What was I hunting for in Costa Rica? A new life! Many people don't know my story
but I was born in Alajuela
, Costa Rica to Cuban exiles fleeing the Castro regime. We came to america before I was 1 year old. Ever since my father, RIP, told me about the wonderful people of Costa Rica and the rich land topology. He strongly encouraged me to go back one day; 44 years later I did just that this last March. I learned a new phrase while there, PURA VIDA!
My better half, Michelle, and I headed to Costa Rica with a couple of missions in mind. One of them being looking for opportunity to live a richer life with less stress. The other to explore the landscapes for paintings. We started off in Ocotal
, Costa Rica after a 4+ hour drive from the capital, San Jose
. We stayed at an incredible Airbnb apartment by Kristie steps away from the beach and close to the town of Coco
First morning there I had to get out and paint, so I headed to the local beach at Coco and attempted to capture a twisting and turning tree in front of the paradise looking beach. I received a compliment for the painting from a local teenager so I took it off the easel and gave it to him.
That was until someone decided they wanted to park in my perfect view but hey, Pura Vida!
The next few days we drove around the northwest rim of Guanacaste from Tamarindo
to Playa Naranjo
exploring the sites, looking at properties for sale, interacting with the locals and getting a feel for the culture and not to mention a taste! Michelle fell in love with the Mangos there and I was really enjoying the friendliness of the locals. I got to paint another Plein Air piece and again, couldn't resist myself and gave it to a new friend, Mario.
Our time at Guanacaste ended after four days and we set out for the town of Quepos
and Manuel Antonio
Along the way I decided we weren't done exploring the Pacific side of Guanacaste
so I took a detour to visit some key cities along the cost from Playa Juanquillal
. Explore we did with adventure too, before we knew it, we were driving on a major state dirt road along weaving in and out of mountains and through rivers for about 50 miles.
Before we knew it, it was dark and we were tired so we decided to find a hotel for the night in the town of Jaco. Little did we know that could have turned out to be a major shocking adventure as we slowly realized the hotel we found vacancy at was a clothe optional resort known for swinger poolside parties. It was late at night and luckily didn't encounter any risque activities going on.
In the morning we headed out in a hurry for Quepos
and soon were checking in to a cute cabana in the mountain jungle where we had iggy welcoming us to the neighborhood. I had the opportunity to do another plein air painting at paradise looking national park beach, which I kept!
A friendly fellow came by on the way out to bid us farewell.
Last but not least I was able to take a selfie in front of the place where I came into this world.
I left Costa Rica knowing I will be back to a place that moves to the beat of it's own drum. It's a place where many possibilities lie for the future of my art career where I can be afforded the time to create unlike any other place. But more than anything, I came in feeling unsure of our safety and left feeling like we were leaving a second home after only a week. Now back to what PURA VIDA means, pure life, live it to the fullest!
I'd love to hear what place on earth gives you an ultra feeling of bliss and hope. Leave me a message below or on one of my social media channels.
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