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When a student group was notified that their international spring trip was cancelled by school administration for security concerns, they were crushed.  With less than a month to find an alternative trip, the group leader decided to contact Adventure Life with hesitant hope.  How likely was it to arrange tours, activities, accommodations, and international flights for 20 people in roughly 27 days?  Especially at such a popular time to travel - Spring Break!
Well, Adventure Life came to the rescue!  One of our expert Trip Planners, Mary, put all their fears to rest and quickly presented some different destination and trip options.  Our company's exclusive access to local offices made this process quick and as seamless as possible.  Costa Rica Trip Planner, Jess, then coordinated all the logistics and details to help make the trip run smoothly.  The group ultimately chose our Adventure Pacifica trip in Costa Rica, and it was a fantastic experience for all!  Kenny, the group leader, sent an account of the trip and a big THANK YOU to our office.  You can read Kenny's letter below:

One never knows exactly how an international trip with students and parents will unfold. The variables that affect outcome are myriad: pre-trip planning and preparation; cultural differences at the destination; guide competence; personal engagement of participants; group composition; weather; emerging attitudes; level of cooperation; health; sanitation, expectations; complicated family relationships. The list goes on and on. Experience has taught me that a failure in any one of these primary areas can cause a perfectly good student trip to suddenly lose its momentum, and soon thereafter, its appeal. And if several systems happened to fail at once, God forbid, the entire experience could go south in a hurry. I don't even want to think about it. Given that truth, it gives me great pleasure to report that the Chrysalis spring international trip to Costa Rica last week was an unconditional success by anyone's standards, and each of us who participated continues to smile warmly in the spirit of Pura Vida. Here's why.
Seven students, six parents, and a handful of Chrysalis staff met in San Jose, CR, in early April with great expectations about the adventures at hand. The whitewater sections of the Pacuare River provided class 3 and 4 rapids through beautiful rainforest on day one of the trip. Further north, the mountainous area around the Arenal volcano offered us an exciting zipline adventure, and the chance to hike into the edge of a lava field left from an eruption in the 90's. Along the way we found extraordinary flora and fauna that kept our photographers scurrying from one great photo opportunity to the next. Arenal gave way to Monteverde, the famous cloud forest area of CR, after a boat ride across Lake Arenal that allowed us to discover and photograph amazing birds native to the lake area. Our accommodations in Monteverde were virtually on top of a mountain that afforded views of the distant Pacific Ocean by day, and the Southern Cross by night. The southern hemisphere stars were brilliant. 
We left the cool mountain breezes of the cloud forest and descended sharply toward the coast, arriving at Manuel Antonio National Park where the temps were above 100 degrees and the humidity made the swimming pool feel comparatively dry. We thoroughly enjoyed a very warm ocean and a beautiful beach for parts of two days, and also managed another intriguing hike through the national park, just a few steps from our hotel. Each of the three hikes we did in disparate areas in CR were on winding trails through dense vegetation. Added together, they provided up close and personal views of howler monkeys, rare squirrel monkeys, white-faced monkeys, sloths (both two-toed and three-toed varieties) a coatimundi, an anteater, a green-eyed tree frog, a couple of brightly-colored snakes, and a number of beautiful birds that we'd never be able to see outside of a zoo, Alex, our trip guide with the best eyes in the business, always managed to spot crocodiles, toucans and scarlet macaws along the way, and then brought them close enough to reach out and touch (seemingly) with his spotting scope. They were sights to behold.
The thrilling adventures, enchanting natural resources, and fascinating wildlife, described above, would be quite enough to make this a fine international trip for one and all, but it's clear to me in retrospect that the best memories from CR will be about the excellent human experience we all enjoyed, and the relationships that emerged. Our students were careful and thoughtful about the goals of the trip, which they designed prior to our launch. Once they had decided that there would be "no nonsense" on their trip, their commitments were as good as gospel. Each of them moved toward a closer and more considerate relationship with their accompanying parent. These gals have good hearts. Meanwhile, our lovely and generous parent group cooperated in every sense. They lived and ate and traveled happily in close communion, strongly supported a sense of healthy limits and security for the girls, and always managed to make the trip more fun. We couldn't have had a nicer group of folks with whom to travel if we'd hand-picked, interviewed, and then vetted them beforehand. 
As I've written these words, and thought back across every twist and turn of the entire journey, it's clear that all those things that might attempt to threaten a trip like this really had no chance to germinate. And seldom was heard a discouraging word. Now THAT'S the way to travel internationally with students. 
Very best regards, Kenny

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