TL;DR: Sparkloft Discovery Trips are an opportunity for education, relaxation and global perspective-altering experiences. By taking time to slow down and appreciate other cultures, and their natural and beautiful resources, employees come back refreshed with a new perspectives to continue to grow Sparkloft's global perspective.
With ambition to explore an area to fit my adventurous, yet relaxed lifestyle, Costa Rica was the perfect location to take my Discovery Trip — a perk gifted to Sparks who serve three years at our agency. We're expected to explore a new destination, learn as much as possible and report back new insights on culture and consumer behavior.
I’ve always had an appreciation for the culture of Costa Rica — its natural and beautiful resources. To ensure I took in as much as possible, I added stops at the Papagayo beach, Arenal volcano and Tamarindo Beach to my itinerary.
The lush rainforests offer adventurous experiences in the Costa Rican landscapes. I ziplined with monkeys, hiked to massive waterfalls deep in the jungle, soaked in 100-degree thermal rivers and experienced amazing food to the soundtrack of beautiful, tropical birds in the background. Winding down, the open beach and surf areas were perfect for relaxation and reflection on the day's adventures. And the volcanic mud wrap spa treatment was basically heaven.
Between this time to unplug, I learned that Costa Rica was once one of the most savagely destroyed areas in the world in the 1990s. Some of the countryside was completely bare, in search for beautiful natural resources, including timber. Now, many of those areas are completely reforested; the country is at near-complete sustainability. It’s important to appreciate your natural resources, ensuring your community is taken care of before surrendering to ambitions to profit off the beautify of your backyard. If you take care of Mother Nature she will take care of you.
When it came to understanding the wonderful culture of Costa Rica, I had no problem slowing down and enjoying all that surrounded me. The relaxed nature of locals inspired me to unwind and not be in such a hurry at all times. This includes taking times with meals: I’ve tried to adopt that lifestyle at home, making a “pact” of sorts with myself, to make a fresh smoothie bowl twice a week to mimic the fresh, organic bowls I regularly enjoyed in Costa Rica. It’s a constant reminder of all I experienced on my Discovery Trip.
The Costa Ricans truly live the "Pura Vida" lifestyle. The concentration of stunning beauty in one area is truly remarkable. I experienced constant stimulation everywhere we turned, from food and the people, to the jungle, rivers, waterfalls and wildlife.
I'm the third Spark to take this sort of trip in recent months. Read about account director Jurek's adventures and Patagonia and his lessons in experiences discovered via Instagram.