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Posts Tagged ‘Costa Rica’

Often I review some of my old photos and journals when reminded of an adventure. And this Thanksgiving weekend, thankful for all my travels, I decided to look back to the adventure that changed the course of my future. An adventure where I actually spent a Thanksgiving searching for a slice of Turkey to go with my beans and rice. This weekend I looked back to the first leg of my travel sabbatical – Costa Rica.

And now six years later, I am still so thankful for that trip. Perhaps even more thankful each day as those carefree steps taken on the soft sands of Costa Rica led me down a different path. I am thankful for becoming Pura Vida and thankful for the stepping stone that enabled Stay Adventurous.

I am also thankful for the many sunsets I watched in Costa Rica. It became part of my daily routine. I’ll never forget the majestic magenta and robust reds of the sunsets in Tamarindo from the beachfront bars. And I’ll always remember the evenings sitting on the sands of Santa Teresa with new-found friends taking in a few beers and discussing the day’s waves after a quality surf session. All so beautiful in so many ways.

And on one of those evenings when starting a fire on the beach in Santa Teresa, a few horses wandered down close to the ocean’s edge. As they passed,  I snapped this photo. Apparently, they too wanted to enjoy the Sunset. I don’t blame them. It is always a magical moment. Happy Sunset Sunday.

Horses come for a sunset stroll on the sands of Santa Teresa

Stay adventurous, Craig

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For me, I began my RTW (round the world) adventure in Central America. The trip truly transformed me as a person and also as a traveler. I discovered the ‘Pura Vida’ (pure life) during my days in Costa Rica and continue to hold that with me.

As much as my favorite pacific place on the journey was Santa Theresa – Mal Pais, no sunsets could hold a candle to those experienced at Tamarindo. After a day of surf, fighting (and losing to) the locals for the few quality waves in December, I usually retired to a beach front bar to witness the moment.

With my journal, my pen, and my Imperial cerveza with a glass of ice I eagerly awaited the sun’s descent as the sky illuminated with robust reds and magenta magic. One afternoon I took my camera (now ancient technology) and took this photo. Enjoy. Happy Sunset Sunday.

Costa Rica shows it colors...

stay adventurous, Craig

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Click. I hung up the phone with Delta. Thirty-five thousand sky miles all earned as a management consultant exchanged for a round trip ticket to San Jose, Costa Rica. This time – no assignment. My travel was personal and with purpose.

typical view of the coast...

Turning back no longer existed as an option. The travel sabbatical I talked about for years was set in motion. All I needed to do now – tell my boss, girl friend, friends, and family.  Easy. Yes, all simple after I told myself.

At the time, autumn 2004, the idea was not new. When people asked me what I wanted to do with my life? I told them, “Travel.” Even my laptop login password always referenced my next adventure.  And a full year off, well I dreamed of the trip for years.

I dreamed of touching the soil and sand of new countries and continents, dreamed of surfing distant oceans, and dreamed of all the new colorful cultures I was set to explore on the road.  I dreamed. But then just over five years ago, that dream became reality. A cool November morning with Bush celebrating a second term, I left the country.

For nearly seven weeks I traveled Costa Rica. I learned enough Spanish to secure a position in Mexico City years later; I surfed enough sessions to retire my long board and carve waves on a 6’8’’.  I witnessed lava flow down Mount Arenal, soaked in natural hot springs, zip-lined thru the jungle, understood (and enjoyed) eco-tourism, paddled a kayak to a remote waterfall, took on class 5 river rapids and toasted my Imperial (local beer) to amazing sunsets. I truly began to understand the ‘pura vida!’ mantra. Yes sir, I lived.

Costa Rica catapulted me into an extended sabbatical that covered three continents, fifteen countries and nearly a year of my life. Plus, I recently learned I am not alone with that origin. Nomadic Matt started his life changing journey with a trip to the same Central American country.  And when I read he started a contest to give away a trip to Costa Rica I thought; enter.

the sands of Manuel Antonio...

the sands of Manuel Antonio...

So why return to Costa Rica?

Did you just read how Costa Rica kicked off one of the best years of my life? Did you take note of the potential adventures that await a return visit? Don’t you think I’d want to return? Answer: Yes

Ok, why else?

I recently discovered Gap Adventures. Yes, we share ‘adventure’ in our brand, but as I learn more about the company’s mission, tours, and its employees (New York Office), I’d welcome the opportunity to travel with them.  And if you win, your tour is through Gap Adventures.

Any other reason?

Yes, many. But perhaps most importantly – I’d like to spread the word.  Many people, including many of my readers desire change in their life. And for those that seek adventure, this is a great contest to enter and a great country to visit. A trip such as this might just push you forward to making bigger changes in your life. It did for me and apparently it did for Matt too. Buen Suerte. (That’s good luck in Spanish – you’ll learn)

Stay Advenutrous,

Craig

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