"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."
- Sir Edmund Hillary
I've always been intrigued by nature, epic mountains and those who climb them. Have hiked only a handful of times in the past. But nothing has compared to this experience. I will forever be grateful for Mt. Jefferson being the first mountain I got semi-roped into climbing.
Caps Ridge Trail was equally terrifying as it was exhilarating. Starting on a moderate uphill incline canopied beneath the trees, as the moisture in the air hugged my lungs and my blood started pumping, I began to wonder how hard 5.3 miles could really be. My biggest obstacle was catching my breath, and it was by far the most difficult thing that I had to be mindful of and delicate with. So, unlimited breaks were taken and needed. God knows how much I hated this part of the hike, but seeing everyone pass us on their way down made me push through.
In case you guys were wondering.. Yes, my legs were jello.
Yes, the bourbon sure did help on the way down!..
.. and so did the butt-slides.
There's something nostalgically mesmerizing about a city that contains so much history and timeless beauty. Without doing much research on the city or country itself, a "let's see how much we can explore and eat on a budget" unfolded two weeks before departure. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with our findings. With our 3.5 days we decided to roam by foot and keep it simple.
Our days consisted of lots of coffee, lots of comfort food, lots and lots of walking, and some lounging in one of the most badass "hotels" I've had the pleasure of renting.
Welcome to Budapest
Just how old is the foundation and history that lies beneath the layers of architecture? Interestingly enough, traces of the first communities date back to the Stone Age. I believe this is why I felt the opposing sentiments and conflicting ancestral energies so heavily below my feet while roaming the streets.
I have never been someone who was very into history or even one who can remember many historical events, but for some reason I was enthralled by all that Budapest had to offer. Seeing as this city is quite the tourist spot, free history tour guides are easy to join and are 100% worth the time.
The Living Quarters
If you know anything about Budapest you know that paprika is in everything they cook or at least served on the side like salt, Goulash is their known specialty, and white wine and beer from the country are a must. We tried a different goulash everyday and our favorites were from Pécsi Sör Beer & Traditional Food and Kazimir Bisztró. The Chicken Paprikash, another well known Hungarian dish, from Frici Papa was also a favorite, but whatever you do, do not get the plate of noodles with sour cream and cottage cheese. Rookie mistake (based off a recommendation). I don't even like cottage cheese or sour cream. But hey, the generous pour of white wine made up for it!
St. Stephen's Basilica
The largest church in Hungary dedicated to Hungary's first king, St. Stephen
Controversial Memorial in Szabadság Square
Why so controversial? This "memorial" is to the German occupation of Hungary in 1944. Many say this contradicting monument tries to rewrite Hungary's involvement with the Holocaust in WWII by paying tribute to all the Jewish lives that were taken by the Nazi's, whom the Hungarian's allied with prior to Hitler's invasion. But the Hungarian's contributed to the violence and murders as well (read the museums section below to find out more) - To many, it is an insensible, false depiction, that whitewashes their involvement in the murders of the innocent Jewish lives that were brutally taken. The local's protests along the monument tell the truths on barbed wire.
Hungarian Parliament Building
This is easily the most break taking building in Budapest. It took 17 years to complete and sadly the Hungarian architect, Imre Steindl, who designed the Parliament died right before it's full opening in 1902.
Monuments Surrounding The Parliament
Lots of men on horses... I know.
Haunted Shoes Along The Danube River
Upon careful consideration, we decided to visit these two:
- House of Terror -
Magyar Nemzeti Galéria
- Hungarian National Gallery -
House of Terror
I didn't take a lot of pictures of what we discovered inside of this museum. We were strictly asked not to. Usually, I do whatever I want but in this case I chose to be respectful and take it all in without any camera.
This museum is all about the German Nazi's,
the Hungarian (Nazi) Arrow Cross Party,
and the Russian Soviet Union.
The House of Terror was once home to the Arrow Cross Party and used to be called The House of Justice. Trust me, there was nothing just about what the Hungarian government was doing to these innocent Jewish people. The house was only occupied for a month and would later be taken over by the Soviet Army.
