I am here and have been living & loving the Costa Rica life for almost a week now. We flew into northern Costa Rica because we were originally planning on going to a conscious living community in Tamarindo.
However, after discovering the website workaway.info through a chance meeting in Montana, we were led to a horse farm here in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast. Think laid-back, Caribbean-style with a sense of natural, organic living, and a great devotion to surfing, meditation, and truly living the Pura Vida.
In exchange for a free house to live in, we are volunteering on the horse farm 15 hours a week, caring for the horses and leading tours for tourists passing through on a trip through the jungle and down the beach on horse back.
We have been referring to our house as Real World Costa Rica because there is myself and Ross in the master bedroom upstairs, Gilda from Italy, Lara from Germany, and Sebastian from Belgium in the other rooms.
Lara is 19 and exploring Mexico and Central/South America on her gap year before University. Gilda is from northern Italy, 23 years old, and was a server/bartender/model before deciding she wanted to go explore the world. And then there is April, April is no longer in the house but we had communicated via email before our arrival and hit it off with our love for spirituality, health food, Paleo living, adventure, movement, and personal growth.
After a few days of living in the house, she decided it wasn’t for her and moved into an apartment in town. I feel grateful to be sharing my space and Costa Rican experience with so many other like-minded women (and my love, Ross). I guess that’s what happens when you decide to pick up and immerse yourself into an unknown world – you meet others on a similar path.
Now for Puerto Viejo, so far my favorite thing about this town is how simple life is. There are about 2,000 people here and it’s as simple as organic outdoor cafes, beach days, roadside mango, pineapple, and coconut stands, beach cruisers, Saturday farmer’s markets & community meditation, and Sunday night salsa dancing.
Everyone here is happy, they are living the life they want. It’s not always easy to live a life so against the grain, but it’s so very worth it. Outside of the confines of home life, there is only space to create, express, and experience. That was what I was looking for. That is why I chose Puerto Viejo.
I would describe the house we are living in as a 2-story beach/ranch cabin – it’s very open with screens on all the walls to keep the bugs out. Downstairs there are 2 bedrooms, an outdoor tiled bathroom, and open kitchen.
Upstairs there is a big balcony with 3 hammocks that look out into the jungle and out towards the beach, and 2 additional bedrooms. We will be here for at least 3-months so we are making it feel like home. We went through and cleaned everything, folded, hung, and put away our clothes, set up our computers on a table looking out into the jungle, and made our bed with fresh, new sheets.
The sounds at night are insane – birds, dogs, roosters, bugs, howler monkeys, crashing waves, and far off in the distance, Spanish music, all mixed together.
The food situation was a little iffy when we first got here and our first trip to the grocery store left us with rice pasta, quinoa, almond milk, honey-nut Cheerios, plantains, 2 tomatoes, and 2 red onions; not such a success. However, this weekend we received an organic food delivery (which will come each Saturday) and visited the local farmer’s market – this girl is back in the game.
Our kitchen now has romaine lettuce, chia seeds, raw honey, spinach, mango, bananas, pineapple, raw cashews, broccoli, local, organic eggs, chorizo sausage, olive oil, sea salt, kombucha, strawberries, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and coconut oil.
With my kitchen stocked, riding boots ready, bikinis hung, and bikes perched outside the home, I’m ready to rock Puerto Viejo.