Life’s a wave, catch it…
After realizing I had cooked breakfast for almost 90 days straight, we’ve gone out to breakfast at The Outback a couple of times recently. They are known for affordable, delicious food, usually about $5 per meal (they are also known for very large $2 glasses of hangover-inducing wine)
We’ve tried a few items now and enjoy their fresh fruit platter, delicious coffee, pancakes, platanos (plantains), bacon, gallo pinto (rice & beans) and scrambled eggs. We love sitting upstairs, where no one notices us as they walk by on the street below, which makes for perfect people-watching. From the upstairs loft we have a view of the jungle and the soccer field next door, while still being able to hear the waves crashing against the sand.
One of my favorite things about Costa Rica is sitting in a restaurant, but still being able to enjoy the wildlife around us. From our seats we watch as a squirrel builds himself a bed of fig leaves in a coconut tree. He scurries back and forth, hopping from branch to branch, on a squirrel mission to build his squirrel home so he can take a mid-morning squirrel nap.
From the next tree over he is spied on by a large grey bird, trying but failing to camouflage himself in a small tree amongst bright pink flowers. An iguana rustles by us in the leaves outside, pausing to look up as a red dragonfly flutters above him, followed by two yellow butterflies twirling in circles, playing tag in the sun.
We have eaten our fill and notice the squirrel has disappeared, presumably to begin his siesta. The grey bird flies off, in search of another squirrel to spy on. The dragonflies are nowhere to be seen. We decide to follow their lead and move on with our day. In Costa Rica there is no time. We live by the sun and the moon, plan our days around the tide and the wildlife. Driven by nature, giving up control, seeing where life takes you.
Each day is new, and we are free to follow the path life lays in front of us every morning. No plans, no appointments, no dates. No clocks, no meetings, no running late. Just going with the flow of the day, learning to surf the waves of life…
America needs more hammocks…
In Costa Rica hammocks are everywhere. In every house, apartment, on every porch. They are at every beach bar. In every hotel, bed & breakfast, and hostel. At some hostels you can rent just a hammock for the night. Costa Ricans spend much of their free time swinging away life’s worries in a hammock. No wonder they are known to be some of the happiest people on the planet.
"If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live." -Lin Yutang
There is nothing we love more than throwing our two hammocks into our car and heading to the beach for the day. Swinging between two palm trees, listening to the ocean breeze, the waves crashing on the sand, watching the clouds drift by…is heaven. Anyone who suffers from depression should purchase a hammock, take it to the beach and spend a week there. That is the best medicine.
While sleeping in a hammock, with a touch of warm wind, we remember why we are in love with life…
If I was headed to a deserted island and could only take a few things with me, at the top of my list would be a hammock. More people in North America need hammocks. We have plenty of trees, porches, decks, yards...why don’t we have more hammocks? After a long day at work, everyone deserves some “hammock time”. More summer days should be wasted swinging in hammocks, getting lost in books.
“I would start a revolution, but I just bought a hammock.” – Zach Galifianakis
If more people around the world owned hammocks, there would be less war. Being lazy and killing time feels justified while lying in a hammock. It feels right. It feels good, it feels necessary.
Go buy yourself a hammock. You deserve one.
LIFE: the most spectacular show on Earth…
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
If you’re feeling disconnected from life, take a trip to the happiest place on Earth. Not Disneyland, Costa Rica. Costa Rica, or “The Rich Coast”, has a way of awakening the simple sense of wonder and curiosity that lives inside us all. It brings out your inner child, forcing appreciation for life’s most simple moments and pleasures. This special country will make a nature-lover out of everyone.
Costa Rica. A place where the only alarm clock is the cry of a howler monkey. A country where you can find a fresh coconut easier than a fast food joint. A world where wild horses roam the beaches, bird species outnumber people, and fresh mangoes make the best meals.
Spending a special moment amongst the wildlife of Costa Rica is life-changing in such a pure, genuine way. Feeling a deep connection to, and appreciation for nature’s beauty is the secret to happiness. But even if you can’t take a vacation, go outside right now. Stand on the Earth, look up at the sun and count every beautiful thing you see.
Is it possible to stand on a beach, or in the grass, or in a jungle, forest, or on a mountain peak, in the sun, and feel anything but gratitude and appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us? There may not be wi-fi in these special places but you will find a better connection.
“Just feel the magic in the air and the power in the breeze, feel the energy of the plants, the bushes and the trees, let yourself be surrounded by nature at its best, calm yourself, focus and let magic do the rest.” – Sally Walker
We spent our last couple of days in Samara enjoying our two favorite beaches: Playa Carrillo and Playa Barrigona. We head to Barrigona on a Wednesday morning, with our hammocks and a pineapple for lunch. The beach is completely deserted. Hermit crabs are the only souls fighting for space on this stretch of sand.
