"What an amazing year" I thought to myself, sitting on a washed up log, enjoying my last ice cream of 2013, and watching the sun descend behind the rainforest. I reflected rather profoundly on the fleeting year over my two weeks in Puerto Viejo. Whether I was lying on the beach, lying in a hammock or biking in between, my mind was replaying the highest and lowest moments of 2013, over and over like a broken record. Usually my mind gravitates towards the future, what will be, what could be, but rarely about what was. I found it rather uncomfortable, and very bitter-sweet, as 2013 may have been the most vibrant year in my 23-year-old life. For the first time there was no plan, no obligations, no road map. A part of me felt scared, overwhelmed and anxious. But a bigger part of me felt liberated and exhilarated with an appetite for exploration.
|Where will I leave my footprint this year?|
It is this appetite for exploration that jetted me England and France in February, to the Cape of Good Hope and safari-ing in Hwange National Park in May. And when that was not enough, making the most dramatic change in my entire life; moving to Costa Rica.
Two weeks in Puerto Viejo, was the perfect way to end a year of adventure and ring in the New Year, my year in Costa Rica.
On the two odd days where we didn't follow this regiment, although we made sure we still incorporated our beach time, we visited The Jaguar Rescue Center and went hiking with friends from CATIE south of Manzanillo.
Post-food poisoning and Christmas day homesickness, Matija and I decided that playing with monkeys would be the perfect pick-me-up.
I had heard great things about the Jaguar Rescue Center, another Canadian friend I met in San Jose had volunteered there and told me about the couple's work to offer refuge to injured monkeys, birds, sloths, crocodiles and other wild animals. The Center strives to rehabilitate them and release them back into the wild. The big draw is that you can actually PLAY with the monkeys, well those of them who are not out on a day-long forest field trip. As a part of their rehabilitation, the volunteers take the monkeys out to the forest during the day to familiarize them with the smells, trees, other animals etc.
So after a lazy morning, we finally pedalled our way towards the Jaguar Center, stopping to explore a
|Private beach pools|
|Cutest "not-too-poisonous" frog|
|Una linda mariposa|
That day my mind didn't wander into the past, I was just soaking up the moment. I realized that there are times to reflect and there are times to look forward, and there are time to just be.
New Year's Resolution #3: Embrace the Moment.