I just got back from a week-long getaway to Costa Rica, and have been wondering how to best share my week with you. I guess I should start by letting you know that I had a truly unforgettable week. I only told a few close friends and family where I was going before I left as there are many people who frown upon girls travelling across the country on their own (I know this having experienced this before I left for New York City a few months ago). I was excited to learn how to surf and was pleasantly surprised to meet and befriend a group of like-minded, independent women when I arrived. The week went by in a magical blur and only on the very last day did I realize I had barely taken any pictures to capture moments to share with you. To be honest, the whole week felt so surreal that I was almost scared to preserve a memory in the form of a photograph in case I couldn’t capture the exact feeling just right. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m going to do my best to paint a picture for you with the following words.
(I’m not very good with sharing personal aspects of my life but I want this to be as real and honest as possible mostly because I’m scared that one day I will forget the details, so I’m sharing my story with you as though I am writing a letter to a boy I spent the week getting to know)
I remember the exact moment when our eyes first met. It was in the restaurant out front of my hotel room, and like many restaurants in the area this one didn’t have any walls, rather pillars holding up a roof. There was a gentle breeze around us, and you were sitting by yourself at a table a few feet away from me. I looked up from my schedule that outlined the events for the rest of the week and caught you observing me, quietly. I noticed how warm your brown eyes were. I gave you a shy smile but ducked my head before I could see you smile back. Later that afternoon as I headed out for a surf lesson, my instructor pointed you out far across the ocean, catching a large green wave and effortlessly carving and gliding through it, body and surfboard moving as one. I remember thinking you were a really good surfer before I wiped out on my board.
That night I walked out to meet a friend for dinner at that same restaurant and there you were sitting beside her. She excused herself to take a phone call, and you didn’t hesitate to introduce yourself. We started talking, and you asked to take me out later that night. I happily accepted. You picked me up on your motorcycle and we raced recklessly down the dirt roads of the town, dust flying as we whipped by. You told me I was beautiful, and I let myself believe it. On this first night, I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was when we began.
Before I left for Costa Rica I had no interest in love or anything close to it. I had already been through a rough 4-year relationship and felt too free-spirited and independent to want to go through anything like that for a while. But somehow in just a week you managed to tear down every single wall I built around me and you got me to really like you.
I know the week we had was a fairy tale week, where we met the first day and were seemingly inseparable for the following days. I feel like no one (other than my closest friend) will believe me if I try to explain the connection we shared. It seems almost foolish to believe it myself. But in the time we spent together there are moments that I don’t want to forget and I’m going to try and write them all down now, so I can look back one day and remember.
These are some of my favourite memories with you.
That morning, when I had just finished a run on the beach, the sun was blazing and I was dripping sweat and as I started my walk back to my hotel room, you called out to me from your motorcycle and insisted on driving me back even though I was drenched in sweat, and so I hopped on behind you trying not to hug you to tight.
That moment, when you realized I had never tasted a coconut before and so you convinced the local who was selling fresh coconuts out of a cooler to give me the freshest one for me to try. I remember sipping through the straw and tasting the purest coconut water. Later we sat down with a coconut split in half and you carefully spooned out the meat for me to taste.
The times you would feel a dreadlock starting to form in your long, curly hair, particularly after a surf session, and I would sit and patiently untangle your hair. I remember when I first met you I asked if you highlighted your hair because it was so blonde but now I know that the golden streaks in your hair were a natural result of the saltwater and sun and time.
That night we went to the rodeo, and you convinced me to climb up high on the fence that enclosed the ring and sit at the top with everyone else. I sat terrified with my legs shaking barely able to hold the cerveza you’d gotten for me, scared that when the bull was released it would charge straight towards me, knocking me off of the fence. You reassured me that I would be safe and I was.
Later that night, you pulled your dirt bike off of the path and on to the beach. We raced along the sand in the darkness of the night, the light from your bike lighting the way. The waves were gently crashing in to shore beside us and my foot felt warm from the heat of the engine. I had my arms wrapped tight around you, my chin on your shoulder but I remember leaning back to look up at all of the stars to take it all in, so many stars in the sky, the sand flying around us, and I remember feeling so free, so happy, so alive.
When we were saying our last goodbyes, you asked me not to forget you and I said I wouldn’t. As my plane took off, I fought back tears knowing that I had left a piece of me back there with you.
Thank you for being a part of my world, even if only for a little bit.
(I found this image on a friend’s Facebook, unsure of the exact source)