We arrive at low-tide and spend the morning walking amongst the tidal pools, as the waves crash on the rocks around us. The day starts out sunny and pristine, a blank canvas for Mother Nature to paint to her choosing. We swing in our hammocks and feed the hermit crabs pineapple, watching as they swarm like an army around the pieces we drop in the sand.
The storm rolls in with the tide. The skies turn dark as thunder begins to warm up its voice. The layers of waves close the gap between us and the ocean. Walls of water envelop the tidal pools we stood in moments before. Swinging in a hammock, being sprinkled with drops of renewal, is refreshing. It may be raining on my journal, but not on my parade.
Andy breaks the comforting lull of the storm and asks “what time is it?” The dark sky suddenly looks like night. We are in an ocean storm vortex, a time-warp, and time has ceased to exist. I answer “I don’t know…I don’t have anything with a clock. It could be 11am...or 5pm.”
We so rarely have a way to tell the time these days, other than the position of the sun and the sounds of nature. We only have one working cell phone and sometimes we go days without looking at it. Back home if we left the house without our cell phones, even just for 5 minutes, we would panic. It made us feel naked to be without our phones.
I have to admit, I love not caring about a phone. It’s so nice to be completely unplugged. To be reached, only when you want to be. We do not miss spending days being hunched over cell phones. Sometimes to connect with the nature that surrounds us we must detach from the things that distract us.
Spend more quiet time meditating. Turn off your cell phone and tune out the noisy world around you. Your soul knows what to do, the challenge is to quiet your mind.
You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.
Meditating is being in tune with your inner energy source. I may not meditate in the typical way: on a yoga mat, in a yoga studio, with legs crossed and my cell phone silenced. When I meditate it is usually on a beach, in a hammock, listening to the waves, watching the clouds, while eating a pineapple.
Do what works for you. You can meditate anytime, anywhere, in any way.
Happiness is an inside job…
If I asked you to name all the things that you love in the world, how long would it take before you named yourself?
The hardest thing for people to see is themselves. Stop searching for someone who can change your life and look in the mirror. Don’t look to others to meet your every need. Only you can do that for yourself. Wherever you go, there you are. Stop running from yourself and spend some quiet, alone time with the only person who can actually make a difference in your life.
Take quiet moments, as God whispers and the world is loud…
Learn to enjoy your own company. If you can’t, how do you expect others to? Don’t feel lonely. The entire universe is inside you. Learn to be happy for no reason. If you’re happy for a reason, that reason can be taken away. Just keep smiling and one day life will get tired of upsetting you.
Don't just be good to others. Be good to yourself too.
The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others…
Happiness is homemade. You are only as happy as you think you are. Inhale confidence, exhale doubt. Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s ‘highlight reel’. Everybody has problems. Everybody has bad times. But do we have to sacrifice all the good times because of them? Difficult roads lead to beautiful places (especially in Costa Rica).
Life is ebb and flow, ups and downs. Without the bad, how would we recognize and appreciate the good? Hard times are character-building. They are a blessing for the person they force us to become. Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you choose to deal with it. Attitude is the difference between and adventure and an ordeal.
“When you think everything is someone else’s fault you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” – Buddha
Until we meet again Samara…
Seeing how hard it is to leave Samara for only a month, I’m already dreading the day we leave forever. At least for now it’s just hasta luego, and not adios.
The first day we rolled into town our first stop was The Flying Taco for lunch. They had ice-cold Blue Moon beer, served with an orange slice of course. Looking back, that was the moment I knew I wanted to live here: eating fish tacos, drinking familiar beer in an unfamiliar town, absorbing the pura vida beach vibe that flowed through the muggy air like static electricity. You feel the special quality of this place the second you stroll into town.
Samara: the only place in the world you can see a grandpa surfer named Bambi doing a handstand on his surfboard, while riding a wave, at sunset. The only place where Ticos and Gringos are one, living together in rebellion on the same side of the line drawn in the sand by society. A place you have to stop your car to let wild horses cross the road. A place where you find heart-shaped mangoes that weigh five pounds. A place that has a habit of making residents out of visitors. Somewhere people show up, but never leave. A place where everybody knows your name.
Even when we do leave Samara for good, it will never be far. A part of this town, and the people who live here, will always live inside us. We will always be able to travel back in time, in our minds, and relive our time here. Our feet may leave someday, but never our hearts.
We will always have Samara…
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.