Costa Rica

IMG_4978I 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.


IMG_4934 IMG_4981 IMG_4962 IMG_4984 IMG_4933 IMG_4926 IMG_4928 285337_10152565050180434_1739508650_n(I found this image on a friend’s Facebook, unsure of the exact source)

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  1. Wow! What a great story and an amazing trip. I can’t imagine how hard that must be!

  2. Lianna, what a deeply personal, profound, beautiful post. And what an incredible week you had. It sounds like the storyline of a wonderful romantic movie! Thanks for sharing this. The photos are fabulous. I know what you mean when you say that you were afraid photos wouldn’t capture the wonder or magic of your trip. I often find that’s the case with my pics but I’d say you did a pretty good job here. Plus you’ll always have these amazing memories.

  3. Wow, this really does sound like a fairy tale. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience with us! I can’t imagine how hard it was to come back to reality. Props to you for your SECOND solo adventure! You’re such an inspiration!

  4. ARE YOU KIDDING?!? YOUR LIFE IS A MOVIE. That sounds so magical. My life has been pure corporate drone business for the past 8 months except for one trip to mardi gras, so my mind is pretty much blown right now. Can’t. even. comprehend. the magic! Ahhhhh. So sad you will never see him again!? But what an AMAZING sounding time. I love the way you wrote about it. So eloquent. So descriptive. I felt like I was there. And such a plus to see all all the photos after!!! Glad you had such a phenomenal trip–sounds like a once in a lifetime experience! (well, maybe more. It sounds like the boys just flock to you!)

  5. WOW, what a beautiful story. I am so glad I took the time to read. You experienced what so many girls only dream about. I use to dream about meeting a boy while I was traveling and having those breath taking moments to only lead to the devastating last goodbye. Thanks for sharing. I am glad you felt the need to capture those memories through writing because this is definitely not something to forget!

  6. That was so personally and beautifully written. Sounds like you had such a fantastic time. I can imagine how your heart must feel, but what an amazing experience and set of memories you’ll never forget. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing. I lov that first picture.

  7. What a beautiful letter. You seemed to have a wonderful journey and I hope you one day go back and rekindle what had happened between you and the beautiful man (I am a sucker for happy endings!) Thanks so much for yiur personal thoughts 🙂

  8. I love the first picture too. This is such a lovely story to share.

  9. Ahh…that was so freakin sweet. Thank you very much for sharing your story in such a beautiful way. I am so glad to have found your blog.

  10. Aw Lianna. I’m left with this… feeling that I can’t quite describe… after reading your letter. Human connections are so beautiful, multifaceted, joyeous, lingering, exhausting and occasionally painful… but completely and utterly worth every investment we make (even the bad ones, as we learn from them. I think, mostly!! I’m still working this one out!). Glad you had the opportunity to meet some beautiful, genuine people in Costa Rica. I hope that you’ll be keeping in touch? Sending you a hug. Ah, I’m lucky enough to be married to an amazing man now, but I remember times like you’re going through very well xo

  11. The scenery looks beautiful! I’m really jealous!

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