Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lazy Vacation Days With the People I've Met - Monday 4-6-2009 to Friday 4-10-2009

Not much to say lately. A few people left the hostel and a couple more people arrived. I spent most of these days reading, sleeping in a hammock, and talking to the other people at Casa Brian. I’m so relaxed here. Part of it is Brian’s hospitality – he really does treat his guests like family. We had another dinner party one night, where Brian lit his grill and we all grilled our own food and then ate together. Another night, we had a huge bonfire on the beach beneath a nearly full moon. We threw palm fronds on the fire and the flames leapt ten feet into sky before dying down again, spent. I stayed out of the sun a few days, content to listen to the ocean from my hammock and feel the warm ocean breezes on my skin. Wednesday and Tuesday, I sat on the beach and talked more with some of the residents. I watched the sun set with folks from the hostel a couple evenings, too.
I talk to the other travelers here a lot. Meeting people and hearing their stories is my favorite part of traveling. Viktor and Charlotte are a twenty-something couple from southern Sweden who planned to stay three nights but got stuck in Samara longer than they anticipated because the Easter holiday made booking transportation elsewhere maddeningly difficult. They’re really nice, their English is excellent, and they’re both quite funny. I laughed when I watched them play Alphapet, a game identical to Scrabble but in Swedish. I’ll be sorry to see them leave on Friday. Juan and Golan are good company, as well. Golan is a professional dancer in New York. Juan is a former video editor from Spain. He’s hilarious. Both are leaving after the weekend, Golan back to New York and Juan to another city on his trip through Central America. Leonie and I don’t talk a whole lot, but you just need to spend ten minutes with her to see she’s a great gal. She studied Spanish at the local language school for a few months, and then has stayed a few months after school because she loves being here.
Friday night, I spent a couple hours talking to Jane. Jane lives a few doors down from Casa Brian. She spent about eight years working for investment banks in London, including RBS, Goldman, Merrill, and other names I immediately recognized. She was asked to be a manager at Barclay’s and said no, then left. She had enough of the high-demand/high-pay banking lifestyle, with its stresses and unhappy people, and used her savings to travel through Southeast Asia and Central America for three years. She picked up massage training in India and uses that to support herself here in Costa Rica. Sounds like she also worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska to pick up some money at one point, too. She wants to use Costa Rica as a base from which to explore South America. I loved finding someone with her career background living in paradise and loving it. The thing I’ll remember most about her, besides her Irish lilt, sincere smile, and surprisingly robust knowledge of shamanism and astrology? This sentence she told me after I told her my story over a dinner we made together at the hostel: “Henry, you create your own reality; you can do whatever you want to.” Thanks Jane.


  1. Aah Henry, you never told me that story!!
    Try punto Indio one more time with good sandals it's really worthwhile going!

  2. I guess I'm just so full of stories these days that I need to talk about them AND write them out.

    And what about you...what cool stories do you have from Nicaragua? I've bet you've already got plenty.