We were advised to start from the 2nd floor and make our way down. When entering each room you were offered a full sheet worth of textbook history; Extremely informative, little exhausting, but definitely intriguing and worth each read, but what made the museum worth it was the final floor of the exhibit: the cellar.
The cellar was used as a prison torture chamber. Hundreds of innocent lives were murdered between these cold, concert, walls. The silent cries float along the dense air as you make your way through each prison cell.
If the memorabilia held on each floor wasn't disturbing enough
the cellar would be.
Hungarian National Gallery
On a lighter note! I introduce to you, art.
A whole bunch of it. Ranging from the 15th century to modern day.
We didn't get to thoroughly enjoy every exhibit but I think we did a good job..
Invisible Sleeping Woman, Horse, Lion
The Rotting Donkey
Summer of St. Michael
The Double Secret
Buzogánytorony - Mace Tower
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge
Mátyás Church & Fisherman's Bastion
Food Truck Takeover
On our last day we happily stumbled across this food truck takeover in the streets. I love food and I love food trucks and this was a perfect way for us to end our visit. It's clear there is always something to do in this busy city!
We love you, Budapest..
Along the coast of Spain you can find lovely places to dip your feet in the Mediterranean Sea while taking in some of the most beautiful views. For my birthday I was looking for a quick weekend getaway and my heart settled on Blanes.
Blanes is a quaint town located in the Province of Girona. It is a little less than 2 hours away from the border of France by car.
From my brief experience, it seems to be more of a European / Spanish vacation spot. At this time of the year (May) tourists were not flooding the beaches or nearby restaurants, which was exactly the break I needed from the constant energy that is forever flowing in Barcelona (current residence).
For those of you who don't know, I am originally from the United States of America and decided to move to Europe in October 2018. My boyfriend and I have been living in Barcelona since December!
To get to Blanes we took an hour and a half train ride from Barcelona to Blanes and a less than 10 minute bus ride to the coast. For this trip, I wanted to get away from the hectic city life in Barcelona and sleep as close to the water as possible. So, of course, we booked a hotel right on the beach! Without getting into details of our stay, I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures of our short but sweet visit, all raw & unedited. Enjoy..
If you would like to know more about why I am living in Europe, please check out my post about my move here.
View from our balcony @ Hostal Sa Malica
Portal De La Costa Brava
Spain has so much beauty to offer and Blanes did not disappoint. If you have any questions regarding Blanes and our stay, feel free to ask me in the comment section below or email me if you'd prefer to keep it private!
So, I finally did it.
Again. But this time, to Europe!
Where in Europe, you might be wondering. Considering Europe does consist of 50 countries, I guess that's a fair question to ask. However, I haven't quite decided where to plant my feet just yet. So, for now that is an unanswerable question. The real question you should be asking is,
"Where are you exploring?"
photo cred: Michael Tompsett
David Rumsey Map Collection
Now, for those of you who don't know me and to those of you who think you already do, let me clear a few things up before we get into "why Italy". I am originally from the East Coast of Massachusetts. No, not Boston, but close. It's safe to say I have moved around quite a bit - Close to 20 times, believe it or not, which is more than half my lifetime thus far. So, I guess you can say, whether by choice or not, I haven't really been able to "keep still". At a very young age, I was introduced to the world of travel. At just 4 years old, I went on my very first vacation with my mom to the Azores.
(The Azores are the islands off of Portugal)
Without getting too into it, ever since then, I have traveled quite often. Almost every year and sometimes more than once a year. I guess I immediately fell in love with exploring different areas, people, food, etc. etc.
As I got older I started to realize the East Coast just wasn't for me.
Mostly, because of the obnoxiously long winters and crazy bipolar weather.
This is something that might not bother most, but for me, it's torture.
Personally, I'd much rather be sweating my ass off versus freezing it off.
Outside of the weather, I've just found at this time in my life the quality of life and high demand to make more-more-more is just not for me.
