2017 had a rough start for me and I was determined to end it with a much more joyful and adventurous heart. I booked a two-week solo adventure to Costa Rica leaving the day before Thanksgiving. After a night in San Jose, my trip began winding through foggy mountains to get to a self-sustainable farm. The next part of the trip was driving through jungle and narrow road ways as I migrated closer towards the coast. I intended this trip to be quiet, self-reflective, one where I could journal, meditate, and figure out the next steps for my life. While I did have some downtime, I also met some wonderful new friends to share activities with along the way.
The second part of the trip I stayed near Manuel Antonio National Park. I chose an inexpensive Airbnb so I could live more like a Tico, learn the culture, and interact with others. When I arrived, I was greeted by the host and his other guest who were travelers from France, Spain, Germany, and other parts of the US. We toured the park and saw much of the natural wildlife including the famous sloths and monkeys. We took a group surf lesson and hung out on the beach. In the evenings, we sat around the dinner table sharing our stories over some Gallo Pinto becoming more aware of how, despite our diverse backgrounds, we still had strong commonalities that bonded us together as humans and now as friends. It is difficult to choose just one moment to highlight as all the little moments are what create that magical experience gained from traveling.
Learning to surf was an exhilarating challenge. While I felt I took a beating from the ocean just to make my way out to get to that sweet spot to catch the next wave, the ocean would reward me for the journey. I was soon up on the board riding that powerful energy of the wave that had traveled so far to get to shore. I become part of the wave for those brief moments and it felt incredible. I think this is the reason my soul feels so free and happy when I travel. It is when I feel most connected to the planet and those who occupy it. It allows me to break out of my box, live for a moment in someone else’s shoes, to expand my mind, my interest, and my beliefs. I return home re-centered and with a more open minded and creative approach to living my best life. I am grateful for these opportunities and for the individuals I cross paths with on the journey because in their own way, they are all very impactful on shaping who I am today. This trip was definitely my most memorable of 2017!