Costa Rica

What’s it Really Like to Live in the Costa Rican Jungle?

  When we see beautiful photos and dreamy stories on travel and lifestyle blogs, it’s easy to create fantasies about the life of the blogger. Perhaps seeing someone live in a way that we’ve always dreamed of gives us the confidence to pursue it ourselves. On the other...

Why Costa Rica is the Best Place on Earth

  I hear it all of the time.     Costa Rica is so expensive. Costa Rica is so Americanized. Costa Rica is so yesterday.     And to be fair, it's actually true.     Cross the border into Nicaragua and you'll notice that suddenly people are speaking Spanish again. Weave...

So, You Want to Move to Costa Rica? Read This!

  Want to wake up and watch the sunrise over the ocean? To spend your days surfing, doing yoga, drinking out of coconuts, and taking long naps in a hammock? Want to have the jungle for your backyard?   Want to watch the sunset every night with live music? To have...

10 Tips to Guarantee a Magical Trip to Costa Rica

  No matter how many beaches I walk down, how many mountains I climb, how many oceans I bathe in, how many sunsets I watch, nowhere seems to stir my soul like Costa Rica.     Lush jungle spills onto golden sand beaches. Crashing waves kiss the shore. Divers plunge...

What Costa Rica Taught Me About Life

  The greatest gift I've ever received came from eleven trips to Costa Rica over the last three years. Costa Rica has shown me how I want to live.     As a society we seem to have an incredibly difficult time understanding how we’re "supposed" to live. We look to...

Time Lost in Tortuguero

  The wooden motorboat chugged along the muddy river through mangrove forest.     I listened to passengers speak in their island dialect     watched the crocodiles laze on the banks     and saw tropical birds fly by.     We were in the Caribbean but I felt deeper in...

A New Moon

  It swooped above me, frantically flying in circles with incredible velocity. I froze. Despite living in Costa Rica off and on for years, I had never dealt with bats and was unsure how to proceed.     “Grab a broom,” I thought. “No, definitely not, what if it bites...

Why Do We Pave Paradise?

  “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” ~ Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi     My mom has always been a huge Joni Mitchell fan. Maybe because they share the same name, because my Mom...

How Nature Heals Me

  Nature could care less what you do for a living.     It doesn’t mind how much money you make, how many awards you’ve received, or how many possessions you own.     A thorn will prick you just as sharply no matter how much you’ve invested in your 401K. A muddy trail...

Why I Practice Love

(Before reading this post, I recommend you read A Karmic Love Story and There are Many Shades of Black for context.)     The thing about any skill is that in order to maintain it, you need to do it consistently. You need to do it over and over and again. That’s why...

Is Puerto Viejo Safe?

  I remember having Chinese dumplings in an upscale shopping mall with my ex boyfriend and excitedly telling him about my plans to rip off my high heels and go live in the Caribbean jungle. Riding the wave of attachment and detachment from this man for the last three...

This is What Makes Me Whole

  Everything owns an opposite.     The more I travel the more I see this truth. Sailing across a blanket of turquoise that spans forever. Watching the sunrise over rolling desert hills of terracotta sand. Dancing blissfully in the breeze under the stars. Being burned...

Wanderlust in Uvita and Dominical

  Mist rises off the ocean blanketing the beach with a steamy haze.     I find myself wandering where the surfers hang.     They walk with purpose, they’ve got tunnel vision for the waves.     Some convince tourists to take a lesson and be brave.     I walk for miles...

There are Many Shades of Black

  Sometimes shifting your perspective shifts everything. That’s a lesson I learn again and again on the road.     After more than a year away, in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, the USA, and along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, I returned to Puerto...

This Jungle Knows Me

  Sometimes I wonder if memories leave residues. If we touch people and places and objects in the moment but we never fully release our grip. I feel this here in Puerto Viejo.     Like the trees all know me because of the layer of my memories they wear on their...

Pura Vida Again

  First it entered through my nose. The sweet perfume of hibiscus mingled with blades of grass and earthy clay.     Then it spread across my face as the wind kissed my skin, its scent seeping into my pores.     I heard it in the crashing waves of the ocean, in the...

