For many years, I was living a traditional life of details and following along and trying to please everyone. One New Year’s Day about 6 years ago, I got nostalgic and started re-reading the journals I had kept for two decades. It didn’t take long to realize I had been stuck in the same patterns for years. It was a bit of a surprise to hear my own voice on those pages repeating the same words about dreams and goals and ideas year after year.
A few years ago, I decided to change those patterns and focus my intentions once and for all. For a while, progress was two steps forward and one back, but eventually, I began to think differently. My new way of thinking has not always met with acceptance by some family members. That was to be expected. I was talking about selling all my stuff and traveling around the US by myself in a small trailer. I was talking about moving to Spain or Hawaii or … somewhere. I didn’t need a home to take care of anymore. I didn’t want all the possessions I had been dragging from place to place for decades.
So, in 2014 I bought a little travel trailer and hit the back roads. It wasn’t my first road trip but it was the first towing 3000 lbs behind me. After a year I stopped again—near family in Colorado, put my trailer in storage, and fell back into some old patterns. I gained 10 lbs (I blame it on the white winters) and started watching a lot of television and hanging out with family going to dinner and all the usual. Nothing wrong with any of that. Except for me, it seemed like I was falling backward. I was getting lazy and bored. I heard myself complaining about the same old things and heard others continue their complaints about their lives and yet do nothing about it.
In mid-2011—years before I started traveling in my trailer, my son and I were talking about starting a permaculture farm. We spent some time looking for property in Northern California and Southern Oregon. We tossed around the possibility of other places — Hawaii, Peru, New Zealand, but kept coming back to the idea of Costa Rica. Other things were happening in our lives then, so the idea got back-burnered. Then in mid-2016 after I had been suffering from too much crazy civilization, my son popped up with his farm idea again. This time he was serious. He quit his job in California, left behind some good friends and came to Colorado to stay with me, re-group, de-stress, and think. We started talking about the farm again. What would it be? How would it work? How much would it cost? How could we do it alone (mostly him, since I wouldn’t be doing the hard labor)? Who might want to be involved other than us? So, we did some research–a lot of research and made a loose plan. It had to be a loose plan since there were a lot of unknowns.
We started by renting two homes in Costa Rica in the areas we thought most likely to be where we would want to buy property. The first place was on the Nicoya Peninsula in Los Pargos, the small village behind Playa Negra, the well-known surf beach featured in Endless Summer II. We were there a month before moving on to what is known as the Southern Pacific part of Costa Rica. We found a house to rent for the second month in the hills just a few minutes from Dominical, a beach-front town in Bahía Ballena de Osa District. It is also well known for large, year-round waves and is popular with surfers of all generations. The man that owned the property (about 100 hectares) was nearly 70 and had come from California 30 years ago. He still got up every morning at dawn to ride waves.
I was in Costa Rica for two months from mid-November until mid-January 2017. We located and purchase a farm in the beautiful hills in El Alto de San Juan (about 25 minutes above Dominical). It happened so fast and as if had been choreographed. Every day things fell into place–the few minor issues we had, turned out to lead to a better solution. So, it has begun. A different journey with new challenges. It won’t be easy to live in, manage or build a home or farm in Costa Rica. It’s not cheap. It rains half the year and things are done differently, yet I am excited about how to continue down this path and hopefully spend at least 4-5 months a year there.