People always tell you not to keep your head in the clouds; however, my experience in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has taught me that being in the clouds is not such a bad place to be. You wouldn’t necessarily think this, but being in a forest surrounded by clouds is an amazing experience. One moment you are walking the trails and the next the clouds roll in and there is an instant feeling of mystery and wonder that encompasses your whole being. If you are patient, the wind picks up and the sky opens up for the sun to shine through the canopy like a spotlight to display the hidden walks of life below.

The first thought that I had stepping into the cloud forest is that I had traveled back in time to the Cretaceous period. Everything was so wild and seemingly untouched by man. And everything was huge. Millipedes the length of my hand, ferns the length of my body. And the trees. The trees were almost supernatural, how they stood in the ground like colossal pillars that held up the entire canopy of the forest. One tree alone was host to dozens of other species to the point where the trunk of the tree wasn’t even brown anymore. Everything was green. No matter where you stood you could look in any direction and all you would see is green.

The possibility for life to flourish in the rainforest is endless. Having the opportunity to observe and research the relationships that occur between these plants and animals for five whole days is an experience that I will always cherish. As a student coming from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, the experiences I have gained from coming to Costa Rica vastly outweigh any knowledge that I would receive from any normal classroom setting. Everyone should have the ability to learn hands-on how nature truly works and how we can work sustainably to protect the environment for future generations. So if you have the chance to put your head in the clouds, take it. Because being in the clouds is a far better place to be than on the ground.