Seasons Change

It is officially rainy season now and just after 10 days in the new season, the difference is unbelievable. The green is eye-popping and things are growing again. It’s hard to believe a few weeks ago, we had wild fires still blazing in the hills above us. Most of the trees had lost their leaves and the dust on the roads was almost unbearable. As we have traveled about over the past week, the kids can’t get over how different everything looks. You would think they never saw green grass! They point out every patch of green growth in delight and amazement. In Costa Rica, there are 2 seasons – the dry season which runs December thru April and the rainy season which is May to November. We arrived December 20th, so all we have known is the dry season.  By the end of April, we were bone dry and craving the rainfall.  

So, what has the rainy season been like for us so far?

  1. We literally danced in the rain for the first three rainfalls.  That has worn off, but we all still get a little excited to have a night time rainfall – who doesn’t love a rainy night (Eddie Rabbit, 1975)?  Our house has a clay roof and the sound is rhythmic and soothing.
  2. The nights are cooler and great for sleeping. Daytime temps are dropping too.
  3. You have to time clothes line-drying just right. Our electric bill might spike as we have to use our dryer more due to the humidity in the air.
  4. Frogs line up along our pool’s edge at night and serenade us to the point you need ear plugs.
  5. In the dry season, small fires are used to remove unwanted brush; in the rainy season, our gardener brings a machete to cut the grass.
  6. The mosquitoes are out and we should buy stock in Repel’s Lemon Eucalyptus, anticipating our usage. I am like a magnet and my daughter is scared to death to contract any mosquito borne diseases. Needless to say, we limit our time outside after dark or in the rain. We miss our outdoor living space already.
  7. The sunsets are just as beautiful – a cloudy sky makes for an awesome backdrop.
  8. The rivers are filling back up and driving will become a lot more interesting!
  9. Most mornings start with blue skies and sun. Rainfall comes late in the day and is hard, but brief. We live in the driest part of Costa Rica, so I know other parts of the country receive much more rain.
  10. I must buy rubber car mats ASAP and this season might be my true test in reaching pura vida (aka: “I don’t care how muddy my house gets, I am in paradise”).

I always welcomed the change in seasons. To go from welcoming a new season four times a year to twice a year is an adjustment, but one  I am content with for now. I miss the feeling of putting on a pair of jeans for the first time in months or the softness of a sweatshirt on a cool summer night. A trip to the mountains might be in order.

Pura Vida!

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Two Opposing Things Can Be True

AtHomeInTheWorld_CVR_500I just finished a great book, At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider.  I was immediately drawn in and could easily relate to her words and her feelings about travel, family and love.  It is the story of a family of five circumnavigating the world in nine months (and so much more!). I found inspiration within Tsh and her family’s bold path.  In our own way, our journey, while it is not around the world (yet), it is one that fills us up. While not always easy or comfortable, travel and and adventure completes us as a family. Like the author and her husband, we believe kids and travel are meant to go together.

I loved the way she portrayed my own thoughts and paradoxes.  I love making a home – picking out paint colors, decorating a new space and curling up on my favorite corner of the couch in our home, with my cozy blanket over my lap. I love frequenting my favorite neighborhood hang-outs, carrying out rituals and traditions.  At the same time, I am anxious when I don’t have the next trip planned or a great big change on the horizon.  I can feel wholeheartedly blessed and grateful, while also feeling the weight of life too ordinary.  Six months ago, I was eager to swap “stuff” for stamps in our passports, but still imagine the ease of having it all in my arms again. I decided this is not only normal, but I’m also at peace for being wired in this very special way.  

As I read the book, I swapped the cast of characters for our own family of five. I imagined what it would be like to take our family around the world, each with only a backpack.  What would we each decide to carry?  They visited something like 4 continents and 30 countries in nine months. It sounds exhilarating to me. What would our itinerary look like?  The thought of planning it gives me goosebumps. How would a trip like that change us, as individuals and as a family? Is it possible to become more rooted in this world through such an uprooting experience? I can’t decide if the intensity of a year of non-stop travel is wise for us, with our kid’s ages (14, 11, and 9). Probably not. We know positive friendships are such an important part of the teenage years and for the journey to adulthood. Isolating them from these experiences seems unfair despite the quest for raising well-cultured kids and my own selfish desires. For now, I think we will chip away at exploring Central America with Costa Rica as our home base. Next up: Panama. 

thailand-small-words

If you want to read more about my book recommendation, At Home in the World, I encourage you to click here.  I bought it on my Kindle for only $3.99.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this travel memoir – please share in the comments. You can take a quiz and find out where your next travel destination should be.  I got Thailand!  Future hub for Southeast Asia, perhaps.

Pura Vida!