Goodbye Puerto Viejo

  When you live like a nomad the world around you is continuously in flux.   It’s part of why I love to travel.     Stimulating unfamiliarity. Liberation in exploration.     But one of the hardships of travel is learning to let go.   Learning to say goodbye.     I...

Which Beach in Costa Rica is Best for You?

  I remember years ago, before I had ever gone to Costa Rica, looking through a Lonely Planet completely overwhelmed with options.     I knew that I needed to get away. To sink my feet into the sand and bathe myself in the warm saltwater. To be immersed in nature,...

When You’re Stuck in San Jose, Costa Rica

  San Jose does not have an overtly charming appeal.     It lacks the architecturally layered fascination of Panama City, the hopelessly picturesque appeal of Granada, and the perfectly restored colonial squares of Cartagena.     In fact it might be fair to say that...

The Ultimate Guide to Puerto Viejo

  People often ask why     I always return     to Puerto Viejo.     How despite the many beautiful beaches     the many fascinating places     I have seen these spectacular sixteen months     my wanderlust spirit takes a break     and gives me permission     to rest...

On Fear Conquering

  By now you probably know my thoughts on fear. How every day I try to challenge myself to do something that truly scares me. That boarding an airplane, which I do with regularity, is one of the most terrifying experiences I can imagine.     Yesterday I faced another...

Manuel Antonio is Paradise at a Price

  In Manuel Antonio     hotels perch on cliffs like palaces     disguising sweeping sea views     with their tall castle walls     Restaurants serve nachos and burgers     to American families     at American rates     The most beautiful beaches are protected     by...

To Fear or Not to Fear: Hiking the Wild Osa Peninsula

  Many of the adventures I have undertaken this year have positively terrified me.     I swore I would never sail again when I almost capsized in open Caribbean waters. Could hardly believe I survived my many bus rides in Morocco. Felt a strong desire to stay solidly...

Somehow I Made it to Pavones, Costa Rica

  If you were to tell the city dwelling, silk wearing, white couch owning perfectionist I was two years ago     that I would one day be sitting on a dusty tire in the back of a bus, covered in sweat, eating papaya with my bare hands     I doubt I would have believed...

I Returned to Montezuma and Saw it For the First Time

  One year ago I ran, and I mean ran, out of Puerto Viejo as fast as I could. I was so hurt, so wounded, by someone I had trusted so much that I couldn't bear to stay.     I headed to the sunny Pacific shore of Montezuma with a closed heart and mind. I grieved the...

How Santa Teresa Broke My Spirit

  To be fair Santa Teresa didn’t stand a chance.     Our perfect life in Nosara behind us, Marissa and I entered this dusty one road town with trepidation.     We began at a hostel recommended by lonely planet where showers lacked doors, beds smelled of mildew, and...

I Might Be in Love With Nosara, Costa Rica

  Dear Nosara     our affair may have been brief     but you left an impression.     You charmed me     with your endlessly     expansive shore.     You satisfied my every longing for home     with Vietnamese vermicelli bowls     bulk raw nuts     and organic healthy...

Playa Samara, Costa Rica

  Two days ago     in Playa Samara     on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica     I hopped on my bike, bikini clad, ready for adventure.     I rode down the beach, watching fishermen walk fearlessly into the frigid ocean     children protect the catch from hungry packs of...

Pura Vida

  Two words that mean so much.     Two words that tell me to slow down.     To take the time to be.     To live to love every moment.     To let life flow.     To trust that everything is perfect.     And know this too shall pass.     Pura vida is so much more than...

So Long But Not Goodbye

  Today I leave the magical town of Puerto Viejo Talamanca, Limon, Costa Rica.   Where I have been living for the past two and half months, for the third time this year. Where I met people more brilliant, loving, and inspiring than I could imagine. Where my body,...

A Perfect Saturday in Puerto Viejo

  In the beginning, talking about Puerto was easy.   Like tasting crème brulee for the first time and expressing the delicate flavor and burst of texture that met my tongue.     Some of you may have read about it here or here or even here     Now, my third time in...

