We spent a week in Montezuma, a beach town in the Nicoya Peninsula.
In a time where it seems as though every inch of the forest has been lost to development, Montezuma glistens with its ruggedness and natural beauty.
We stayed at a jungle lodge atop the mountain, waking up to capuchin monkeys sitting in our patio in the breathtaking sunrise. It was truly the most magical week of my life. I had already been enjoying Costa Rica for five weeks, but here I started to see my raw self. And I noticed that everyone I met could also see my raw self. As if we had known each other for a long time. I felt connected to the energy of creation. There was no destruction, only life.
In order to get to town, the first step was to walk across the hanging bridge, followed by a steep hike down. The bridge sits atop the trees, I could see the branches and leaves squished under it as I was walking. In the afternoons the monkeys would play on it, and at dusk the bats would fly over it.
My tendency is to feel anxious when that far away from the ground. The first couple times I crossed it, I just looked at the opposite end and walked as fast as possible while not shaking it too much. But gradually, I started to stop in different spots, breathe, and soak in the views. By crossing the bridge I was facing one of my fears. As Don Miguel Ruiz explains in "The Four Agreements", every time we face one of our fears, we become a little more free.
All I remember from leaving my grandparents 16 years ago is a blur of tears and kisses. My brain has been effective at removing the painful memories. I wish I could remember what my grandpa smelled like, or what my grandma wore. The clearest images I remember are of coffee shops in the Miami airport, after I arrived. I saved the napkins and the cup holders and mailed them to my grandma. I would have never bought a coffee "to go" back home, so this was all new to me.
At first I wrote my grandma letters and called her through paid phone cards, when I had the money. Then we switched to Skype and WhatsApp. My grandpa has been amazing at keeping up with technology. My grandma always sits next to him and tells me how great it is to be able to see each other while being in different hemispheres. She asked me to write her letters telling her about my adventures. I wrote a couple. Life was not always easy as a young immigrant. Sometimes I went months without talking to them.
My traveling spirit grew despite temporary circumstances. I realized that I was drawn to exuberant nature and slow living paces. As I started reporting that I was "on a trip" with increased frequency, my grandma started asking me to keep a journal with details. Well, I have many forms of journaling. My watercolor pad, my photographs, reflections on social media, notes on my devices, an actual journal!
This blog is an attempt at compiling the best of it. And who knows, maybe my grandpa will find it and read it to my grandma.