I found myself consistently feeling stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, angry, and just unhappy with almost everything, including myself.
I decided after temporarily moving to Florida for a couple years and then returning back home, that I would make the move back home temporary too. I wasn't going to make myself suffer anymore. I had to create a plan to get out. And so, via a great friend, I learned about the power of dual citizenship.
aka, "dual nationality"
a person is a citizen/national
of two countries at the same time
Once I found out that I could apply for dual citizenship I knew I had to do it. Applying for dual citizenship would allow me to become a European citizen. Which means, I could live anywhere in Europe and work with minimal questions asked, while receiving whatever benefits, privileges, and social services needed. You might be wondering how was this possible for me. Well, I lucked out. Both of parents were born in the Azores. Remember? The islands I visited when I was just 4 years old. And because of this, I was able to apply for dual citizenship. And you best believe, I took advantage.
Knowledge is power, people.
Research, Research, Research.
As time moved on and influences were being made, a special seed was planted in my head: I was going to try to move to Spain.
You see, that same friend who told me about becoming a Portuguese Citizen, was the same friend who has had a huge influence on a couple of my travel moves in the past few years (One of them being my trip to Costa Rica, which you can read about here). She herself has her Portuguese Citizenship and lives in Barcelona. And even though we are both Portuguese, through time Spanish had become our third language. And for me, for whatever reason, Spanish was much easier to understand and speak. I loved the language and was fascinated by the idea of living in a Spanish speaking country.
See how everything is coming full circle here?
So, now, why am I in Italy?
HA! Bare with me here..
Let's just say, I met a special someone in the midst of me trying to create this master plan. You know, the one which included me getting the f*ck out of the U.S.A. All while learning to love myself. Learning to put myself first and not let anyone get in my way or stop me from completing the jump.
Yes. I truly believed that moving away alone was necessary and my only option at the time. I didn't see it possible to leave with anyone else because this was something I was doing for me. But as we know, things don't always go as planned and more often than not, life has a funny way of interrupting.
What were the chances I'd meet someone from Italy, who was living in Rhode Island, who was suddenly so inspired by my charm and desires that he too would want to join? Very slim. BUT... the universe has its ways!..
My special Italian someone hadn't visited home in many years. So, once confirmed he would join me on my journey, we decided we'd make a stop in Italy, of course. Which brings me here, in Italy, right now.
Very much not alone. With open arms, unsure if Spain will be the "final destination", because I know plans don't always go as expected. And with all things considered, I want to be able to roam around Europe! And explore as much as possible and create homes along the way. Pretty much what I have been doing my whole life, but now just on a more adult level, until we find that special somewhere that can be called our own. As for now, whether we choose to settle in Spain after Italy before further exploring is unknown, but time will tell.. That is the only thing in life that is certain.
Let it be known, I made this promise to myself that I'd do my best to use my intuition and ultimately do what was best for me in this journey. Over time in the past several months, I had allowed myself to fall off. Watching myself fall back into habitual damaging patterns wasn't ideal right before a big move, nor as a yoga instructor. I had to separate myself from teaching and carefully dissect my emotions and the world around me, all while making the biggest decision of my life so far. After over-analyzing my options, I knew I had to free myself from the toxicity. And leaving home, my family, friends, and all the familiarity, however hard, was necessary. In order for me to grow, I have to re-plant. This might sound like an oxymoron seeing as I decided on bouncing around instead of jumping right into Spain, but I trust this process. I trust I'll find that place to re-plant in due time. But first, I am enjoying the moments that are given in Italy - all the joys and its wonders.
All while getting back into yoga and exploring each love of my life.
Because life is short. And everyone loves pasta.
Have you ever considered traveling across the country? Just dropping your weekly routines and responsibilities -- your job, your home, EVERYTHING -- packing your bags, saying your "goodbyes" and hitting the road? Well, trust me, you're not alone. So, what's stopping you? Money? Risk? Fear? If there's one thing I know for certain, if there's a will, there's a way. But how! Everything's easier said then done, we know. But I have a couple friends who are successfully completing their movement right now who decided to document their journey online along their way.
