Road Lessons

Three planes and twelve hours took me from Boise, Idaho to San Jose Costa Rica on April 20.  While wandering towards my room for some well needed rest, I bumped into Ted from South Dakota. He kindly inquired if I had mastered the seemingly endless maze of hallways.  With his help, I found room number 420.  The next morning, I ran into Ted and he invited me to join his small entourage for breakfast.  They are worldly travelers and we shared stories.  I mentioned my walk on the Camino and his eyes lit up when I told him about the strong Christian history associated with the ancient pilgrimage.  It turns out that Ted and  his wife are recent and enthusiastic converts to born-again Christianity.

He asked what I was planning for my month in Montezuma and I explained it was a journey to an unknown tiny town and my plans were to let each day unfold as intended to be.  I did share my desire to enhance my Spanish, learn to surf, and indulge in daily yoga classes.  With grave concern and a true intent to help me, he said, “Be careful when you open your mind to things like yoga. That is where the demons sneak in.”  This was a great lesson in tolerance.

I had some high hopes for my landlord and owner of the yoga studio.  We had lots of communication prior to the trip and I was pretty confident that she had the vibe of my traveling tribe.  After a few days, the expectation burst and there was a bit of unhealthy tension.  I am confident that she did not wake up and conspire to irritate me, but our interactions began to produce less than positive moments.  I believe in the laws of attraction and was wondering why the universe decided I needed to meet this person.  I am still scratching my head for an answer, but realize that one should never take anything personal.  It was also a good reminder to leave expectations behind and to accept the reality of people.

In my early days, I hooked up with a rambunctious group of fellow wanderers.  I was the eldest in the group of nine and the youngest seemed to be in her earliest twenties.  We took a long road trip to a beach party.  Half of the clan was nursing hangovers and the other half was enjoying the creation of new ones.  About twenty minutes into our hour long drive, one of the hungover girls asked to pull over so she could puke.  I had the unfortunate birds-eye view of the event and this girl put Rachael from the Exorcist to shame.  It filled me with gratitude to be lucky to find clarity in sobriety fifteen years ago. What a gift!

Krishna became a friend from yoga.  He was struggling with some stress and his doctor literally ordered him to leave the family behind and lay in a hammock for a few weeks.  I said goodbye to him on his last day in Montezuma and was surprised to see him the next day at San Jose International Airport.  He was very discouraged about a cancelled flight that would delay his return  by a whopping 24 hours.  I reminded him that there is no way to change the situation and that the natural resistance would aggravate the situation.  It turns out that he is an aspiring author and has recently launched a series of podcasts.  He is in need of some marketing advice and I shared my experience with promoting my book.  He looked and me and said, “Maybe this reunion is the reason my flight was cancelled.”

Always be open to all opinions and never take anything personally.  Let people into your lives and realize that each one has a lesson to teach.  If you build walls and fortify with judgement, you will always be trapped in a tiny, dark, and windowless classroom.  An impossible place to learn……….