Through the first six days that I’ve been here, I’ve gotten up at 3:30 a.m. to be rained on in a rainforest, I’ve hiked to an active volcano, I’ve seen way more birds than I’ve ever thought possible, I’ve eaten delicious food, I’ve seen bananas–tons of bananas–and I’ve taken a lot of photos, but still not enough.
The last three days of the trip though have been the best.
I got up at 7 a.m. to take pictures for two stories, beer and the cheese factory. We decided to met our source at a little coffee shop for the interview.
After the interview finished, I met a local named Luke. I explained to him everything about Vida and the story. Luke told me that he had a friend who was also a local and made really good beer for one of the hotels.
Luke walked with us to the cheese factory then offered to come pick us up and show us his house and the way he lives in Monteverde, his pura vida lifestyle.
Luke lives on the Quaker farm with one roommate. They are from San José, and they both decided that they wanted a month’s break from their work and went to Monteverde. They have been living there for six years now.
Luke took us along his usual running path in the rainforest. It was the coolest thing. We went to the top of the forest and saw the valley and watched the clouds roll in. On the way back down from the top, we stopped to climb a hollow tree. It was in this moment that I started to truly understand pura vida.
I woke up in the absolute worst mood on Friday. We spent most of the day travelling from Monteverde to Jaco, a coastal town.
The mood continued until about 3 p.m., when we met Mike. Mike is a completely zen surfer dude. He took us to see the sea turtle reservation, the beach where he teaches surfing and protects sea turtle eggs from poachers. Within 30 seconds of meeting him, my mood exponentially increased. He has such a contagious personality and had really embodied pura vida, don’t worry.
After the beaches, he took us to a lookout point to watch the sun set over the city and ocean. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
This was another early day. We had to get up 5:50 a.m. to go to a national park and then to surfing.
I cannot explain to you how incredible surfing was. I had a couple of rides where I made it all the way back to the shore, and a couple where I completely wiped out.
The day before I had jokingly said I would move to Jaco. After surfing I, really, want to move to Jaco for at least six months, if not a year of my life.
This place just completely resonated with me and finished what Luke and Monteverde started. I think I would fully understand pura vida if I lived here for an extended time.
These last three days have been full of surprising self discovery. They have also allowed me to understand a completely different culture’s way of life, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.