Costa Rica Adventure with Jeremy Hanna
by Michell Spoden
Historically travel has been a part of our lives from the beginning of time. Whether it be for merchants, work, studies, missionaries, pleasure or a new life; no matter how we look at it travel is a part of our soul. We can travel in our imaginations or in real life but ultimately we reach a destination. According to Travel as a Metaphor: D H Lawrence and Lawrence Durrell, “Travel as a metaphor involves a voyage of the self, a search for identity through a series of cultural identifications.” What is your travel dream and destination and where will it take you? Jeremy Hanna tells us more.
Jeremy Hanna: My name is Jeremy Hanna. I was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I am a young entrepreneur who has just opened an inclusive style, adventure retreat in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica.
Michell: What inspired you to start your project? Why Costa Rica?
Jeremy Hanna: My original inspiration came from a previous project I was working on. A friend and I were putting together a business plan for a medical fitness center. During the process, we began to realize the massive financial backing that would be required to open a facility in the US. Dealing with large investors wasn’t what we had in mind, so I began looking at statistics for physically disabled individuals in countries that are growing, have quality healthcare, and would allow us to be close to the beach. After looking over a few islands in the Caribbean, I began looking at Central America. The more I looked into statistics, the more I read about Costa Rica and the more I began to realize that Costa Rica was a place that, regardless of whether or not we started a business, I had to visit.
A couple months later I bought myself a one way ticket with no idea if or when I’d come back. I spent four months living in Jaco Beach and they were the most memorable four months of my life. I spent the last five or six weeks of my time down there brainstorming and crunching numbers, trying to figure out how I could make my own money. Having rented my house from two wonderful women who have spent far more time in the country than I did, I began tossing idea’s there way, hoping to hear them say “Oh, that hasn’t been tried yet!” Unfortunately, I never heard those words. So I decided to do what everyone else in Jaco is doing. I jumped into the tourist industry! Only I decided to find a happy medium to what everyone else is offering. You can find luxury mansions for rent, condo’s with property management, and hostels everywhere. I decided to work directly with local home and condo owners to offer a more home-like vacation experience. You won’t find me offering any hotel deals or million dollar homes, but what you will find are comfortable, cozy properties in specifically chosen locations to make sure my clients’ vacation is absolutely perfect.
Michell: What is the best part of Costa Rica and the culture?
Jeremy Hanna: The most amazing aspect of Costa Rica is the endless amount of adventure you can find in such a small country! The spectacular wildlife is a close second, but it just wouldn’t be quite as amazing if you weren’t experiencing the wildlife on your adventures. From hiking to waterfalls and zip lining through the rainforest canopy to snorkeling with tropical fish and being pulled by a Subwing among a pod of dolphins, there’s a new unforgettable experience to have each day.
In regard to the culture, the amount of happiness you can find here is unmatched anywhere in the world. Take a walk down any street in any neighborhood here in Jaco and you will find people of all ages with smiles on their faces. Take a walk down the main road, you’ll find even more tank top, flip flopped people, all smiling, enjoying each and every day.
Michell: Is your company a part of any causes or philanthropic endeavors?
Jeremy Hanna: My goal with Costa Rica Adventure Retreat is to give people an opportunity to experience one of the most beautiful countries in the world, without having to deal with the most of the difficult aspects of international travel. There is so much to see and do here, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed when trying to fit it all into a one week stay. I combine my clients interests with my experiences and work with them to put together the vacation of a lifetime, all while making sure each and every day is worry free, allowing my clients to turn their busy minds down and just enjoy their stay.
Michell: Share with our viewers about yourself. What were your favorite things to do growing up?