Treasure Map to Paradise

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Costa Rica

What’s it Really Like to Live in the Costa Rican Jungle?

  When we see beautiful photos and dreamy stories on travel and lifestyle blogs, it’s easy to create fantasies about the life of the blogger. Perhaps seeing someone live in a way that we’ve always dreamed of gives us the confidence to pursue it ourselves. On the other...

Why Costa Rica is the Best Place on Earth

  I hear it all of the time.     Costa Rica is so expensive. Costa Rica is so Americanized. Costa Rica is so yesterday.     And to be fair, it's actually true.     Cross the border into Nicaragua and you'll notice that suddenly people are speaking Spanish again. Weave...

So, You Want to Move to Costa Rica? Read This!

  Want to wake up and watch the sunrise over the ocean? To spend your days surfing, doing yoga, drinking out of coconuts, and taking long naps in a hammock? Want to have the jungle for your backyard?   Want to watch the sunset every night with live music? To have...

10 Tips to Guarantee a Magical Trip to Costa Rica

  No matter how many beaches I walk down, how many mountains I climb, how many oceans I bathe in, how many sunsets I watch, nowhere seems to stir my soul like Costa Rica.     Lush jungle spills onto golden sand beaches. Crashing waves kiss the shore. Divers plunge...

What Costa Rica Taught Me About Life

  The greatest gift I've ever received came from eleven trips to Costa Rica over the last three years. Costa Rica has shown me how I want to live.     As a society we seem to have an incredibly difficult time understanding how we’re "supposed" to live. We look to...

Time Lost in Tortuguero

  The wooden motorboat chugged along the muddy river through mangrove forest.     I listened to passengers speak in their island dialect     watched the crocodiles laze on the banks     and saw tropical birds fly by.     We were in the Caribbean but I felt deeper in...

A New Moon

  It swooped above me, frantically flying in circles with incredible velocity. I froze. Despite living in Costa Rica off and on for years, I had never dealt with bats and was unsure how to proceed.     “Grab a broom,” I thought. “No, definitely not, what if it bites...

Why Do We Pave Paradise?

  “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” ~ Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi     My mom has always been a huge Joni Mitchell fan. Maybe because they share the same name, because my Mom...

How Nature Heals Me

  Nature could care less what you do for a living.     It doesn’t mind how much money you make, how many awards you’ve received, or how many possessions you own.     A thorn will prick you just as sharply no matter how much you’ve invested in your 401K. A muddy trail...

Why I Practice Love

(Before reading this post, I recommend you read A Karmic Love Story and There are Many Shades of Black for context.)     The thing about any skill is that in order to maintain it, you need to do it consistently. You need to do it over and over and again. That’s why...

Is Puerto Viejo Safe?

  I remember having Chinese dumplings in an upscale shopping mall with my ex boyfriend and excitedly telling him about my plans to rip off my high heels and go live in the Caribbean jungle. Riding the wave of attachment and detachment from this man for the last three...

This is What Makes Me Whole

  Everything owns an opposite.     The more I travel the more I see this truth. Sailing across a blanket of turquoise that spans forever. Watching the sunrise over rolling desert hills of terracotta sand. Dancing blissfully in the breeze under the stars. Being burned...

Wanderlust in Uvita and Dominical

  Mist rises off the ocean blanketing the beach with a steamy haze.     I find myself wandering where the surfers hang.     They walk with purpose, they’ve got tunnel vision for the waves.     Some convince tourists to take a lesson and be brave.     I walk for miles...

There are Many Shades of Black

  Sometimes shifting your perspective shifts everything. That’s a lesson I learn again and again on the road.     After more than a year away, in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, the USA, and along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, I returned to Puerto...

This Jungle Knows Me

  Sometimes I wonder if memories leave residues. If we touch people and places and objects in the moment but we never fully release our grip. I feel this here in Puerto Viejo.     Like the trees all know me because of the layer of my memories they wear on their...

Pura Vida Again

  First it entered through my nose. The sweet perfume of hibiscus mingled with blades of grass and earthy clay.     Then it spread across my face as the wind kissed my skin, its scent seeping into my pores.     I heard it in the crashing waves of the ocean, in the...

