Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lucky Girl

I live in paradise.

I don't think I've ever been this happy in my life. And no, I haven't found love down here (insert eye roll).. Unless you consider my love for this place and the friends I have found in it. Because, that I have found.

I don't know what I did right in my life, but somehow I ended up in one of the most beautiful and friendly communities in Central America. I feel so unbelievably blessed I cannot even put it into words. 

There are many ups and downs to this place though. Yes, the natural beauty and vibes are intoxicating. But life here is not for the faint at heart. Spending a short time here may not seem like enough, but an extended period can be too much for some people. It is very easy to just get lost in the everyday parties and celebrations and completely forget about work and sleeping. This I have learned from experience. 

Managing time and sleep is extremely important. The people who call this place home have it down to an art. Since this is such a touristy town people are always coming and going. Thus it is always someone's first or last day in town, birthday or anniversary. To say the least, there is never a lack of reason to celebrate (aka go out and paint the town red). 

And yet through everything, I still love this place to pieces. I like the way I feel here. I like who I've become. I love how open and welcoming people are and how I feel comfortable just being myself. No one will judge me if I spend the night dancing like crazy on the dance floor. Yes, they may think I'm extremely inebriated, but more often than not they couldn't be farther from the truth. We all have different stories and we are well rehearsed in telling them.

This year, I want to meet someone new every day. I want to enjoy every minute I have here, but still get my research done and done well. Who knows, maybe at the end of this I will end up with a job or have opened a new business.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Home Away From Home

I have found bliss. Family. Friends. And the most incredible energy and feeling of love in this place.

La Ruka Hostel in Puerto Viejo is truly a gem. The people. The atmosphere. The energy. You simply can't leave this place without longing to come back. I'm one to talk. I've stayed there almost every free weekend I've had since being down here. And trust me... that's a lot! Even now that I have my own place, I still find a reason to stop by and hang out.

Here I have found some of the most incredible people who welcome me home every time I walk through the gates. The hugs and kisses are in abundance. These people are truly enlightened and empowered and share their love with everyone.

I have had the opportunity to celebrate the full moon with the Mayan traditional Chocolate Ceremony. They have random jam sessions and family dinners. Not to mention everyone is happy to go out on the town with you and dance like crazy!

So if you are ever in Puerto Viejo, please, do yourself a favor and stay with them. And I promise, you will not only leave with friends from all over the world, but you will leave with a new found feeling of love and inspiration.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Life in the Jungle

It is now 2014. I still can’t believe it.

As I sit in my new “Jungle House,” completely disconnected, I really cannot believe this is my life right now.. Out here I have no wi-fi, no A/C, no hot water, yes I do have electricity and running water, though other so-called luxuries are lacking. But frankly, it’s not that bad. And I have to say… I kind of like it.
Honestly, I was quite nervous the first night. Up until now, I have never even lived by myself in the states, and now I’m out in the jungle of Costa Rica on my own. Talk about a challenge. The first night was kind of hard for me because I’m used to at least being able to watch Netflix or check Facebook when I got bored, but out here it’s only me and my thoughts. Let’s just say I’ve already finished one book… and I only brought 5.

It really is nice though. The property is absolutely beautiful. Very secluded. Many people today are afraid to be left alone with their own thoughts. And it is kind of scary at first, but after a while you get used to it. Out here I can just sit and think, or nature watch (this morning I watched a pack of squirrels play in the trees), or read, or write. Heck, sometimes I even sing. My book may finally get written living out here. Not to mention, you will get many more blog posts out of me!

When the sun rises in the morning (around 5:30 am), I am wake to the sound of howler monkeys and roosters crowing. I sleep to the sounds of cicadas and crickets in the jungle and I have access to organic bananas and plantains and free range eggs in my neighbor’s farm. Though this place is much farther from town than I had originally wanted (a 30 minute bike ride) I may stay here for a bit just to see how it goes. 

Anyway, I am officially back in Costa Rica for another 4 months or so in the Puerto Viejo area. I know I’ve probably said it before, but this place is absolutely insane. I have only been here for about a week and am already finding it hard not to go out with friends every night of the week. I have officially joined the wolf pack. As this is a very popular vacation spot, it always seems to be someone’s last night in town, birthday, anniversary, or other reason to celebrate. I’m sure you can see how that would be difficult to turn down.

This year will be very exciting for me though. Not only am I living close to one of my favorite spots in Costa Rica, but I will be working on my Field Experience for grad school with the Camara de Turismo del Caribe Sur (aka the Tourism Chamber for the Southern Caribbean Region of Costa Rica).

This position is right up my alley. I will get to work with local business owners and tourism aficionados on building their chamber as well as increasing the “right” kind of tourism for the region. This area of Costa Rica is very popular for the backpackers. It is right on the way to and from Panama and thus receives many tourists passing through. Many of whom end up staying a little longer than expected. Once here, no one really wants to leave. 

Needless to say, I am extremely excited to see what these next few months have in store for me. My friends out here are absolutely amazing and welcomed me with hugs and kisses the day I returned. 

It's good to be home :) 

Save the penguins!

It's been quite some time since I've felt inspired to write and publish a blog, but guess what?!? I have found inspiration! And ...