I am packed and out of my little apartment in under an hour; I have so few items that it doesn’t take me long to gather them all up and stuff them in a couple of backpacks.  Thank goodness for the fact that furnished housing is fairly typical – I leave behind pots, pans and other utensils that I have borrowed during my time here, which would have only added weight and space if I had brought them in myself.

For the next couple of weeks I am living with grace in the huge, secluded house in the jungle, right across the street from the beach.  It reminds me a bit of the living situation in ‘Fight Club,’ though the house isn’t quite as grungy and Grace and I have not yet resorted to creating an underground boxing empire…oh, and she and I are actually two different people instead of a single psychopath.  However, we do most of our activities together and we are living fairly minimally in this tranquil abode.  I am Jack’s ‘pura vida’ lifestyle.

big house two     big house     kitchen

Though I was offered the travel consultant position, it wasn’t quite as easy as I had hoped it would be (though it never is, is it?).  If I accepted the position, I would have to skip two weddings of two very important people in my life.  After some serious contemplation and quite a bit of internal stress, I decided that this job was more important to me than attending these two events.   After allowing my emotions of guilt and sadness to clear, I am now able to fully appreciate the fact that I have an amazing opportunity in front of me.   Full force ahead!

After a wonderful evening, cooking dinner with grace (rice and beans with coconut milk) and enjoying a film while consuming our delicacy by candlelight, I wake up bright and early in the downstairs bedroom.  I quietly climb the creaky stairs and find Grace asleep next to her sewing machine.  Her dark skin blends beautifully with deep blue color of the curtains near her bed.

I step out of the house and ride my bicycle into town, stopping only to observe sloth, who is crawling on the soft dirt of the jungle floor.

Not long after, I arrive at ‘Bread and Chocolate’ and take a seat near the front of the place as I greet the wait staff.  I decide to go with oatmeal today, which seems perfect for the cooler temperature and grey skies that this day has brought.  I consume my warm oats along with a side of perfectly ripe banana slices.  The coffee’s rich and earthy flavor pairs perfectly with the nuttiness of the steel-cut cereal.

Oh the pleasures of small town living!  During my meal, I see Freddy, Emilie’s husband as he picks up a couple of biscuits to-go.  He sells incredibly creative and artistic T-Shirts at a stand right in town and I always wave at him as I ride by.   Carly, whom I met a ‘New moon’ ceremony a few days ago is sitting at a table with her boyfriend and we chat for a few minutes about my blog and her holistic living website (www.carlyshankman.com).  A few minutes later, Jaikel, my masseur, taps me on the shoulder – he noticed me as he was walking by the restaurant and decided to come over to say ‘Hello.’  I take the opportunity to schedule another massage with him.  Not long after that, a woman with beautiful white hair approaches me and introduces herself as Victoria.  I immediately recognize her from her facebook picture.  Victoria reads my blog and reached out to me awhile ago, when she noticed I was living in Puerto Viejo.  We knew that we would inevitably run into each other at some point…and today is the day!  We chat for a few minutes before she sits down for breakfast with her son.  I take a moment of appreciation for all of these interactions – Everywhere I go, I have family surrounding me.   It’s almost like Puerto is reminding me that, even though I am off to San Jose, I will always have a loving and supportive home here, in this magical beach town.

Though I am looking forward to the change of living in the big city and working in an office for the next few months, I suspect that it will be quite a culture shock, as it was when I left my last job and when I moved to Costa Rica.  Back to the grind.  This time, however, I am a very different person.  I am stronger, more self-assured, more present, more…me.   I have no idea what the next leg of my journey will bring, but I know that whatever happens will be yet another glorious step in the evolution of my very own life.  Again the Universe is picking me up and carrying me along for another ride.  Only this time, I am willingly facing the unknown with excitement and glee instead of kicking and screaming along the way.

grace and me