Goodbye Puerto Viejo

  When you live like a nomad the world around you is continuously in flux.   It’s part of why I love to travel.     Stimulating unfamiliarity. Liberation in exploration.     But one of the hardships of travel is learning to let go.   Learning to say goodbye.     I...

Which Beach in Costa Rica is Best for You?

  I remember years ago, before I had ever gone to Costa Rica, looking through a Lonely Planet completely overwhelmed with options.     I knew that I needed to get away. To sink my feet into the sand and bathe myself in the warm saltwater. To be immersed in nature,...

When You’re Stuck in San Jose, Costa Rica

  San Jose does not have an overtly charming appeal.     It lacks the architecturally layered fascination of Panama City, the hopelessly picturesque appeal of Granada, and the perfectly restored colonial squares of Cartagena.     In fact it might be fair to say that...

The Ultimate Guide to Puerto Viejo

  People often ask why     I always return     to Puerto Viejo.     How despite the many beautiful beaches     the many fascinating places     I have seen these spectacular sixteen months     my wanderlust spirit takes a break     and gives me permission     to rest...

On Fear Conquering

  By now you probably know my thoughts on fear. How every day I try to challenge myself to do something that truly scares me. That boarding an airplane, which I do with regularity, is one of the most terrifying experiences I can imagine.     Yesterday I faced another...

Manuel Antonio is Paradise at a Price

  In Manuel Antonio     hotels perch on cliffs like palaces     disguising sweeping sea views     with their tall castle walls     Restaurants serve nachos and burgers     to American families     at American rates     The most beautiful beaches are protected     by...

To Fear or Not to Fear: Hiking the Wild Osa Peninsula

  Many of the adventures I have undertaken this year have positively terrified me.     I swore I would never sail again when I almost capsized in open Caribbean waters. Could hardly believe I survived my many bus rides in Morocco. Felt a strong desire to stay solidly...

Somehow I Made it to Pavones, Costa Rica

  If you were to tell the city dwelling, silk wearing, white couch owning perfectionist I was two years ago     that I would one day be sitting on a dusty tire in the back of a bus, covered in sweat, eating papaya with my bare hands     I doubt I would have believed...

I Returned to Montezuma and Saw it For the First Time

  One year ago I ran, and I mean ran, out of Puerto Viejo as fast as I could. I was so hurt, so wounded, by someone I had trusted so much that I couldn't bear to stay.     I headed to the sunny Pacific shore of Montezuma with a closed heart and mind. I grieved the...

How Santa Teresa Broke My Spirit

  To be fair Santa Teresa didn’t stand a chance.     Our perfect life in Nosara behind us, Marissa and I entered this dusty one road town with trepidation.     We began at a hostel recommended by lonely planet where showers lacked doors, beds smelled of mildew, and...

I Might Be in Love With Nosara, Costa Rica

  Dear Nosara     our affair may have been brief     but you left an impression.     You charmed me     with your endlessly     expansive shore.     You satisfied my every longing for home     with Vietnamese vermicelli bowls     bulk raw nuts     and organic healthy...

Playa Samara, Costa Rica

  Two days ago     in Playa Samara     on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica     I hopped on my bike, bikini clad, ready for adventure.     I rode down the beach, watching fishermen walk fearlessly into the frigid ocean     children protect the catch from hungry packs of...

Pura Vida

  Two words that mean so much.     Two words that tell me to slow down.     To take the time to be.     To live to love every moment.     To let life flow.     To trust that everything is perfect.     And know this too shall pass.     Pura vida is so much more than...

So Long But Not Goodbye

  Today I leave the magical town of Puerto Viejo Talamanca, Limon, Costa Rica.   Where I have been living for the past two and half months, for the third time this year. Where I met people more brilliant, loving, and inspiring than I could imagine. Where my body,...

A Perfect Saturday in Puerto Viejo

  In the beginning, talking about Puerto was easy.   Like tasting crème brulee for the first time and expressing the delicate flavor and burst of texture that met my tongue.     Some of you may have read about it here or here or even here     Now, my third time in...

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