How Traveling To Costa Rica Gave Me A New Outlook On Life

How Traveling To Costa Rica Gave Me A New Outlook On Life

Traveling is one those hobbies that can never get old. What's your best travel experience?
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Traveling is one major way to help free your mind and take a break from the stress that we experience on a day to day basis. Ever since I was in high school, I have done quite a bit of traveling and don’t intend on slowing down whatsoever. Some of the places I’ve been to so far include New Jersey, California, Georgia, Tennessee, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Costa Rica. That list isn’t that long yet, but over the course of my lifetime, I want to go to as many places as possible, interact with many different cultures, learn about those cultures, and spread good energy everywhere I visit.

One of the best places I’ve visited so far has been Costa Rica. During my senior year of high school, my Spanish II teacher, English teacher, her husband, and my senior class went on a mission trip to San Jose. Our English teacher told us that we’d be visiting an orphanage out in San Jose to be a friend to these kids (they were between the ages of 2-11). I remember mostly everything about this trip because it was such an impactful journey; not only for us, but for the kids we spent time with. We bought them toys, clothes, and tried to speak the best Spanish we could to learn about them. Not only did we visit an orphanage when we were there, we went zip-lining along a volcano valley in San Jose. It was both exhilarating and absolutely terrifying, but I would do it all again any given day of the week.

Any time I go somewhere new, I try to make a positive impact on anyone I may come in contact with. It’s important to spread good energy wherever you go because we have no idea what people go through on a daily basis. Being from America, people from different countries think most of us are full of ourselves. Whenever you’re traveling, try to leave a little bit of good energy behind. You’ll be amazed at what itcan do.

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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Children Should Not Be Separated from Their Parents

My take on a human rights problem in my country.

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"No!" the little girl cried.

Children are crowded into a fenced off area, away from their parents as parents are taken away from their children.

Will these parents ever see their kids again? Why is this happening?

The law in question has been around since Clinton, but Trump is the one who enforced it.

I shall appeal to two higher laws- the Constitution and the law of nature.


"The enumertion in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." - Amendment IX

Most of the Constitution specifies "citizens," but the wording here is different "people" which means anybody residing within the borders of this country. The Constitution does not grant us rights, the rights come from nature. The Constitution proclaims the rights that live within us all, and Amendment IX specifies there are rights that the Constitution doesn't declare that are still important to survival.

Young children are rapidly growing and developing. Separating them from their families has lifelong and detrimental effects on them. For example, it could ruin their sense of trust for life if they are 1. If they are 2 they may stifle autonomy and become ashamed of all they do according to Erikson's Stages of Development.

A child who is given inconsistent care or loses many people close to them may grow very ambivalent and clingy for more attention. A neglected child may become avoidant and refuse all relationships.

There are hundreds of more damaging effects this may have on kids, from both a Constitutional and a psychological standpoint this is wrong.

Now from a Biblical standpoint.

It has come to my knowledge that Romans 13 was used to uphold an unjust law- but let me give some brief context of this law.

- Rome was very unstable.

- Paul was frustrated and reminding the people that the church's main purpose was the gospel.

I believe that rights come from God. When a government takes away these rights, they violate the unspoken contract between the people and the government. The people have a moral duty to speak out against the government because the government is accountable to the people and is made up of ordinary people.

Divine right is completely unbiblical and wrong (see my article critiquing absolute monarchy) and paved a way for despots to do atrocious crimes against humanity while misusing the name of God.

Let's see what the Bible has to say about immigrants and refugees.

Leviticus 19:33-34 New International Version (NIV)

33 "'When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.


This Bible verse is imploring us to defend and care for the immigrants and those who are different. We are to show them the love of God.

Now for another Bible verse:

Deuteronomy 10:18-19 New International Version (NIV)

18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

God loves the needy and will look after them but we must do our part and show them love as well.

On another note, you never know what you would learn from somebody a little different from yourself. Different cultures will open your eyes to new ideas and new stories.

Think of how much stronger this world would be if instead of separating families and showing hatred- we showed a simple act of love. Also, if I remember right the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution says that we should unjustly detain somebody without trial by jury. Is this unjust detainment? Yes.

They may have been entering illegally, but keep this in mind- they are fleeing. They are fleeing violence and hatred, only to come to a nation who has turned its back on everybody who is different.

We need to pick up the moral banner of doing good for all of humanity. We can take a first step by reuniting these young ones with their families. Allow these children to grow, dream, and develop. Allow them to read and be comforted by their parents.

You never know what a little child may do someday, help them to grow and learn. Do not rip them out of their parents arms and stifle their growth.

Allow them to have a positive image of this country's people, and learn all that they can.

This act of love- keeping children with their families will change the world for the better in generations to come.

Let's speak out against this injustice, and speak up for these children.

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