Guest Post; Finding Peace in the Chaos While in Costa Rica

May 14, 2015

This post is such a good reminder for everyone. When Taylor told me this is what she wanted to share, I was more than thrilled. I love her whole take and it was great for me to remember that not everything goes as planned and thats okay. Taylor is a blogger, writer, proud Millennial, and English major.  Also, a lover of travel, music, books, yoga, fitness, and Gluten Free food. She believes in being a gatherer of experiences and friendships and not a gatherer of things.  If you want to find out more about her (which you should), go visit her on Instagram and Twitter

Sometimes everything falls apart.  That’s life.  But I didn’t want crumbling pieces at my feet during a long-awaited trip to beautiful Costa Rica.  I tend to want everything to go perfectly as planned on a vacation.  But when you spend your first flight puking in an airplane bathroom for six long (very, very long) hours, you begin to realize even exotic travel isn’t an escape from reality. 

That was only the beginning. 

Once my stomach calmed, my boyfriend and I spent hours in the blazing heat wandering through the streets of San Jose, Costa Rica, trying to figure out how to get to Tamarindo, Costa Rica.  A beach city we thought was 2 hours away.   It was 6 hours away. We had no access to wi-fi, and nobody was speaking any English.  My two semesters of college Spanish might as well have been French.  My boyfriend and I realized a little extra research might have been helpful at this point.  But in the age of the iPhone answering every question from “Where can I get a mojito right now?” to “How do you say ‘I need a mojito’ in Spanish?” one does not remember to think for herself. 

We finally got to our lovely hotel in Tamarindo after quite the confusing adventure and thought “All the bad stuff has already happened.  We are home free!”  Then we ended up in the hospital a few days later… each of us… for two entirely different reasons.  We exchanged our wild plans for nursing illnesses.  This was the theme of our trip: unexpected chaos.  One thing after the other.  I wanted to throw a pity party.

Costa Rica is an interesting place to experience stress.  The locals have a common phrase, “Pura Vida.”  It means pure life.  It reflects this idea that life is good and should be enjoyed, even when things go wrong.  People help each other out in Costa Rica.  Why?  Pura Vida! 

People stop working at sunset.  Why?  Pura Vida!  Life is lived to the fullest in this small Central American country.   Pura Vida!

So you know what my boyfriend and I did? We joined in and said, “Pura Vida.”  (We also ordered another round of mojitos!)

The afternoon after our introduction to the Costa Rican medical system, we relaxed on lounge chairs at a beachside lounge.  We watched the sunset.  And the sunsets in Costa Rica are the most beautiful sunsets in the sky.  Neither of us felt great, but there we were.  Living.  Soaking up the final rays of sunshine on that day.  It was bad and good.  It was chaotic and peaceful.   At the same time.

We can make a choice to live a life of chaos or a life with chaos.  Chaos will happen either way, but our perspective can change.   When we life a life of chaos, stress and hardship are all we see.  Then we will feel disappointed and disillusioned about life.  When we life a life with chaos, we know that chaos is only a part of the story.  It’s not about pretending that it’s all good.  It’s about knowing and embracing that there is so much good in the mix too.  Even something as simple as a gorgeous sunset.  And it happens simultaneously – the chaos and the peace.

So they next time you find yourself in a “when it rains it pours” day or month or year. Remember that peace can be found in the chaos.  Remember: “Pura Vida!” 

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I love hearing from all of you and greatly appreciate all your feedback and comments! xx Kristen