Saturday, April 21, 2012

Already Free - 4-21-2012

The morning of my flight to Costa Rica, I realized...and I mean REALLY realized that I had finally attained the freedom I touched during my 2009 trip to Costa Rica, the freedom I scrimped and saved money to buy for six long years. I didn't need to go to Costa Rica to find freedom. I was already free and I got there by the life choices I made.

This is how I realized that. By the time I received my last dollar of severance and paid-out vacation time in March 2012, I had long vanquished my debt, had hit the final wealth metrics that I set out to hit while at that job, and even assembled a small passive income stream. The 40 or so days between my layoff and my departure to Costa Rica felt amazing. I went on Tuesday afternoon bike rides along the beach, began attending Wednesday lunchtime yoga classes, spent afternoons painting wood for a gate Dad and my uncle were going to build. I cooked dinner for my parents just because I could. I lived without financial concern. I felt free because I was free.

But, then what does that mean for this trip? What is this trip about if I now see I DON'T need to travel to be free? Hedonism? Adventure? Lazy vacation? Some combination of these and other things?

This trip is about self-improvement. I've got plenty to work on and plenty of time in which to do it. Six weeks in Costa Rica gets me away from my daily routine at home, back someplace I've wanted for two years to see again, and (at Playa Samara and Casa Brian) someplace where I know I'll meet a steady flow of folks unlike me, and in a safe environment.

This trip is also a mellow vacation. I bounced around the country three years ago, saw monkeys and rain forests and tourist bars crowded with folks looking to hookup or get drunk. I'm over it. I don't need to prove to myself or anyone else this time that I can make random friends for two days, hike a rainforest, or pound drinks with Brits. I've done all that. I may do those things again, but I'll do them because doing so might be fun or enlightening, not because I'm trying to prove to myself that I can do such things.

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