I found myself hiking uphill in a small town on the outskirts of Turriabla on a Costa Rican adventure, wondering exactly what I got myself into. I was beyond exhausted from hours jumping from bus to bus, brain buzzing with struggling with translating the language, and was surrounded by mainly cows and leaf cutter ants. I was on an adventure.
I came straight out of a blissful week in the sweet beach town of Santa Teresa, covering a True Nature Yoga and Wellness retreat. The vibes there were strong, positive, safe, and every aspect of day to day was covered. Beautiful dishes were served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; pristine rooms, hot showers, daily yoga sessions, dancing waves, and a whole team to support you. Needless to say a yoga vacation is the way to go for a chance to relax, reconnect, and simply be. So this was quite a little bit of a shock.
I tend to be an adventurous soul. I am not a stranger to backpacking trips, traveling solo, getting lost in nature, and ultimately just figuring it out. I figured why not while I am in Costa Rica go off the beaten path and discover something new. So I did. What I did not anticipate is my banking account being shut down for what they think was fraud, my cell phone to stop working in these small off the grid towns, and the language barrier to be so strong where I wouldn’t speak english for a week or two straight. I was not on a yoga retreat anymore. Either way, I trudged along and took in all I could with an open heart and mind.
So this is where you find me, huge backpack, 5 dollars to last me a week and walking straight up hill to a tiny farm where I would spend the next 4 days in La Suiza along the river. La Suiza is a sweet little town based around sugar cane. Small, friendly, where everyone knows everyone. Within the town a beautiful rushing river cuts through the small mountains. And let me tell you, the river taught me everything I needed to know.
In our culture and day to day lives, it is all about the hustle and bustle. We push ourselves in our personal life, careers, and are usually working towards what is next. It is ingrained in us and becomes subconscious behavior. At least for me it is, and I am sure many of you can relate. Juggling professional life, family life, and self care is a never ending “to do” list. On top of that add in our constant connectivity where we can be reached and expected to be reached at any moment. Instagram, facebook, snapchat, emails, all in your pocket.
Strip this away and what are you left with. When you are forced to be out of pocket, tasks have to wait, your world literally gets put on pause. Cows. I was left with cows, muddy trails, and my monkey brain running in circles on how to get cell service, answer emails, and continue on while in this town.
Well long story short, a day later in my quaint little shack along the river, I realized it was about surrender. Life has a funny way of giving you just what you need. It is your choice if you will go with the current or against it. Will you go with the flow or fight it. By allowing ourselves space to tap into the natural progressions of life, it is no longer an upstream battle but a playful ride down the rapids.
By the second day, I woke up lightness in my step. Waking up to the rushing river, birds chirping, and the world yawning herself into the
day. I picked fresh avocados, mangos, and bananas for food. I jumped from rock to rock along the river. Sat down with the animals to read.
Examined each and every flower surrounding the house. Made friends with an old farmer. And rolled in the mud. I turned off my brain, told the world to wait and played.
I needed to be reminded it all isn’t so serious and that we all need to delegate time for play, day dreams, and simply being. Maybe it didn’t require such an extreme adventure, remoteness, and challenging situations for me to get there in my head space. But that is how it happened and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The river danced with the sunbeams, and laughed along the rocks, she pushed me right along and when I left I had a tear in my eye. I came in crying with stress and exhaustion and left with tears of joy, surrender, and gratitude.
I was off to the next leg of my journey, a True Nature Educational and Adventure trip, where uncertainty would not be an issue. I would be well taken care of, going on epic adventures in a controlled environment, speaking English, connecting with awesome student leaders, and surrounded by all the beauty of Costa Rica. All the while, in the back of my head I would hear the river whispering to me to go with the flow and have some fun.