We are back in Costa Rica, (back in Tamarindo for the time being) and it feels good. We have seen lots of familiar faces since being back, both locals and expats who remember us … okay they remember the twins but still it makes us feel like we’re home. There are expats from all over the world living here so it isn’t uncommon for people to leave for a few months at a time (our neighbour just left for 2 months to visit her family in Columbia) and so when people see that we are back I am thinking it’s a HUGE accomplishment and imagine the conversation to go like this:
Them: YOU’RE BACK!!!
Me: Yes, we did it!! We went back to Canada, regrouped, reset our goals and have returned to live the Pura Vida!”
Them: And with twins… you are amazing.
Me: (pause) Thank you.
In reality the conversation goes like this:
Them: Hola – you’re back!
Me: Yes, we did it!! We went back to Canada….
Them: …yeah we went home for a few weeks too – visited family, did some shopping, got a break from the rainy season, it’s the best time to go back isn’t it?
Me: Yeah but we actually LEFT… and then came BACK..
Them: Oh yeah, we left and came back too… most people do that this time of year… are the twins ever cute (que lindo) ..
Me: (pause) Gracias
Clearly we are not as special as I thought we were which, as it turns out, is one of the reasons why we came back. Being surrounded by people who GET what you are doing, WHY you are doing it and HOW you are doing it makes this all feel normal. They don’t think it’s special because they are doing it too. They came to Costa Rica at some point and fell it love with the people, the country and how these things made them feel so they made a life here. They have young kids who explore, learn and play with kids from around the world. They work in tourism, run small businesses or work remotely. They surf, run, practice yoga, hike, drink beer, eat locally and when the rainy season hits they go back to their home country to visit friends and family, regroup and then come back to do it all over again. So when I say “WE CAME BACK!!!” They say “OF COURSE YOU DID”.
I’ve come across this feeling many times before – it’s being understood and inspired by a group of people who share similar values. It happened with my creative friends who thought nothing of dressing up in elaborate costumes to celebrate the “Parade of Lost Souls”. It happened with my Olympic Ceremonies team who spent 12 hour days for months on end keeping every detail about our work a secret because we believed in the magic of the reveal. When you surround yourself with like minded people you see both the possibilities of the dream and the beauty of the reality. In the end I don’t really want to be special. I want to live passionately and be authentic and I want THAT to be my normal.
To kick off this next adventure I thought I’d share a few “then and now” shots where you can see how some things change, but some things remain the same.