Sunday, April 27, 2014

Freezing Time

know that there always comes a point in ones life/travels where it is time for them to move on. Time to close this chapter. Time to take on the next adventure that lies just around the corner. But honestly, right now I just want to freeze time. 

Sloth inside La Ruka Hostel

I want to capture all those special little moments I've had with my friends here so that I can keep them forever. 

Pirate Trivia - Tasty Waves Cantina

I want to be able to go back to those nights I tore up the dance floor at The Lazy Mon, rocked an air band rendition of Journey's epic anthem Don't Stop Believing at Tasty Waves, or just spent my afternoons with the best of friends out at Playa Cocles.  

Karaoke Night - Tasty Waves Cantina

There have been so many times I've said, "Remember this moment" in the back of my mind. Like the times I would see my friends after a long time apart and get the biggest hug and kiss on the cheek you could imagine. Like sitting outside TW with friends just talking, having some beers, and making music. Or even getting late night pizza at Pizza "Baracha" and then riding home in the pouring rain. 

I'm sensing a pattern here.. Friends.

Can we freeze time yet?

Some moments and memories really do live on forever. And there are times I will never forget. Like the day I conquered my fear and swam out to Isla Cocles and jumped off of a 40ish foot cliff into the Caribbean Sea. Or the time all the TW crew came to Community Karma Yoga at Om after a day of day drinking at the waterfall. Those images will be burned into my brain forever, but it was by far the best yoga class I've ever taken!

Celebrations after the cliff jump

I've faced my fears and challenged myself in so many ways. This place has changed me. These people have made a lasting impact on my life. 

Pirate Trivia - Tasty Waves Cantina

We are such a band of misfits. That couldn't describe us any better. We are all a little bit weird, and yea, maybe we do like a good party. But I know from experience that these people will take care of me when I need them. 

Pirate Trivia - Tasty Waves Cantina

I'm going to miss these people like crazy. Puerto Viejo will always be here, but it's my friends who have made those moments into moments I want to freeze and keep forever. You know who you are.

I've met some of the most empowered women out here and I've become one myself. There must be something in the water... Or maybe it's the Guaro?

Girls night at my house.

I know that we can't actually freeze time. And I am ready to see what is next for me, but that's not to say this transition isn't going to be hard.

"But there comes a time, not too long after the glory days have ended, that we need to put them aside and move on to something else. If those life experiences were really so great, shouldn't they provide motivation for greater challenges?... When we choose to willingly let go of those times, we're not really saying farewell - we couldn't forget them if we tried." Wise words from Chris Guillebeau in a book that has helped me in more ways than one. 

Everyone goes through this at some point. Graduation. Moving for a new job. Ending a relationship. Whatever the reason for this new beginning there is always something to take from it. Even if it is just learning that Captain Morgans is bad news for you or to always remember to keep your mouth closed while riding your bike.. Whatever the lesson, take it, keep it, use it. And respect the glory days for all that they were.

Pirate Trivia - Tasty Waves Cantina

I don't know, I think pictures freeze time pretty well, don't you? 

Some moments, some places, and some friends make a lasting impact on your soul, freezing that moment or that place or that person into your heart forever. Freezing time. 

(Photo cred for this gorgeous one goes to my friend Taylor Murray, love you chica! xx)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Traveling through Costa Rica

Hopefully up to now, you have gotten a pretty good idea about Costa Rica and what I am doing down here for the time being. And even further, I hope that you are strongly considering a trip to this beautiful paradise I have been blessed to call home for the last year. Whatever your situation, I hope to provide you with some honest information regarding travel in Costa Rica and experiences with the Tico culture.

First of all, Costa Rica isn’t necessarily cheap. Yes, some things such as fresh produce are much cheaper, but the luxuries are not. Gas is quite expensive and clothes and beauty products are comparable, if not more, than you would pay in the States. For accommodation, you can generally stay somewhere as cheap as $10 per night (depending on where you are) or as expensive as $300+ per night. My suggestion is that if you plan on doing excursions and having cultural experiences just get a cheap room or stay at a hostel because, let’s be honest, you won’t be spending that much time in your room. All you really need is a bed to sleep in and a safe place to store your things. Staying in hostels, for me, has been one of the best ways to meet new people and experience a very raw side of tourism in Costa Rica.

As for transportation, public transportation in Costa Rica is pretty amazing. You can get pretty much anywhere you want to go by taking a bus and the best part is it won’t cost you much at all. Plus you will get to see how the locals travel because many people here do not own a car (again, gas is pretty expensive). They get around by way of bike or bus or their own two feet. Another little tidbit on the buses, try to get Directo or Expreso buses as they are nonstop. The Collectivo buses will stop at every single bus stop and pick up more and more people, sometimes until you can no longer even fit people standing. Collectivo buses are better for short, quick trips.

If you are travelling a very long distance, though, and have lots of luggage, I would recommend springing for one of the shuttles. Transportation companies such as Interbus and Caribe Shuttle offer shuttle services from the airport to many popular destinations around the country. They will be a little more expensive, but you will not have to hastle with bus stops, taxis, or worry about the safety of your luggage.

Now, on to the issue of safety. Lots of tourists are curious about safety in Costa Rica. Well, my best words of advice are to remember not just that you are in Costa Rica, but that you are in Central America. There is danger everywhere, but not necessarily more here than in other Central American countries. Be cautious, but not an annoyingly nervous tourist. Most people who say hi to you are really just friendly Ticos.

Now, to set the records straight, what everyone says is absolutely true. The Costa Rican people are truly incredible. They will happily welcome you into their home for a meal or offer you a ride as you walk in the rain. If you have children, they will fawn over them. Just to call them friendly would be a severe understatement. Their culture is extremely welcoming, relaxed, and loving and you can't help but love them back. 

All in all, depending on what you were expecting or looking for in a trip to this beautiful country, you should find it. There's a little bit of something for everyone. You can't be too much of a priss or expect complete perfection, because your transportation will most likely run late or you will get stuck hiking in the rain, but trust me, that's the best part of it all. And you will learn so much about yourself and your travel partner(s) in the process.

Pura Vida!! 

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 ...