Friday, December 11, 2009

Montezuma's Revenge

I am such a lucky a girl to have such supportive people in my life. Your messages have moved me to tears more than once. Thank you thank you thank you.

The last two days I was in Montezuma, on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. I love Costa Rica. I feel a little lame for doing so, because it's a pretty typical American destination. But I have been going the places that aren't as ritzy, aren't as typical, though you just can't get away from strips of road solely dedicated to hotels and hostels. But. The people here are heavenly. So kind, so easy going, so helpful, so giving. Pura vida. That's the Tican saying, and the people here live it and love it. I am moved again and again by small acts of kindness and consideration that are practiced so commonly by the local people towards me, just another tourist. Pura vida. That's right. Some may expect that to mean a laid-back, carefree existence. For me, it has been something somewhat more intense. But pura vida nevertheless.

I was sad to leave Santa Elena, but travel is travel, and it was time to move on. Montezuma is a very chill, very small town right on a GORGEOUS beach. I took a nap once I got there, checked out the town, and then picked Sarah up at the bus stop. We had a relatively brief debate, then I passed out for 11 hours (I was exhausted, obviously). Retrospectively, I really don't know what the point of that debate was, when Sarah knew she'd be leaving in 5 days. And probably knew how'd I'd receive that news. The next morning we headed to some waterfalls I'd heard about. Fantastic. They are the hidden waterfalls in the forest you've always dreamed of stumbling upon. The first one, at the bottom, was the largest and had a 10 ft jump off point, which I conquered. After swimming around for a while there, we climbed up a wall of roots, clambered up forested ravines, hanging onto vines for an extra hand here and there. And finally we emerged above the bottom waterfall, to jump into and swim in two other waterfalls feeding into that first one. There was a tarzan swing, and a perfect high branch to jump off of. It was heavenly.

Headed back to the hotel, and you know what happened there. And then I spent the rest of the afternoon at the beautiful beach. Where I was able to appreciate the vista despite my emotional calamities.

I had dinner with a most delightful couple I'd met as I was traveling from Santa Elena to Montezuma. I am so thankful I met them, not only for their fantastic company, but especially for this perfect preoccupation which prevented me from stewing by myself at the hotel. They are both finishing up med school in Boston, they are pediatricians, and I am blown away by their ease of friendship, conversation, genuine interest in others and in bettering the world. Very optimistic couple. Spending time with them was really refreshing. I'm so thankful to be meeting so many truly lovely people. Pura vida.

I headed to bed, Sarah came in quite a bit later, and then this morning I was up and out by 5:45 and on my way back to Puntarenas to meet Eva, and then on down the coast to Manuel Antonio. Not another word to Sarah, she's out of my life for good.

The bus was 100 degrees. 9 hours of traveling. Just saying.

But here we are. Walking around town we passed a party that demanded we be their judges for a Santa tissue paper costume contest. And in exchange they gave us dinner, pumpkin pie, and invited us to come sing with their band tomorrow night in town. Done and done. Love it when random lovely things happen like that.

Tonight we're chilling with a bottle of cheap red wine, looking forward to a leisurely beach day and walk through Manuel Antonio reserve. Whilst I contemplate my future.

Having Eva here is such a wonderful support. She, another lone traveller, really is an inspiration.

I am, of course, forging forward on my own. I don't know for how long, and I'm not even sure where. But, as most everyone has pointed out, I would regret leaving at this stage. And I can always head home at any point on my journey. But I do have a lot of choices to make now, a lot of different avenues I could head down. I have to figure out where to spend Christmas (daunting day that it is), I have to figure out how to get through the Darien Gap on my own (the land border between Panama and Colombia is extremely dangerous, not generally used unless you're a drug runner. Alternatives are plane or boat. Both quite expensive.) Where will I celebrate my New Year's? I hear amazing things about Colombia, maybe I should just get there as quickly as possible.

Will I pause somewhere for a month to save money? Will I volunteer for a couple of months? Will I WWOOF? Will I follow the plan as it formerly was? There's a lot of thinking to be done tomorrow. Good thing I'll be at the beach.

Something my sister Anne wrote to me was the saying, "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"

And yesterday, when I fled to the internet cafe for the comfort of my loved ones, a lovely email was waiting for me from my sister, Amy.

"Laura, I must say that you are proving to be a uniting factor for everyone. You have supplied us with hours of conversation. There is much speculation on where you are, what you are doing, how you will do this or that, lots of "I can't believe she _______" (hiked the volcano in Chacos, is hitchhiking, is actually there), when will she do this or that... I think you would enjoy being a fly on the wall. In fact, without fail, every time I have spoken with a family member, you seem to come up, you are quite popular in the Sorensen circle."

What an amazing thing for someone to say. It was encouraging more than I can describe.

So I persevere. Pura vida. On into the wild.


Anonymous said...

I love you Laura. Go with strength.

Rebecca said...

This is an awesome post. You're doing great. And my philosophy is that (barring the obvious) there are no wrong choices. Each one leads you somewhere, and you can always make a new choice if you don't like where you are.

You have my love and my admiration. You're brilliant, you're awesome, you're beautiful, you're strong.

MARIE said...

Well, I know it´s backtracking and probably not a good idea, but you are so welcome to join me in Caye Caulker for Christmas!

Nikki said...

Be safe, have fun, so glad good things are starting to happen!