Kaylee & Jordan of The Nomadic Movement have been on the road since this past summer. They decided to buy a YMCA van, gut it out, refinish it, pack their things, and travel west from Massachusetts. Along the way, they've adopted the cutest puppy, fed the homeless in multiple cities, and just recently began their own business creating candles from recyclable trash they've picked up at campgrounds!
If you're looking for real, raw, creatively entertaining, and informative footage on how you too can make something like this your reality, I highly recommend you head over to Kaylee & Jordan's Youtube page. These two brave, talented, and truly inspiring individuals are a badass mix, that will have you watching their channel religiously. Their infectious personalities and warm souls will leave you happy that you did! You can find more on The Nomadic Movement via their social media outlets which I've included below!
Safest of travels, my friends!
Interested in purchasing a handmade candle?
Visit Kaylee & Jordan's etsy shop here!
"Look up, and baby you'll see the light"
As we exited the train onto Grand and made our way out into the streets, I was warmly welcomed by the sun and quickly shuffled into the crowd. I actively watched people sweep through their own lanes with their headphones on and the rest of the world off. Me, on the other hand, I was too busy looking up. The architecture in Chicago is too beautiful not to pay attention to.
Ok.. onto the goods. Art is first, food follows..
Beauty In All Shapes & Sizes
Museum of Contemporary Art
Green Mill Jazz Club
Girl & The Goat
This is one of the top restaurants in Chicago right now. We had a reservation made months in advance (10:15pm on a Monday was the only spot open) and I unfortunately barely remember visiting.. why? Well, this was my first night in town and we started drinking pretty early..... Needless to say, I was drunk for this experience.
SO, even though I know the food was amazing from the little I remember, my photos of the experience, not so much! Woops!
The daily happy hour spot. Who doesn't like a $2 taco and cheap Mexican beer? Had some great mezcal here. If only I can remember the names of the brands...
Delicious Asian food and craft cocktails? Yes please.
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
A family-owned local chain pizzeria that I just had to visit for some famous deep dish pizza.
"What's the greatest lesson a woman should learn?
That since day one, she's already had everything she needs within herself. It's the world that convinced her she did not."
- Rupi Kaur
A movement about unity
but more simply,
l o v e
"I want this project to be about unity. And not the bullshit women are better than men type of unity. I do not wish to be seen as an army because, in my opinion, that gives some false assumption that we need to dominate. We don't. If I can do something as small as getting a bunch of inspiring, resilient, dope women together the love will organically spread. And this is how you create immortality" -Korie
This was my missing piece. And I knew that. I knew how much I needed this. This month long getaway and learning experience, alone, to a different country that I had never even been to before had been screaming my name for two years now. How’s my Spanish? you might be wondering. Mucho bueno! Well, good enough.
My trip was sectioned off into three parts:
Part One: Tamarindo
Part Two: Cabuya
Part Three: Santa Teresa
I would be in Costa Rica for a full 29 days. My longest trip yet. For the first four days I would be completely on my own. Based on my research, I chose to fly into Liberia. I arrived late and stayed at Las Espuelas Hotel. Actually, pretty decent spot with free breakfast! The next day, the real fun began. And so we dive into Tamarindo..
Side note; If you're reading this now and you're thinking about checking out Costa Rica, keep the following in mind.. 1) Don’t trust any cab that isn’t red with a yellow triangle on it, this goes for anywhere in Costa Rica 2) Buy a freshly machete trimmed coconut as often as possible 3) Do not flash things you don’t want to get stolen 4) Do not leave your belongings on the beach unattended EVER unless you want them to get stolen. Trust me on this one. I got my Havanas stolen while surfing, Costa Ricans love them things 5) Colones > US dollars/credit 6) Drink bottled. Local markets will always be cheapest 7) Chill out on a hammock at least once, it is necessary 8) While walking around, I almost always kept a pocketknife on me. If you are going to be traveling alone, it is absolutely necessary. Not to freak any of you out but it is better to be safe than sorry. Dress lax, it helps. Be mindful and just enjoy! 9) You don’t need to know Spanish, but you most likely will be taken advantage of if you don’t. It helps to practice at least the basics. I have a few apps that are super helpful. Ask me for more details! Moving on now..
