February 2018 is when my little family will be adventuring through Costa Rica. This will be the next big adventure we will prepare for. My mind needs to be organized as I plan, my body needs to be in good athletic shape, and my soul needs determination to find the magic in a rainforest in Costa Rica. Thinking like this is a great way for me to set mini goals up to the departure date. This is how I’ll be sure I’m 100% mind-body-soul balanced as I take on preparing for this international trip.
Jason and I adventured through Costa Rica in Feb 2016. We traveled with only our backpacks with essentials like bikinis and a tent. We helped volunteer for RGX medical in the forest for Envision Festival. Let me tell you my fellow hippies, gypsies, festies or adventurers, Envision is sooooo magical. It takes place on a property of land along the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. There are bananas, avocados, mangos, and many other fruits grown from the festival grounds. The structures are made of bamboo and sustainable jungle material. Everything is sustainable, earth friendly and mostly vegetarian. The sunsets are incredible while wading in the 80 degree ocean. Its an amazing party, with live visionary paintings, huge sound stages and circus-like and acrobatic acts everywhere. There is yoga, massage and workshops to satisfy your thirst for knowledge about healthy living. Every morning you hear the cicadas loud, tropical birds hawking. It was a very fun destination festival if you like to immerse yourself in the environment and appreciate art in all forms.
After our time at Envision we continued our time in Costa Rica away from the beach and into the mountains. We joined up with another couple of festies and traveled to La Fortuna. La Fortuna is a hostel filled small town which was perfect distance from the volcano Arenal. We hiked down to a waterfall where people zipped on ziplines 100’s of feet overhead. We found a flowing river Hot Spring unlike any I have ever been before. As the sun was setting you could see tails of monkeys overhead jumping from branch to branch. When it was dark I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me as fireflies lit up and then faded away. Pure plumeria smells were release form a blooming plant somewhere nearby that just invigorated my senses and enhanced the magic of the moment.
One of the most amazing things we accomplished was a hike up the volcano and into the caldera (laken) at the top. It was just Jason and I as we used the roots to climb up and down steep portions of the hike. There were red palm trees called flamethrower palms, and tropical flowers I’ve never seen before. The weather turned quick as the fog began to cover the lake and mist the forest. This was one of the most memorable hikes ever. We had a cozy little hostel in La Fortuna with a family. The host family made us so comfortable with breakfast in the mornings. We caught a public bus back to San Jose where we arrived late and slept a few hours in the airport.
After we got back to the US we immediately wanted to escape the sprawl of concrete and mass consumerism back to the lush lands of Costa Rica. We got pregnant shortly after we got back from our adventure and had only 8 short months to prepare for a lifetime of change. Our adventures from then on would adapt but not stop. The joke was that we always want someone to come along on our adventures, so I guess we made one! As new parents and a full year of adventuring outdoors and backpacking with an infant, I feel we are ready as parents to take the babe into another country. We want to raise her as a child of the world and expose her to culture and nature not found here in California. We felt comfortable in Costa Rica so this would feel the most do-able.
Andi has been on a plane before and I feel that I can pull it together at the airport with her in tow. We have backpacked days with her on my back, so that would be not much different if we were in Costa Rica. We only packed what we needed in 2 backpacks. Backpacking with an infant it will be no different, besides a mosquito net covering her backpack cockpit. I learned over the year that unexpected events can be much more detrimental as a parent. There is no compromise when it comes to safety on all levels. Bad habits or lack of attention to detail can risk my physical body, money, or shelter. When I was free and single with no kid I would risk much more. This trip will be challenging in new ways, but I am confident in what I learned over the year. This will be just the beginning of the lifelong exposure to the world for Andi. As her mom I am more cautious and open to learning as we grow.
Our plan for 2018 includes a family farm along a national forest where we can hike and enjoy yoga over the forest canopy. We will be staying for a week in a bungalow as we learn how a farm community functions. We will then bus down to the coast for early arrival into the festival. The medical team has a great community camping spot where we will pitch our tent for 5 days. After the festival, we will get a rental car and head to the cloud forest in La Fortuna. We will visit the family who have the small comfy hostel. We will tour hot springs and hike waterfalls. Volcano Arenal will be the backdrop. We will then bus back to San Jose where we will rest before our trip home. There seems to be just the right amount of leisure and adventure for us. We like the physical activity so Jason (after a broken leg) and I will train beforehand to get ready.
We just bought our nonstop tickets, shopping for travel insurance and have a passport for Andi. This will be the next big trip for a while. We are planning on taking a break on international travel to save up for some more space. We are seriously talking about being in Chile for the eclipse in Dec 2020. We got much to do before then, but its a great motivation to discover the world with my Andromeda.