Saturday, June 8, 2013

Five Years Ago...


When life throws you a curve ball, sometimes you find yourself following a different path than you thought for yourself. Five years ago, I turned my life upside-down as I knew it. I broke up with my long-term boyfriend, I moved out of our home, into my own place and I left most of my friends behind (as they were mostly related to the boyfriend). I truly (sadly, confusedly) stepped out on my own into a new world I didn't yet quite understand, and I began again. I had emptied my proverbial cup, and set out to refill it anew, from the bottom, up to the top again. I was a whirlwind of new experiences, trying everything and experiencing all I could, all without thinking. I broke some hearts along the way and pissed off a few people with my seeming selfishness, but that's where I was in life. I was setting out on a new pathway to what, I didn't know. All I did know was that I was happier in that span of six months then I had almost ever been, and no matter what plumes of ache I stirred up in my wake, it was all necessary and worth it. But I'll not address the regrets I have now in this post...

I was suffering from a broken-down heart too. So I decided to do something drastic for myself, something I'd never done before. I decided to go backpacking in Central America by myself, for three weeks. I spent hours going through Lonely Planet and the internet, planning my trip to Costa Rica so thoroughly. I was terrified, but I was doing it anyway, because that's what I needed to do. I whole heartedly knew that I needed to face a strong fear, and learn how to make my own way, without another's help. I chose Costa Rica because of it's safety. It seemed to me so culturally different, and yet still so close to home. A perfect blend of nature, travellers, relaxation and other-worldly-ness. I was just about ready to book my flight when Shayne came along, and we decided to take those three weeks and travel to Europe together instead.  This, I don't regret.

But now, five years later, the desire in me was re-awakened to re-open my Lonely Planet guide, and re-visit this idea of the solo Costa Rica adventure. And this time, I decided that nothing would stand in my way. I made this decision two weeks ago, while I was at Erin's house, the day after she returned from Peru. Hearing all about her solo travels inspired me, and reminded me of what it was I was searching for all those years ago. I was upset and confused, not knowing what path to take next in life. She suggested traveling alone, as it's the best way to get to really know yourself. 

Within the next few days, I had dug up my old Costa Rica itinerary and tour guide, and I began planning all over again. The only difference between then and now, is that this time, a week after my planning began, I had booked my flight and all accommodations. So this trip is officially on.

I leave in three weeks. San Jose, Tortuguero, Santa Elena, Monteverde and La Fortuna, all in a whirlwind, solo two weeks. I'm elated. I'm filled to brimming with a nervous excitement I can't begin to explain. I might throw up a few times, but it's all for my greater good. When push comes to shove, I'll have only myself to trust, only myself to go to for wisdom and help. It might be five years later, but it's never too late to begin. 

We'll never be younger than we are right now, and the only day we have to make change is today because neither yesterday, or tomorrow exist...

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