Solo Travel in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Horseback Ride

There’s a reason Costa Rica translated to “Lush Coast”. The flight into Santa Teresa from San Jose is like the scene from Moana when she sees Te Fiti. It’s the smallest plane I’ve ever been on. Maybe 8 passengers. It lands in what I’d equate to a little country bus stop. It really is a highlight of the trip. I wasn’t prepared when I had to step on the scale with my bags though… talk about a blow to my ego!!

I got to sit right behind the pilot though and watching the controls was fascinating! They really do pretty much fly themselves! Now I’m seriously considering getting my pilot’s license. I mean how could would it be to just hop in and go. I love the freedom that brings! Not sure that it would really be cost effective or do anything for my travel budget but what a badass hobby that would be!

So Basically my itinerary was from RVA > Houston > San Jose > Santa Teresa. It was for sure a full day of travel but the flights were fantastic. I was traveling solo for this trip to meet the most fantastic human beings but b/c mama didn’t have to have a backpack full of snacky snacks, sodas, children’s books, an iPad a blanket 2 partridges and a pear tree I was able to pack my lunch and some extra books. I am so very glad I did too because I did not have enough time in Houston to grab anything. I wish you could have seen the guy next to me when I plopped down and pulled out Tupperware containers out of my backpack. I’m pretty sure I saw an eyeroll or two when my tofu stir fry made an appearance. In my defense I’m really trying to stick to gluten and dairy free with no processed foods. I read “The Alchemist” by Paul Coelho on the leg from RIC to HOU and was totally glued. I mean like couldn’t tear away from it. It was actually an assigned book for my Yoga Teacher Training that I was trying to knock out before my classes started. I carried it on the plane with me and the flight attendant plopped down next to me and we talked while people were boarding about what a phenomenal book it was. He is from Brazil so was especially proud that the author is from his home country. These are the moments I really love about traveling. Having a minute with someone else from somewhere else but being able to find common ground in appreciating the same things. Anyway… it couldn’t have been a better read and so appropriate for the trip I was just embarking on and the journey the girls and I are about to take with our lives.

My new beautiful friend Sandy met me at the bustop (airport) I love how she tells the story but basically she stopped to ask directions to the airport from a guy in the parking lot and he was very confused but informed her that this indeed was said airport. This country and it’s people run on “Tico Time” It gets there when it gets there it leaves when it leaves and everything happens on its own time in between. << I just made that up but kind of love it and am gonna use it! Sandy and I had never actually met before. We were early arrivers to a Goddess Retreat @luumayoga and @lizbwildin organized. Little did we know what was in store for us. I had posted in our group WhatsApp that I was coming early and my room had an extra bed if anyone needed it. Sandy took me up on it and offered to pick me up from the airport. We embraced with a big hug and that started our beautiful friendship. So Sandy is the most amazing artist and owns @sassandfrassphoto. Check her out. She’s local to RVA and one of the coolest people you’ll ever lay eyes on. Oh and not to mention traveling with a photographer… DOES NOT SUCK. Anyway… we were a riot and will be friends for always. We had a very eventful adventure from the minute we pulled out of the parking lot onto the dirt road with 2′ deep potholes. We told our life stories on the way to our hotel which was very hard to find in the dark. When we finally did find it we weren’t sure if we had found the parking lot. She walked over to the guard stand and asked if this was where we were supposed to park or if we were supposed to keep driving. It was one of those situations where the parking lot was too small to really be a parking lot and the path was too big to really be a walking path. He didn’t understand her so I tried out my broken 4 years of high school Spanish. When I walked back to the car she was like what did he say. I replied… he said “eh and shrugged his shoulders if I asked him if we should park here or drive up” so we tried to drive down the path only to have him yell at us and say park here… oh if only he would have said that to begin with. So there begins with our adventure!

Our next few hours were spent being woken up by howler monkeys, fitful sleeps because we didn’t know how to reset the AC, microdosing, beach front coffee, stray dog petting and girls spa day! Our retreat hadn’t even started. Sandy loves the howler monkey story b/c I sat up in bed at 4AM and said “What the fuck was that?! It sounds like a FUCKING JUNGLE YETI”. She still laughs. I wonder what the translation for Jungle Yeti in Spanish is? I might have to google that one! So after our solo adventure together we were no longer strangers and met our new friends next door at the most fabulous Casona! Some of them we knew, some of them we didn’t but all of them we loved.

Santa Teresa in the rainy season is the most magical. I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s a beachfront jungle vibe with wildlife that just doesn’t disappoint. Your transportation is via ATV. There are no gas stations in town, the banks may or may not have money for you to withdraw, depending on the day but the coconuts are plenty! The people are lovely, the town is adorable and it’s just so so good for your soul. There really couldn’t have been a better scene set for our girls retreat. We laugh, cried, danced, sang, ate together every day in addition to journaling and breathwork and yoga. It was exactly what I didn’t know that I needed in my life. I do storywork with Dave and was messaging him almost daily to tell him all the wild and amazing space we were creating. I’m so glad he encouraged me to write it all down. It was only a month ago and it seems like it happened a lifetime ago!

My skin and hair loved the humidity, and the wildlife did not disappoint. The howler monkeys did wake us up no later than 5am every morning but our days were full of riding and writing and atvs, friendship, surfing and adventures. I left that portion of the trip with some of the very best friends I could ever ask for.

Post Santa Teresa we said our goodbyes and I stayed on to spend a little alone time before I had to get home to the girls, dogs, work and YTT. We moved right before this trip so I was still coming down off all the stress from selling and moving and getting the girls started in their new schools. Lily started college and Mira started 2nd grade at a new elementary school. I’m glad I saw San Jose, but it definitely isn’t the best representation of Costa Rica. I think the market is worth spending a day/night but downtown San Jose wasn’t really remarkable in my opinion. I felt very safe walking around on my own. I do like walking around new cities, seeing the architecture and going to grocery stores, markets and stuff like a local. I now know how to say “I need to buy a box of tampons” in Spanish. So there were lessons learned here. I took a trip outside of San Jose to Heredia. I met a Danish tattoo artist on Instagram that drew a new piece of artwork for me. I thought Heredia was super cute and much nicer than San Jose proper. I left Costa Rica with a Buddha on my booty to commemorate my trip. (Buddha not pictured)

Costa Rica was the best end of the summer trip. I’ll be back… with the girls… who are super jealous that I left them at home.

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