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six weeks in costa rica: school, lesbian friends and magic


5 min read

May 2



When I set out to explore the world and find my new passion in life, somewhere that my heart feels home, I had a list of things I wanted to do: volunteer abroad, attend a women in business meet up event, learn a language etc etc.  Since high school I always loved languages, I took French and German at GCSE. I'm really not sure which psychopath though it was okay to put our French and German lessons back to back. By the time you get your head in the German space, you need to immediately switch to French. I think this totally ruined languages for me for a long time.


When I told Luke I was to Costa Rica to do Spanish school, he was quite shocked. Why did it have to be Costa Rica, why not Spain? Surely that's easier. Well of course, but Costa Rica is a little bit more exotic and, there's no point in doing this exploration by halves, is it?!


I arrived in San Jose with absolutely no plan

I knew I had to be in Nosara for school in a week. Of course I knew I had it in me to deal with the unknown arriving in a country but, god, is it scary actually doing it. I heard this quote once that said something like "The only way to build confidence is t have undeniable proof you are who you say you are". Arriving in a country, having nothing planned was, for certain, an unconscious test to myself to prove to myself I am who I say I am. I'm not a fraud. What even is imposter syndrome anyway? I'm not an imposter, I'm becoming exactly who I want to be.


I spent a week in Samara which was stunning, and in sheer determination to absorb the culture and use the very little Spanish I learned previous to my arrival, I decided to get local buses everywhere. A lovely local lady told me how to get the 8 hour, $8 bus to Samara I thought the bus to Nosara would be just as straight forward. I got left on the side of the road in the promise from the extremely friendly bus driver in his broken English and my child-like Spanish, that another bus would come.

Luckily it did but I should have packed extra sun-cream and water for the 40min wait in the direct heat of the mid-day sun. I was dropped outside la Pescadaria de Alex in Garza (15min drive outside of Nosara) where Alex himself met me with his wife and welcomed me into his home where I would stay for the week. With their Canadian daughter in law, son and their 2 year old daughter, 5 dogs, and 3 cats.


Living with a local family and local culture is fascinating, Alex and his wife were wonderful. I had a sweaty room inside their house with no AC and a family of howler monkeys living on the roof. After a week of scooting around on a quadbike I decided I love it at school and I loved it in Nosara. I moved to another family home within walking distance of school to a place I could have called my home. A Swiss-German husband and Tica wife lived in a stunning home with their dog on a huge patch of land. They had no tv in their home but a hammock in the living room and garden.


Joining a Spanish school was the best choice I could have made, not just because now I can hold relatively good conversations in Spanish, but the people I met….. Oh the people!!


The single best part of travel, especially travel alone, is the people you meet and the stories they to tell (but the food part is a very close second!). Let me tell you this, no matter the story just listen! And listen with intent to understand - not to reply. The messages these stories unravel for whichever journey you're on are invaluable.


Nosara has a certain energy to it. Everyone could feel it and noone knew how to put it into words. We all spoke of it. We desperately tried to capture it in photos and videos… but there is nothing that can capture the feeling. Until one evening, I'm drinking with friends and I told my friends of my secret. Something that felt way too personal to share.

"This is magic."


Magic is the only way I've ever known how to describe it. Magic is all mine, noone else can have it, noone else can see it, noone else can touch it. It's how the world makes ME feel.


Let me bring you along on the only way I can put into words…

Go back, you're 6 years old, you look outside the window. It's getting dark, not quite pitch black but you know soon you'll be going to bed. The twinkling lights of the house across the street fills you with the excitement of going to bed soon, because Christmas eve is the only day you'll ever be impatience to get to bed. You spin around with a small jump to see your own fur tree deep in gifts. You can smell pine and candles, and your heart is filled with what will be one day known as nostalgia but not today. Today you must get to bed before Santa arrives… and you know he's coming… because you've been so good this year!


Are you smiling? Did you feel it? 


As we're running into the ocean with the sky bleating purple across the sand, we're racing and screaming chasing the sunset for it's final moments. And I let the secret go! THIS IS MAGIC! I was shocked at myself for letting my secret go. Cari turns to me and say "Yes. Yes it is". She showed me her tattoo, upside-down, in capital letters on her thigh, MAGIC. She understands.



"if you are unsure, just write "magic" on your thigh up high in ballpoint blue black sharpie any old way you like just look at it when you can and touch the spot through your clothing know it's there feel it tap your finger because magic sees you and wants you and has claimed you baby everyone else knows it why can't you everyone else says goddamn like a husky throat song when you walk by"


Some people know about magic. I thought I lost magic for a while. But as the crazy Italian keeps telling me, "you ARE the magic". I never really understood before until I met Cari and Tash. There are other people in the world that know about magic. They are magic. We are magic. I am my magic. I know want and need EVERYONE to know about it!!!!


I hope your find your magic too. Whatever it means to you.


I now have two stars tattooed on my side to always remind me of the point in time I really truly understood that I am my magic.


Costa Rica: the jungle, the ocean, the sunsets, the yoga, the beers, the people, the energy, THE MAGIC. Costa Rica taught me that.

Pura Vida x


5 min read

May 2



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