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Review & Renew - A Month in Costa Rica

 

I've been back for nine weeks, but it feels like forever ago that I spent the month of February in the tiny town of Puerto Viejo on the southern Caribbean side of Costa Rica.

 

Each time I return to Puerto Viejo (this was my sixth visit), it feels more and more like home.  In fact, that's what Nanci, my Costa Rica mamacita, says first thing: "Welcome home!" with a giant hug that makes your heart double in size and stay that way.  (I'm looking forward to sharing Nanci's voice and stories with you.  She's already on the Meet page, now joined by Ro.)

 

 

I admit, I think about it: moving to Costa Rica full-time?  But I know I couldn't do it.  Not because of the spiders (I'm actually quite fond of them), but because it's just one place, and the older I get, the more I feel like I belong to many places.  Plus, I'd probably miss my partner, home, and garden.  Probably.

 

 

If you ask Tup, the coolest shaman in PV and Ro's partner, what my wanderlust is about, he'd say it's because I've lived many lives on this planet and have energetic connections all over.  I like that idea a lot.  

 

I think it might be because I truly love being alone, silent with my own thoughts, responsible for nobody but me.  I can't help but meet and make friends wherever I go, which is super cool -- especially given this Crones adventure -- and then to be able to retreat to my tiny trailer to be alone and recharge my brain/body battery = bliss.


This love of solitude is just one thing I confirmed about myself this year in Central America, where I have "retreated" to review my journals from the previous year, assess my accomplishments and missteps, and set intentions for the coming year in a fresh, new journal, for the past nine years*.

 

I also do silly things like get buried in black volcanic sand.

 

 

 

The seed for The Crones Podcast was planted during my Costa Rican retreat of February 2018, and I've been working on it ever since.  By this February, I was ready to bring along my microphone and record the stories of two wonderful women who live there (Nanci and Ro), as well as some of my favorite ambient sounds of the southern Caribbean.  (I'm labeling those "The B-Side"... get it?)  

 

I loved capturing the magical sounds of jungle and ocean, including 20 minutes of the wind rattling this massive stand of bamboo; and wish there were some way to capture the way it smelled, too. 

 

{{Deep Breath In + + + Exhale Aaahhhh}}

 

 

I also recorded plenty of my own thoughts and ramblings, often with the musical sound of rain in the background, about where I've been, what I've learned so far, where I hope to go, and the mysteries I still struggle with.  

 

After four fabulous weeks of warmth and rest, reviewal and renewal, bicycles and beaches, and spiders and agoutis, it was time to head back to Oak Park.  I spent my last two days just outside the capital of San Jose at the gorgeous Hotel Bougainvillea, my "decompression stop" between the real jungle and the urban jungle, for the most delicious soup I've ever had, and clean, dry, smooth, white cotton sheets on fresh mattresses in quiet, critter-free rooms (pretty much the opposite of the average jungle casita).

 

 

 

I know.  I'm lucky.  SO lucky.  In fact, I'm so lucky that I'm going to do my darndest to share my good fortune with others.  Not only through tips and encouragement to take their own solo adventures, but to maybe even live vicariously through mine.

 

In fact, I'm lucky enough to have a sponsor that's already invested in my trailer (Hi, Generation Law!) and will be along for this wild & crazy ride.  It's a law firm whose typical client is women like me, in the sandwich generation... managing both parents and children, as well as a job and marriage, most of the time.  The talented and compassionate lawyers at GenLaw get it, and can help with your most complicated elder law and estate planning issues, because they know what you're going through.  That's why GenLaw is such a perfect match with The Crones... I really want to share the stories of these families -- because they are us (if not now, soon).  I want to know how these women persevered.  What they lost and how they dealt with it.  Where they wish they would have zigged instead of zagged.  Their favorite coping mechanisms and their best advice for the rest of us.  Let's learn from those who've gone before, letting the experienced lead the way.

 

I'm really looking forward to sharing my Costa Rican adventures through audio with you.  The stories of the people I met, the things I saw, and the realizations that hit me like a spider web in the face (yeah, that happened). 

 

Maybe even more than that, I'm looking forward to the next time I can pick a bowl full of giant, ripe star fruit to make the most delicious juice I've ever had (even if it's raining).  I'm talking epic taste bud explosions.  Want some??

 

 

+ + +

 

*It wasn't always a month... I started with a long weekend nine years ago and have built up to it from there.  Listen to one of my upcoming talking-to-myself episodes to hear more about it.

 

 

 

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