Jeremy Hanna: Growing up, I’m fairly certain I was quite the handful for my parents. I was a nonstop, always on the go, kind of kid. If we weren’t at the beach, I was playing hide and go seek in the dark with my sisters and cousins or organizing a kickball game with some neighborhood kids. I had a knack for the extreme as well. Backflips off swing sets, skateboarding, bike jumps, trampoline basketball, if there was a chance for injury, I had probably tried it, and, if I wasn’t injured the first time around, I probably did it until I was injured. I was also very active in sports. Being involved in basketball, football, soccer, and gymnastics at one point or another. I excelled at most of what I tried. I wasn’t always the best, but I usually did well. I believe this is where my need for a challenge was developed.
When you combine the propensity for risk with a desire for challenge, I believe you will find an entrepreneur. It wasn’t something I ever dreamed of becoming, but it’s something that has become my ultimate challenge. Jumping head first into a still developing market was not an easy call. That said, it wouldn’t be in my nature to play it safe.
Michell: Have you traveled to other parts of the world?
Jeremy Hanna: Prior to Costa Rica, my travels consisted of various trips around the U.S. and two trips to resorts in Mexico. My travels in the States were all different and, in my eyes, were the beginning of my eagerness to see and do more. I’ve camped on an island in the boundary waters of Minnesota, road tripped from my home in Minnesota to the Florida Panhandle for a week on the beach and then over to New Orleans for a weekend in the French Quarter. I’ve walked out of a casino in Vegas with money still in my pocket, seen the ships at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, gone snowboarding on the mountains of Lake Tahoe, and have climbed the highest point in Continental United States. Each experience was memorable in its own way, some more rewarding than others, but memorable nonetheless.
Michell: What are some of your long term-goals personal and professional?
Jeremy Hanna: At this stage of my life, my personal and my professional goals are tied very closely. Personally, I would like to sustain my life here in Costa Rica for seven to eight months a year, while spending the remaining time either traveling or with family. For that to happen, I need continued success with what I’m working on, which is Costa Rica Adventure Retreat. I am not looking to make a fortune, but instead do what I love for as long as possible. If my career consists of snorkeling among dolphins in the Pacific, teaching people how to surf, zip lining through the rainforest, getting up close with16 foot crocodiles, hiking through one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, all while ensuring my clients have the trip of a lifetime, then I would consider myself to be successful both personally and professionally.
Michell: Describe for us the perfect trip for you.
Jeremy Hanna: The perfect trip for me would involve traveling all over the world, visiting at least 6 of the 7 continents (I am currently alright with leaving Antarctica off of my list), and many more countries along the way.
Starting from where I am now, in Costa Rica, I would head just south to find an opportunity to swim with whale sharks off the coast of Isla Coco. I would then make my way to Peru, where I would visit the Inca city of Machu Picchu. From there I would head to the southernmost point of South America, where I would spend time hiking and camping in Patagonia. It would then be off to South Africa, where I would experience the adrenaline rush of cage diving with great whites. That would lead me on a trip to Australia for diving the Great Barrier Reef and then a quick jump to New Zealand for some more mountainous hiking and camping. Asia would be next on the list, with stops in Indonesia, China, and Thailand. Europe would be my second to last stop. There I would spend time in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands before heading back to the US. I would end my trip back with all my family and friends, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Michell: There are a lot of tips for traveling. What are your suggestions for best tips when traveling?
Jeremy Hanna: My number one suggestion when traveling, either internationally or within your country, is to ENJOY THE JOURNEY. A lot of people tend to plan a trip from point A to point B. What they don’t realize is how much they miss out on along the way. Sure, your flight might take you directly from point A to point B, but if point B happens to be a resort in another country, look into what’s around the resort. Take a step outside of your comfort zone, even if it’s a baby step. If you’re taking a road trip, go ahead and take that two hour detour to check out that national park you’ve read about or even just stop to take a picture of a sunset in the mountains. Traveling is all about the experiences, so take advantage of the opportunities.
More at the following links:
Web Site: http://www.cradventureretreat.com/
About the Author
Michell Spoden is the author of Stricken Yet Crowned and is also pursuing a transitional housing project for woman with an agricultural aspect. She has a degree in Business Science Administration and is finishing her bachelor’s in Project Management.