Travel journal from our recent work in Costa Rica.
As part of our work with Cardinal Health, I (Hailey Stangebye) recently had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and interview some amazing people for an upcoming video. The video team and I encountered a lot of unexpected obstacles—from the airline losing some checked bags to navigating the windy roads of San Jose—but, through it all, we adapted to the circumstances and drew constant inspiration from the tenacious people we met and the beautiful landscapes that surrounded us.
As a nation, Costa Rica contains environmental and cultural multitudes. With coasts along both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, breathtaking protected national forests and lively volcanic activity, Costa Rica sits just 10 degrees north of the equator like a bridge between continents. The culture of Costa Rica is just as rich, diverse and beautiful as the landscape.
The star of our video series was kind enough to teach me one of the quintessential Costa Rican expressions during our stay: ¡Pura vida!
Simply translated, pura vida means “pure life.” But the expression is imbued with cultural significance—it’s a way of life. As we walked the halls of Cardinal Health, “pura vida” encapsulated, “hello,” “goodbye,” “good morning,” “how are you,” and so much more. Interwoven throughout so many of the heartwarming conversations we shared with locals and Cardinal Health team members was this inviting philosophy: To live life purely, focusing on the things that matter most.
In many ways, our video production days became a reflection of pura vida. With extraneous production equipment stuck in airport terminals hundreds of miles away, we drew our attention and resources to capturing what was most important: the story. We let the natural light of the landscapes and settings inspire us, we captured the sounds and textures of Costa Rica and we crafted our questions in Spanish to ease the language barriers between the interviewer (me) and our phenomenal subjects.
In short, we embraced pura vida, and I am so proud of the stories we captured in the span of just two days.
Opportunities to travel like this are a breathtaking privilege that I don’t take lightly. When I step outside my comfort zone and into a new environment, I strengthen my capacity for empathy, which I hope will continue to make me an effective storyteller.
To our friends at Cardinal Health, thank you for your hospitality. I’m so excited to share your story.