They both start with C, but couldn’t be more different. After spending some time in the Southern Part on Costa Rica in the remote jungle and deserted beaches of Blue Osa I am now back in my home, Marin County, CA. Here are my current reflections on the transition.
I was not prepared for the cold: I should have known to expect it, but nevertheless it has been brutal! I have a relly hard time with cold weather. To be clear, cold in my book is under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people love Bay Area weather because it’s never too hot. For me, it throws me off. The Bay Area welcomes you almost daily with cloudy, overcast, foggy and cold weather. So naturally you set up on the couch, on your computer, in cozy mode, with your robe on, sipping tea and gorging muffins in total lazy winter mode. Then all of sudden, around 12pm, the sun appears, it becomes hot and shiny, you feel the urge to get in your bathing suit, go outside, run through the sprinklers, climb a mountain or even get crazy and go to the beach and brave the cold Pacific ocean waters. But don’t be fooled, come 5pm you will need that sweater, and then real quick resort to your Uggs, a hoodie, a scarf and leggings for sure. So whether you are on the Golden Gate bridge on a tourists dodging game or hiking in the redwood trees you will be carrying a total head to toe winter outfit at all times.
Me, on the other hand, I love the tropics, I love himidity, that curly morning hair, the sleeping close to naked. I just love it. love it, love it. I love waking up to heat, having it last through the day, and going to sleep still feeling hot. Like I-can’t-breathe-kind-of-hot. Yes, that sounds amazing to me. Warm water in the ocean, warm water in the pool. Warm summer nights all year round alternated with some refreshing rain storm during which I wore my usual flannel just for the sake of being cozy. That’s Costa Rica. So although I enjoy my occasional cozy mode, I am very much a like a solar powered lizard when it comes to temperature.
Even though Northern California is still one of the chillest places I’ve experienced, it can still be a platform for a stressful lifestyle. Unless you are someone who knows how to carve out time from your day to just be, read a book, relax or meditate, It can still be stressful. I will find myself driving around all day back and forth between places, sitting in traffic, stressing about being late, finding the occasional driver who pisses me off, multi-tasking to the limit, and dealing with modern day problems like neededing to reacharge my phone constantly during the day to withstand the constant use and losing my BKR waterbottle every place I go to do errands and then having to call every place, wait on hold and talk to 5 people before I can trace it back.
Life at Blue Osa was so simple. We woke up, had a set eating routine, and we all knew our day was going to include beach, work, yoga in no particular order. When you find yourself living that lifestyle and you are stripped of all these “modern day problems” you really get a chance to be much more present and intimate with your own thoughts. Being the good Libra I am, I have it in my goal list to find balance between those two lifestyle modes.
Possibilities in the Bay Area seem endless: jobs, housesitting, yoga teaching connections, events, cute cafes, more job connections, museums, music festivals, Burning Man. Food here is amazing and so varied: Ethipian? Indian? Japanese? German? Be my guest! The abundance and selection of farmer’s markets and health food stores is refreshing and exciting. Life here is obviously different than what I was living at Blue Osa: here I am the maker of my own destiny, I choose where to live, which car to buy, where to work, what to eat and when, who I hang out with.
At Blue Osa many more things were already pre-set for me. I had food prepared for me, I had a room, there was no real choice of who to hang out with since I was staying at the resort, no transportation, and my life just took place between the beach, the office, the pool, and Matapalo, the local surf spot. Friday night was the big night at the local jungle bar, Martina’s, where everyone from the small community gathered, and that was about it. Life was simple and oh so beautiful. Let go. Enjoy the small things. I didn’t have to worry about making so many choices because I could just be.Of course there are benefits to both lifestyles, the freedom of choices of the first, and the more surrendered one of Blue Osa.
The thing I learned over the years is that every single place you’ll go has its good sides and the bad sides. Theres’ always another side of the coin and you just can’t have it all. You could be on the most picture perfect tropical island that makes your Instagram feed totally stand out, and yet getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. You could live in the most incredibly modern and stylish apartment in Miami, yet feel completely lonely and alienated from the rest of the people living in your building. Or you could be on the most scenic Santa Cruz beach, but be freezing to death and trying to smile in between goosebump constractions.
Here’s to finding that silver lining in every place we go!