The beach is amazing here. Great for surf. Great for sunsets.. Actually, some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life, so far. My first time hanging out at the beach in Tamarindo, my ass hadn't felt the sand or hot sun in several months so I was on cloud 9. I laid my yoga towel down on the wet sand close to shore, laid back, and soaked in ever ray the sun was offering me. I vividly remember lying there, with my head on the ground, eyes closed, mind drifting. I wanted to take in every moment and every beautiful sound. I listened as the waves crashed inches away from my feet. And I swear, I could hear the jungle. I could hear the trees. The animals. As if they were right behind me. It was the strangest thing. Considering I was not in the jungle (yet). That'd be in Cabuya. But before we get to the jungle, let me do some well deserved shout outs..
2) Dragonfly Bar & Grill: This spot was right behind my hotel. They have live music every Saturday night by two of the most amazing talented musicians I had the pleasure of meeting. If you get the chance to see Tony and Johan play live, do not miss out on this opportunity. Their story is inspirational and their passion shines from their heart through their fingertips. Mesmerizing, I tell ya. Almost as magical as Harry Potter.
This was it! My jungle fever was real; my curiosity was boiling. I had been waiting for this moment for what felt like all of my life. From Tamarindo, I took a shuttle to the point of no turning back. Off the beaten path and about a 20-minute hike into the jungle and past the two rivers, was my new home for the next 21 days: The Sanctuary At Two Rivers. For 21 days I would be sharing space with a bunch of people I had never met before and rooming with a complete stranger. I would be eating an all vegan/vegetarian diet, which is the complete opposite of my, at the time, meat loving one. Waking up every morning, no later than 530, and starting my day with 2 hours of yoga.. every-single-day. And shortly after, 7 hours of class time. Yes, 9 hours of practice every day, excluding our 2 Saturdays off and our ritual sessions, which included things like intense moonlight guided mediation dances and waterfall rituals. Yes, the most hippy shit I personally had ever participated in. And I loved every second of it. I could write a whole book on these 3 weeks alone but the point of this was not to share all . So, we’ll save the pages, cut this short, and skip to a few specific things I’d like to share with you right……. Now, I want to fill you in on why I needed this experience more than ever.
Get comfy, shit is about to get real.
I wasn’t in the best place in my life.. My heart was still healing, body was out of shape, and my mind was all over the damn place. I was on edge almost always. Miserable at work. Miserable with my life choices and recycled bad habits. I just couldn’t continue living life this way. I needed more of a reason to want to live, to want to feel, to want to change. I was in the slumps, itching to escape from reality, not fully realizing how powerful this jungle oasis was about to be. Layers of emotions would be oozing out from every inch of me. Little did I know, I wasn’t going to be completely alone with my feelings. 15 beautiful women, including me, all set out to the middle of nowhere to push our selves against our limits in this intensive 200-hour course. I 100% believe we were all meant to be there together at that moment.
We needed each other. We needed this.
It was time to break myself out of my comfort zone and explore my thoughts and emotions and desires and everything in between. So stuck in the middle and I was tired of it. I knew how beneficial yoga was based on my on and off practice with it over the past several years. I knew yoga was something I wanted to better understand. I wanted to incorporate more of it into my life, not necessarily on a teaching aspect, but the certification certainly was a plus.
I remember upon my arrival to The Sanctuary being welcomed by all of the different forms of life: birds flew over head while they sang their different songs, monkeys howled from tree to tree and watched in curiosity, reptiles inched through the lush gardens.. All of this natural wild life and us; It was the most beautiful earthly experience. Feeling and being so close to nature on such a personal level was so fresh and inviting.
