Young & Full Of Fear

I’ve been dreaming of traveling internationally for a long time. When Chris and I got married we traveled to the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon. We stayed at an all inclusive resort and never left the premises. That was 2008 (I was 23 years old) and I was terrified of going out on excursions or walking off the resort to explore the rest of the island. I guess it didn’t help that when we took the bus to our resort we passed men in the trees and on the streets with rifles in hand. That scared the shit out of me (excuse my language).

I had read many stories of people leaving their resorts in foreign countries only to end up with life threatening illnesses or disappearing. To say that fear ruled my decision making at the time is an understatement. I even refused to step in the ocean! (Do we look young in this picture, or what! That’s me after half a bottle of wine! haha)

Chris and Jaime in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

I loved our honeymoon, but living in fear is no way to live. There is so much more to life! As I’ve grown up, I realize that so much of life is out of my hands, that I have to live my best life without regrets. I have to smile, laugh, do silly things, and take risks. I don’t want to refuse to get on a plane because I’m afraid it’s going to crash. I don’t want to be afraid of visiting Europe because there may be a bomb on a train. And I don’t want to refuse to eat fresh fruit in a third world country because I may ingest something that will make me sick. That doesn’t mean I want to be reckless. I want to research, learn, explore, and have faith that everything will be an amazing!

Picking Costa Rica

Drink coozie with a sloth and words "Hangin' Out in Costa Rica"

When Chris took his one year mini-retirement, we decided to stay in our town and live life, but when we talked about possibly extending the retirement a second year I wanted our family to take an adventure! I talked Chris into living in Costa Rica for nine months!

Why Costa Rica? Honestly, I don’t know. I wanted to go somewhere tropical with warm winters. Costa Rica just stuck out in my mind. I was determined to figure out all the logistics. I researched towns, schools, homeschooling, cost of living, border runs, health insurance, and even signed up for Trusted Housesitters to see if we could house sit instead of renting!

In the end, Chris wasn’t ready to take such a big leap. He needed to get his feet wet first. We canceled our idea of living in Costa Rica for nine months but agreed to travel to Costa Rica for our ten year wedding anniversary!!!!

I had no idea where in Costa Rica to go. I did a random google search for a small resort near the beach. Google directed me to The Harmony Hotel. I instantly fell in love with the small boutique hotel located in Nosara, CR. After further research, I learned that Nosara is a small surfer/yoga beach town with dirt roads far from any major city! It was perfect! I told Chris and we booked it right away!

Ten Years Older & Throwing My Fear To The Wind

Getting off the plane in Costa Rica was surreal for me. I was so excited to be exploring a new country with my husband! After navigating customs, we took a 2.5 hour shuttle ride to Nosara, walked up to our hotel with our 2 backpacks (I love being a minimalist!) and were greeted with mint lemonade (so yummy). Chris even surprised me with a bottle of red wine and a plate of brownies waiting for us in our room (My husband knows me well!).

Chris by the Pool at the Harmony Hotel

Our Lazy Days: The next four days were spent wandering the dirt streets, walking the beach, lounging by the pool, and playing a board game each evening in our room while snacking on the most delicious homemade chocolate peanut butter treats from the mini bar! We loved soaking up the sun and enjoying the slow pace of Costa Rica together!

Chris and Jaime getting ready to zipline at Miss Sky Canopy Tour

Our Excursion: I told Chris I wanted to go zip-lining while in Costa Rica and toss my fear to the wind! That is something my 23 year old self never would have done! It was a crazy adrenaline inducing adventure that bonded Chris and I with the other people on the tour with whom we are now blessed to call friends! When we returned to our resort my adrenaline crashed and I passed out hard on a lounge chair by the pool!

Amazing Eats: We loved the food in Nosara! We ventured out on the dirt roads and stopped at different restaurants. We grabbed awesome pizza at Pura Pizza run by a true Italian, had an amazing salad at Cafe de Paris, and ate the yummiest vegan friendly dishes at Robin’s Cafe. Chris even fell in love with the local dish - Casado (rice, beans, chicken, and fried plantain, ordering it for dinner three different nights.

Jaime riding in a Tuk Tuk

Exploring Beyond: One day we tracked down a Tuk Tuk so we could explore Central Nosara. Our driver happily dropped us off and agreed to pick us back up in an hour. We visited the local supermarket where we had to leave our bag in a locker outside, walked the food isles on the main level and wandered the upstairs filled with shoes and household supplies! Our driver picked us up an hour and a half later right where he had dropped us off!

Before we knew it, it was our last day in Costa Rica. The rain came and we relaxed in the open air lobby listening to the rain while drinking coffee and sketching up designs of our little white shack. It was the perfect way to end our stay in Nosara - relaxing and dreaming of our future!

Slowing Down In Order To Dream Together

Sand art at the beach: a heart with "J+C" written in it

Traveling to Costa Rica started as my dream. I wanted an adventure. I wanted to explore and face my fears.

But when you are married your partner may not share your dream. Chris didn’t want to navigate a nine month trip in another country like I did.

This was really frustrating. I even questioned if we could keep moving forward together. We had been married for nine and a half years! Were we starting to want different things out of life? This question made me sad. The thing I wanted most out of life was my husband.

Knowing that, I gave up on a nine month trip to Costa Rica. I was devastated, but I didn’t want to push us to do something that we didn’t both want! When I let go of that dream, Chris offered the idea of going to Costa Rica for our ten year wedding anniversary! I was ecstatic about this and had our hotel picked out and booked within 24 hours! (Yes, I’m super spontaneous!)

We entered this adventure and ten year celebration really thankful. I was thankful that Chris was willing to explore Costa Rica. Chris was thankful that I made the trip a reality! This only strengthened our love for each other!

To make things even more exciting, Chris fell in love with Costa Rica just as much as I did. Now we both want to return for a longer period of time with our girls! What started as my dream is slowly becoming our dream - which is way better! I just had to wait for Chris’s vision to catch up to my own so that we could create an even better vision together!

Sunset at Playa Guiones

Traveling to Nosara, Costa Rica was about celebrating our marriage. A marriage where we put each other first and slow down for each other. In doing so, we found ourselves wandering the beautiful dirt roads, overcoming fears, and looking forward to a future that includes a family adventure to Costa Rica in the near future!

We fell in love with Nosara because it warmed our hearts, forced us to slow down and face our fears, and reminded us that an adventure is best taken when Chris and I are a team!