it would ruin my life indefinitely.
Wow, Julia, this is a cool phrase.. I like your writing.
I often recommend enable instead of allow for this kind of situation:
...would allow me to become more ...
In a compound sentence, use a comma: My hard work and perseverance paid off, and shortly after I left for Costa Rica.
There was no running water or electricity, and ...
This is great. I think you should write a little more at the end, though, about how this helped you to make your decision. Can you explain, at the end, a little more about the career you envision now that you had this experience?