We all have those days that aren’t fun in the moment but once we get home, take a shower, and let our sore feet recover, become a fun story to tell (and hear), and even a valuable lesson. We’re asking goEast readers to share their Type 2 Tales so we can all learn from them and figure out how to avoid being in the same scary situations.

Credit: Emily M.

In 2017, I was taking classes in Costa Rica as a part of my master’s education. On weekends, friends from school would often go exploring, as one does when they are in a different country. This weekend we took the public bus to the town of La Fortuna. I and two other girls woke up at 5 a.m. on Sunday and set out from our hostel towards Cerro Chato, a lesser-known dormant volcano right next to Arenal volcano. Our goal was to make it to the top of the volcano and see the green lagoon at the top which formed in the volcano’s crater. The beginning of the hike was eerie, but beautiful. It was extremely foggy and felt almost as if we were on a different planet at times. After hiking for a while, we came to a more wooded cloud forest area where much of the trail was narrow, steep, and muddy. The tree roots bulged out and we were weary not to touch them in case some of Costa Rica’s famous venomous snakes were on the branches. As we ascended into higher altitude the hike became more challenging. We were soaked and covered in mud from head to toe. This was by far the muddiest and most challenging hike I’d ever been on. We made it to the top of the volcano and then began the descent into the crater. That’s when things got scary. There was nothing to hold on to and the mud made it insanely slippery. We didn’t want to give up because we had worked so hard to get to where we were, but ultimately made the decision to turn around because we no longer felt safe. If one of us slipped and got injured, we’d be in a very dangerous situation. It was also unknown if we’d be able to get back out of the crater once we got down in it. That was an unknown we didn’t want to figure out. I have no regrets doing that hike or turning around. It was still one of my favorite hikes ever, I just wish we had a local guide…or at least a set of trekking poles. All in all, the memories will last a lifetime and I am so proud of us for listening to our gut and turning around when we did. Emily M. (@emilygoesplaces)