Honestly, despite the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not that monkey walking through the trees at 10 o' clock at night was going to try to throw bows, or if you were going to step on a boa constrictor accidently, or be eaten alive by ants in the middle of the night… I had never felt safer in my life. After awhile you get used to the thousands of sounds and creatures. With a mutual exchange of space and respect you just.. live. They become your sanity. Well, at least they became mine.
I connected with Mother Nature on the most personal level. With so much beauty to admire it was hard not to get lost whilst gazing into this luscious life. There is nothing like being surrounded by a family of monkeys while drifting between yoga poses. Watching the sun rise, feeling its rays kiss your skin gently at first and then in all its raging glory as it peeks through the trees. Appreciating each hummingbird’s dance from flower to flower. Feeling the vibration from the bats diving in and out of the pagoda so fast and precisely, it was hard not to admire their agility.
I was in love.
We were blessed with some of the best food I’ve personally ever eaten in my life. All cooked with love, sweat, and tears by our kitchen angels, aka “residents”: some were natives to Costa Rica and living on or around the territory, others whom had just completed their YTT journey or were about to. Breakfast, lunch (plus dessert), and dinner. A different meal every-freaking-day. All Vegan or Vegetarian. All local. Organic ingredients were a plus. Lots of lemon water, tea and of course that addicting Costa Rican coffee. Let me tell you, I don’t even drink coffee. Tea > Coffee. BUT, I had to give this shit a try because everyone was talking so highly about it. Welp, I started drinking it everyday after the first try. It was a drug, I tell ya. If I didn’t have coffee after breakfast, I was nodding off in class shortly after.
The first week was the most challenging. I got comfortable real quick. However, I had energy boiling inside of me that was dying to be released. I remember being an hour into our morning practice a few days into the first week. Liz, our yoga teacher, was, to put it nicely, kicking our asses. Inca Yuyo blasted through the speakers as we continuously jumped in and out of a squatting position, aka “chair pose”. This is one pose I personally do not particularly enjoy. “Notice your patterns!” Liz’s voice battled over the music; my heart felt every vibration. “What do you do when it gets hard, when you get tired..” I panted in long pauses as sweat dripped from my forehead while my thighs began to tremble and burn, “Do you give up? Do you keep pushing?” I felt the energy rushing through me. My breath was uneven and heavy. “Fuck this.. No I can do this.. Ugh.. Maybe I cant” She had planted a seed.. “Most likely, how you react and what you decide to do in this moment relates to the decisions you make with other things in your life when things get hard”. Four minutes in and I wanted to burst into tears. But I didn’t. I held back. Because I knew in that moment if I let it all go I was going to have a mental breakdown. I choked back the tears but it only became more difficult once the tempo changed and we found ourselves standing in exhaustion swinging our arms around like empty coat sleeves. The music spoke to me as if I was sitting on a psychologists’ couch in the midst of a really deep personal session, “ We can live in fear / Extend our selves to love / We can fall below / Or lift our selves above / Fear can stop you loving / Love can stop your fear / But it’s not always that clear “ The lump in my chest was being rung out with each twist of my torso. I wasn’t ready to fully release, but I knew I was going to have a break through soon.
“Just let it all go. Don’t hold back. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream.” Liz said after I brought to her and everyone’s attention during our class later that evening that I was so very close to falling to my knees in tears during our practice. I made it a point, after that moment, I would let whatever feelings I felt go. I would not hold back. This would be the theme to my journey. I already knew how to feel. Now was the time to learn how to let go.
