Going to Costa Rica forced me to face many of my fears back in 2013. 2016 proved no different. The trip this year helped me to let go of some ghosts, build new relationships with new people as well as myself, and of course it brought me back to my happy place. Surfing, saltwater, sand, and sun. Not much else can help cure my soul quite like those four things.
Stepping off the plane in Liberia, Costa Rica I felt an immediate relief and a surge of excitement. This was where I needed to be. This was the place that was going to help me refocus, recenter, and find myself again.
Pulling into Tamarindo, I got a text message from my mom to leave my ghost behind and figure out what I needed. I knew in that moment, that I had found it. Peace, solitude, and a new beginning.
I won't go super in depth to this trip because it means a lot to me and I want to keep a little bit of that soul searching happiness to myself and close to my heart, but I will give you the highlights.
First night sunsets. I could look at that everyday and never get sick of it.
Witch's Rock has iguanas all over the place. You won't see one and then all of a sudden a monster one will be walking right next to you. Breakfast with a side of wildlife. Always exciting. Birds, iguanas, squirrels, baby skunks, crocodiles, horses, and dogs. You just never know who will be hanging out with you while watching for surf and grabbing some food.
Watching the surf roll in. There is always the decision of after surfing in the morning if you want to take an afternoon session and risk being tired for the morning session. I generally lean toward eating, grabbing a beer, and then watching the surf.
My favorite tree at Witch's Rock. There is always a spectacular sunset that can be seen through that tree. I have so many pictures of that tree.
Seashell hunting. Always seashell hunting. And avidly watching for those crocodiles. Tamarindo sits right in a delta. The river mouth is high this time of year and you have to watch out for crocodiles with the tide goes out.
Playa Grande. The first day we surfed there we went by boat and we got left...We were a serious Gilligan's Island situation. We joked about how we were going to make a movie about how 5 surfers drowned because they were too stubborn to paddle to shore. To be fair, in our defense trying to paddle back out would have been a nightmare. You would be in the correct position for one set and then the next would come and you couldn't paddle out fast enough and you would get slammed by a set of waves.
Post surf selfies. Naturally. That's what I looked like for the majority of the week. And to be honest that is still what I look like. I haven't brushed my hair since before I left and I don't particularly care too any time soon.
When you go to Playa Avellana you go to Lola's and you see Lola herself. This may be Lola number 5 or so, but she is a giant pig, who if you are lucky enough to be surfing at the right time you will see her out on the beach and swimming in the water. If she isn't out, just head into Lola's, order an Imperial, a pizza, and go say hi to her.
The best option is to take car down to Avellana and stay for the day. Lola's closes at 5 but you can catch come killer sunsets.
My group of surfers. Such a fun group of people from all different walks of life. You learn so much from meeting people who have one common interest. Surfing. Alright two interest. Surfing and drinking. Probably three common interests. Surfing, drinking, and talking about your dreams.
Watching the surf. And my new friends. I may have sliced open my finger and was on injury reserve. That was fine because I had surfed some really fun waves that morning and my arms were pretty spent.
Always the hardest goodbye. Time to start planning the next one. The friends I made this trip mean the world to me and pushed me to see the person I want to be. I am eternally grateful to all of them. But really. Mucho gusto. Arriba. Hasta luego.