Saturday morning began with some clock radio music at 4:00 AM. My incredible neighbor picked me up at 5:10 and drove me to the airport for an all-day journey to Nosara Costa Rica. This is my third venture and I am smitten with this sleepy surfer town and the mystical yoga vibe that permeates the local scene. A few weeks before the trip, I reached out to many friends and offered to bring them goodies from the US. The popularity of my offer forced me to drop $6.00 on a spare suitcase at the local thrift shop.
The first flight was 100% sleep. The second was a three hour gig from Salt Lake to Atlanta. The man next to me was just returning from burying his mother in Oregon. It was nice to lend a shoulder to a stranger in need. My third flight was with a FBI agent taking her husband and nine year old daughter on their first trip to Costa Rica. It was so uplifting to share in her excitement for the family venture to the sand.
In customs, my super cheap suitcase was profiled for additional inspection. The main contents included Trader Joe’s salted caramels, organic almonds, and split mung beans. All in big quantities. OK, six pounds of mungs! I avoided prison and left the airport with the goods. I am lucky to have friends that place more value on organic food than blingy stuff.
I prepaid a shuttle for the last two-hour stretch to my bungalow rental. Antonio held the cardboard with my name almost spelled correctly and I hopped into the van for the last leg of the trip. He spoke zero English but was kind enough to help me with my novice Spanish. He was 57, married to his original wife of 37 years, and has five children. He used the word “tranquillo” over and over. India and Costa Rica both have cultures that place inner-peace high on the list. I smiled when we lost the pavement because the dirt road meant one more hour to paradise.
By 1:00 AM, I was unpacked and sleeping soundly in Casa Birdie. I woke up early on Sunday and walked down Calle Los Mangos to the jungle path that leads to The Harmony Hotel. The howler monkeys are relatively small, but their gorilla-like roar echoes throughout the jungle. Zac is one of my favorite teachers on the planet and he was leading the practice at 10:00. I recognized at least five people from my previous trips to this area. While waiting for class to begin, I always lay on my back and meditate with closed eyes. I was deep into a zen state when I felt a kiss on my cheek. Melissa, a friend from last year, was happy to see me.
Class ended and Zac made some time to dine with me. I followed his lead and had a bliss bean burger. He has some extra wheels, so he is renting his spare motorcycle to me for the month. Part of the payola was paid in mungs.
In my youth, travel was all about getting somewhere and then doing something. Today, it is all about enjoying the ride.