Six days in, I found my first moment of release during our first jungle dance. What a freaking psychedelic trip. Talk about a natural high. Through guided mediation I found my first tears while Liz helped paint these vivid personal images of our family and the waves of pain, negativity and bad karma that we’ve obtained over the past seven generations without even knowing. As the theory goes, we harbor as much as seven generations of baggage from our family’s pasts. This jungle dance was dedicated to finding our release. Release of any pain we might be avoiding, to free our families, our future children and our selves of any negative karma. I could feel the weight being lifted off my body through my different motions, as my spine and steps became liquid, as I drifted in a subtle dance in and out of each song. I felt each energy float through the thick hot air. We effortlessly glided our way around the pagoda in the darkness. That night I had a life changing experience, a moment of pure and utter bliss: The ultimate high. Weightless. Free. Exposed. Raw. Real. It was as if I was flying. It was as if butterflies were fluttering against every inch of my skin. I grinned from ear to ear. I had never felt this way sober. It was incredible. And I knew I wanted to better understand this feeling. I knew I had to feel it again. I cried several times that night. I remember at the end of our jungle dance, leaning over the railing, breathing deeply, and just crying. I didn’t know what I was feeling exactly I just knew it felt so good to let it go. My body vibrated with energy. Between my energy and the energy I was receiving from these women I just shared this extremely personal moment with, it was overwhelming, but incredibly beautiful.
Over the next two weeks, we’d become even more vulnerable and exposed to our selves and each other. We were no longer strangers, no. We were sisters. Jungle sisters. After our first week, any and all judgment quickly dissipated. Unbiased and free, I could be 100% myself. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with yoga and The Sanctuary. There were many times of uncertainty, confusion, frustration, and exhaustion. We never had a day to ourselves to process everything. It was the most extreme but also the most eye opening 3 weeks of my life.
Freedom Outside of Cabuya
Our days off were extremely necessary and a bit odd. After spending every day rotating around the same routine around the same people in the middle of nowhere, you get a little stir crazy and forget what reality is like. First day out of the jungle was to Santa Teresa. Our second, Montezuma. We were free to explore, drink, lounge on the beach all day and eat whatever the hell we wanted.
In Santa Teresa, 5 of us took a surfing lesson. Best decision I could have made. With some of the best surf in the country, we were blessed with having a couple awesome and yes, sexy, instructors from Nala. I know what you’re thinking, did I get up on the board….. YUP. But not the first time. The first time I ate complete shit. Thankfully I listened when we were told to cover our heads at all times when crashing.
I didn’t anticipate the power of the wave, “Pop up! Pop up!” God, I can be slow.. My late reaction resulted in me tumbling face first and getting smacked and dragged by my board and the waves instantaneously, like I was in the washing machine during a “heavy” load. The moment I caught my footing, I gasped for air, coughing out the sand as I quickly came back to life. “Alright then” I said out loud, “Lets try this again” I remember thinking later that day how I probably would have gave up if that happened to me in the past. Something inside me was changing. I was battling my fears, and I was winning.
Montezuma was nice; quaint and a little less touristy. My body had been aching since before I arrived in Costa Rica so a massage was at the top of my list when visiting. We were told of this little, kinda sketchy, hotel along the beach that offered full body one hour massages for $35. This lady’s hands were worth at least $100. Perfect massage, cheap booze, beautiful beaches, breathtaking views and good company.
When it came to our final days, I felt conflicted. I didn’t want to leave. I was aware of how hard it was going to be for me going back to reality now knowing everything I knew. But I had three more days in Costa Rica. Three more days to explore, unwind, and just think alone for once. Since I hadn’t had a day to myself for 3 weeks.
I wanted so much from this and I got so much more than I could have ever imagined and I will forever be eternally grateful for everyone who had contributed to my YTT experience. If you were one of those beautiful souls who joined me on this journey, I personally thank you right now. Each one of you left an individual mark on my heart. And that, I could never forget.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And a very special thank you to our yoga teacher, Liz. And our assistant yoga teacher, Lena. These women are incredible beings. I couldn’t have asked for a better duo.
"The world really doesn't need a bunch of new yoga teachers. What the world needs are strong, fearless, healthy, whole women who support each other and who can stand tall in their own power. That's what makes you a teacher, and thats what makes you a healer."
I was diving out of the outskirts and into the final part of my trip. After careful research and meditation on where I wanted to end this journey, I decided on Santa Teresa.
Costa Rica was truly an Incredible, unforgettable experience. One that I would relive and do over in a heartbeat.
Costa Rica, you will always have a piece of my heart. Thank you.
Until we see each other again, adiós!