Friday February 19, 2010 was definitely one of the greatest days of my life. For the first time I opened a door that will never be closed, instead it will be a life-long journey & mission. As we drove to the wellness center I had the opportunity to see Costa Rica (another country) for the first time. All the ideas I had in my mind about what life is “supposed to be” diminished within a two hour drive. It was beautiful, simple, & free living at its best! When we arrived to the wellness center my eyes were captured by the flourishing vitality in all shapes and forms that surrounded me. We walked along a wire bridge that hung above a river & as soon as we reached the entrance we were greeted by smiling white teeth and brown faces saying: “PURA VIDA & MUCHO GUSTO” Except I could see in their eyes there were not repeating some line, they truly meant it. I haven’t been surrounded by such genuine people in a very, very long time. We traveled through the forest where we found a herd of horses, so clam & content- I could tell they were trained by Earthy people. I was scared at first, my only experience with horses in my past have been frightening… But this ride was calm, and even meditative. We rode horses to the top of the zip-lines in the rainforest. As I rode the zip-lines (12 of them) I was amazed by the “buena vista” & I felt a freedom in my heart that opened a whole new form of mentality. I have to say, it was a BLAST!
We arrived back at the wellness center where we were served an amazing Costa Rican cuisine & I decided to get a massage. But first I basked in the river to regulate my body temperature (my blood is so think from the cold mountains). The massage I received was the best I ever had! She even caressed certain areas which I was not used to being caressed by a stranger, but I embraced the experience. I didn’t know if I was supposed to but, I tipped her at the end and felt very confident about giving money to her family. After the massage we headed back to the resort & Amy (an amazing girl I met on the trip) & I decided we had to see the Costa Rican night life… So we went out dancing at a bar full of natives (and Americans). There was a Mariachi band playing so instantly I went to that portion of the bar. The Costa Rican guys and girls were so amazing at salsa dancing I was nervous to get on the dance floor, but within good time I was shakin it! A very tall native gestured for me to dance with him & of course I jumped at the opportunity (free salsa lessons-OK!). Even though he made me look horrible I had a blast.. God, they’re good at dancing! We ended up taking the 1985 ripped apart taxi back to the hotel & had the clever idea to go play in the ocean. As we tried to find the water we were sinking up to our knees in sand (the tide was very low), all the sudden we were being chased by security guards with flashlights.. We ran back to our beds, and fell asleep with total contentment. The whole day was spectacular.
“A Proud People”
The blood that flows in the veins of the people of this Republic is too generous. The Costa Ricans are a people of such excellent mettle; ardently patriotic, they are very proud of their independence, their autonomy, & of a prosperity due almost wholly to industry. The country is one of flourishing villages. There is that the population of Costa Rica dwells, since it is there that are found the hardy toilers who rest from the Earth the products which form the wealth of the land. An air of ease combined with antique simplicity characterizes these villages.
Already, I cannot stop comparing the U.S. to Costa Rica. Instantly, as I walked in the American doors I was drilled, rushed, and pushed through lines like a stampeed. Typically this would have seemed normal and an ordinary rat race that I participated in willingly because I didn’t know of much else. But after spending only 5 days with simple people who live uncomplicated lives- living on “Costa Rica” time, has truly changed my perspective on America “The Land of Freedom”.
My life is changed.
The door has been opened.