Peace comes in different ways for most. For me, being in nature, surrounded by a small group of calm, happy people, doing adventurous things is how I find my peace.
When I was first approached by my friend Rah to join her journey to Costa Rica for the Find Your Peace retreat she would be co-hosting, I was excited but wasn’t sure how’d I get there. The cost held me back from the immediate/impulse purchase for the week long retreat. She decided to do mini sessions for a small group to introduce them to what may be included in the retreat, and these mini sessions lined up with my marathon training. After the first session, which was finding where your mind needed to focus to be at peace in any situation, I ran the marathon. I remembered the lessons we walked through, and ENJOYED running 5.5 hours (mostly enjoyed, there was physical pain)! When Rah announced the second date of her mini sessions, I was already in recovery mode of my autoimmune injury, so the aspect of helping my brain wrap peace around the frustration was definitely needed. After that session, Rah sent me a text “I can see you at the retreat, I hope you’ll be there.” I replied, “If I find the money for the trip, I’ll be there.” It was going to cost around $2,500 for all expenses, but a week focusing on mindset would be worth it. Less than one month later, a random check arrived in the mail, I hit purchase on the retreat and the airfare.
I have always been a firm believer in, ‘Everything Happens for a Reason.’
I landed Sunday afternoon, and I immediately needed to change into more breathable clothing, I overpacked, so I had plenty of options.. It was humid, and I loved it. I met up with a few of my soon-to-be friends in baggage claim as we waited for the rest of our travel group, and I took this opportunity to enjoy the climate; breezy, hot, humid, and amazing.
Once our group all made it to the taxi area, we began our hour long journey to the Retreat. We took this time to get to know each other a bit, and to ask our driver questions of the area to start learning about our home for the next week.
We arrived at the Peace Retreat and were greeted by our mutual friend, the Co-Host of this week long retreat, and were showed to our fun rooms to get settled.
I organized my things, and headed to the pool to hang with everyone. Rah made us all a rum & Frescas made with local rum. It was delicious. The pool was beautiful; a large enough pool for a party, but small enough to be cozy. We spent a few hours just talking, had dinner, and either stayed up to begin what soon became a nightly pool party, or headed to our rooms to quietly do our thing.
Monday morning began with 6am group coffee, followed by 7am yoga (open to the public as donation based), and then breakfast. After a quick change of clothing, if you chose, we started our personal development workshop; the reason we chose to do this retreat with Rah, and Kevin (Creator of Peace).
We finished just before lunch time, and some of the group began the adventure of local restaurants.
1pm was the first adventure activity: SURFING! Pargos Adventures would be our instructors. Both of our instructors were great, and made sure we understood each move, and danger, of surfing before we entered the ocean. All but one of us had learned how to surf before, so this was an exciting time! I had been wanting to learn how to surf since I was about 12 years old, so THIS WAS MY MOMENT. The entire week would be epic just because of this activity. The Pacific Ocean, the sun was hidden behind thin clouds, and a very subtle breeze; this was the setting of my 5 attempts at surfing waves. Of the 5 attempts, I stood up on 3, and rode the last one the whole way in! SUCCESS! After we arrived back at our retreat, we changed, did yoga, had dinner, and relaxed.
Tuesday’s adventure was stand up paddle boarding. We were brought to a river that was fed from the ocean, which is where we began. The river is covered in Mangrove Trees, it was just like in the movies! It was gorgeous. Our guide was the same as the day before, and he was amazing. Pargos Adventures is THE place to see for Playa Negra or Tamarindo activities. We learned about SO much, he was chill, and we had a great time!
Wednesday was horseback riding for some, Rah and I chose to just hang by the pool and relax.
Thursday was an all-day adventure for the whole group, which meant waking up early, and not getting in any yoga. We had an hour ride to the volcano, it began with zip lining through the waterfall caverns, then horse back riding through a little trail, and an hour of white water tubing, followed by lunch, and then natural mud baths! We went out to a nice dinner after getting in quick showers after getting back to the retreat.
Friday’s adventure was a day trip into Tamarindo, but before we headed to Tamarindo, we took a few minutes to work on handstands. My right shoulder was giving me some difficulties, so I made my first attempt on one-hand, and NAILED IT! This is the moment you know struggles, pain, and the road blocks you’ve been facing have been just pushing you toward amazing things.In Tamarindo, I had my heart set on getting a locally made bikini, and that’s all that mattered. Rah, Pete, and I were off as a group while the others went their own ways with their minds set on other things. It was a touristy town, for sure, but the beach was still epic and the shop owners of the local stores were amazing. Coffee at Green Papaya was THE best, everyone also raved about their food but I had zero hunger at that time, so you definitely need to stop there. The bikini I found a Suspiro Bikinis is awesome, check out that place for you or someone you know that loves a great bikini! Really reasonably priced, too!
Have you travelled to Costa Rica before? Where did you go? Would you go back?