dippin my toes into costa rica

Checked into Hostel Pangea that first afternoon and straight away, a rad gal from Switzerland appears at the front desk commenting excitedly about how we both carry travel hoops. We share a mango on the roof overlooking the city skyline of San Jose, the backdrop of the mountains providing a striking window into the beauty this country will present once we embark outta the city. I took a 3 hour nap in a 4 bunks room that only cost $12 after teaching a goofy guy named Eric how to do isolations on the hoop. When I woke back up Eric greeted me with my first Costa Rican beer, and he was playing a game of pool with a friend of a friend I was told to look out for at the hostel. His eyes grew wide as I said his name and we bonded over our mutual friend Tyler who we'd planned to go climbing with the next morning.

Woke up at 6am to the front desk man from the hostel Pangea tellin me Tyler was here, landed in costaaa for his mutual first trip outta the country. I sunk my head into the curly hair on his shoulder as we shared a reunion hug, stoked to make acquaintance again in such a beautiful place. We grabbed some breakfast and struggled through the Spanish, I quickly discovered the coffee's too strong and spent the whole morning shakin and feelin strange. But bright souls came trekkin in, envision-bound, and smilin through the red-eye flight after-toll. "Hola" and "How are you" left and right, everyone in embrace. We shared some words and a hit or two, while two dude best friends giggled their way through acro yoga. Easy to settle into this space, the moment came all too soon when we had to go our separate ways. Ty and I tried to plan a climb, but the time constraints left a fork in the road, and we took to each our own individual path. I hopped on a bus south with Texas native I met in the bathroom mirror with toothpaste in our mouths... And we drove for hours past sights still too raw for my eyes to comprehend. When we got to Quepos we greeted a friend of his he'd had since the 4th grade, a super sweet gal moving to Costa Rica with her husband to flip their overexposed San Francisco city lives upside down and wake up to the monkeys and birds singin at sunrise...madly in love with each other and the world they've found around them. We explored land they're considering buying-a tiny fraction of the price of land in the states and exponentially more beautiful. Jumped in my first waterfall, let the fish nibble my feet, and met some more locals who'd made the move from California. We checked into their friends hotel, shared stories about their experience at a rare Buddhist temple in Myanmar. We grabbed some mahi-mahi and rum on the rocks at a REAL tiki bar right off the endless beach, running again into some folks from the hostel 3 hours away we'd seen just that morning. A walk on the beach right before bed and the jellies got to the ankles of one of our friends. "They're just jelly," he laughed, sayin it just tingled a bit. I'd gotten so sleepy at this point I could hardly converse. I elected to sleep outside rather than in a bed, so we hung our hammocks near the ocean. I found out real quick that you need more than a sheet, shivered for 4 hours straight, both frustrated and enchanted by the sight of the moonlit waves.

The next morning, an ocean swim - then my blood sugar plunging and the heat hitting us haaaard. Had a mango smoothie overflowing all over the table, then caught a cab to the envision site and landed my volunteer spot against the odds!! Checked into a hostel down the street, jaw dropping at the epic'ness of this place. Cabanas, tree houses and tents for sleep, organic restaurant and bar with kombucha and craft beer. Community kitchen, ping pong tables, gardens and bouldering wall, and the beach a 3 minute walk through the purest green. Everyone here so gorgeous, close knit and in flow, felt a bit intimidated by the immense glow. A sunset swim and hoop jam got me feelin a little bit more immersed and alive... And a taco salad for dinner listening to some guys talk about the surf. Resonance with a sister who gave me the boost of confidence I need. Now I lay in my temporary bed in a treehouse to decompress as fireworks pound from somewhere unknown. The crickets and jungle critters fill my ears, intermittent monkey sounds. My eyes close half way through my sentences, half asleep I twitch a bit, teetering between two states of consciousness. i wake up to my foot kicking the air, and the jolt of power ignited the exhilarating feeling of kickin the booty of my fears. Carryin that feel into tomorrow when I start work on building the festival site--mmmm it's all beginning and I'm feelin more here by the moment. 


Violet Starkey

Santa Cruz, California