped inside Mi Casa I was in love. The neon green light, modern furniture, and feminine decor was right up my alley.
My room, the green room, was equally stunning. The place was impeccably clean and I really did feel right at home. I'm used to travel meaning living without, but at Mi Casa I lived in abundance.
I was the only guest while I was there, so I got free reign of the space. That being said, I spent 99% of my time on the terrace.
Whether I was doing yoga, eating breakfast, or simply enjoying the peaceful environment, odds are that's where you would find me. The sunshine and birds overhead made the noises of the city disappear. I was in paradise.
In the heart of, well, everything!
As far as location goes, I could not have asked for more. Mi Casa is just a few blocks away from La Sabina park, a massive park where I spent the better half of Sunday soaking up some much needed vitamin D.
The park is a great place to have a local experience. On the weekends it is crowded with Costa Ricans having picnics, renting boats to explore the lake, and playing every sport imaginable. Just next door is the Museo de Arte Costarricense, which is a free museum with loads of beautiful art.
Walk a few blocks in the opposite direction and you are in the heart of downtown. I explored the Mercado Central on Saturday and was surrounded by locals street performers, shoppers, and families. The street is pedestrian only and full of local flavor.
Mi Casa is also neighbor to a bunch of restaurants, pubs, and bars. While I did not have enough time to explore the culinary scene as much as I would have liked, I did have a chance to eat at La B del M. I'm now obsessed and you can read all about it.
A gracious hostess willing to help
While I usually use public transport (and plan to for the rest of my trip), I decided to ask Masha to set up an airport pickup. After 41 hours of travel I knew I would be discombobulated, so I decided to save navigating the bus system for another day.
Masha picked me up herself and I liked her immediately. She comes from the Ukraine, but has been living in Costa Rica for years and her love of the country is infectious.
When we got to Mi Casa, Masha took her time helping me settle in. She explained the map and made exploring San Jose easy as could be. By the time she left, I felt like I knew the place already.
I am so grateful for all of her help and could not have asked for a better introduction to Costa Rica.
Today I arrived in Alajuela at a luxury spa that is blowing me away, so if you haven't already, make sure you subscribe to the newsletter so you can hear all about it.