Costa Rica

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

santateresa1Sorry I’ve been MIA for two weeks, I have a really really good reason but more on that later.  I’ve been to a lot of beaches around the world but no other beach town has made an impression on me like Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.  Last December, I decided that I wanted to go to Santa Teresa for my thirty-second birthday to learn how to surf, do yoga, and cleanse my soul.  Little did I know at the time that it would be the ugliest Winter in history.  When March finally rolled around with about a dozen or so nasty storms under our belt, I was so glad I booked my trip to paradise.

Since I started this blog, I’ve always juggled between wanting to share my personal life and my struggles and keeping it more private.  I’ve received many emails from readers encouraging me to share more but honestly, I’m so freaked out about it.  I’ve always dealt with things my own way.  Mostly with a mix of aggressive optimism and not dealing with things right away.  The problem is no matter how long you delay things and how far you run away from reality, it still catches up to you.

It’s a catch 22 because I’m a die-hard optimist but it’s false advertising to say that everything is always great because it’s not.  Sometimes, it’s fucking shitty.  This blog is my happy place, a place where I share my photos of travels and creative ideas.  However, I do want to use my own personal experiences to inspire others to go after their dreams and pursue happiness.  So while I’m going through a rough patch right now in my life, I hope to have the courage one day to share my struggle and how I come out of the darkness into the light again.

This trip to Santa Teresa couldn’t have come at a better time.  It definitely had themes from the get-go like, “let it go,” “happiness is worth everything,” “patience,” “live simply.”  Why Santa Teresa in Costa Rica?  Costa Rica has always been on my bucket list as I’m sure it’s on yours.  I felt like I had the rainforest experience in the Amazon so I wanted it to be more of a surfing trip.  One of the best surfing towns in Costa Rica is Santa Teresa, a small town on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Being a New Yorker in Costa Rica is like being a fish out of water.  My first inclination is to do everything right away.  Land-check in-change-beach-drinks-dinner.  Natalia, one of the gorgeous girls who works at Nautilus, told me to relax.  One of the things I loved the most about Santa Teresa was that we were the only Americans in the town.  Not that I have anything against Americans or New Yorkers but going to any Caribbean island is like you’re in New York with a prettier back drop so what’s the point?  Lesson 1: Relax.

Costa Rica really lives up to its motto of Pura Vida.  Every day we had organic food, green juices, and everything is pretty much sustainable.  Everyone is fit.  Literally everyone including the 75 year old grandfather is ripped and gorgeous.  This is where the average person goes to get hot.  Everyone surfs in the morning or at sunset, eats healthy and goes to bed early.  I’ve never felt more cleansed in my life.  Excluding our nightly ritual of drinking a local beer at sunset (don’t judge it was cheaper than water) and sweating 5 lbs of water weight off in the 97 degree weather, I felt amazing.

I really can’t describe to you in words the experience I had in Santa Teresa because words nor photos would do it justice.  It was magical.  The minute you step onto the beach around sunset, it’s pure paradise.  To the left you see a family swimming together in the ocean, surfers trying to catch the last waves of the day, dogs running around, and everyone else waiting in anticipation of the most magnificent sunset you will ever see in your life.  Everyone was so happy and relaxed with only a surf board, 2 sun-dyed t-shirts (which was actually sun-dyed and not a $100 tshirt sold in a hipster store in Williamsburg), with little to no possessions.  I kept asking myself, are we doing it all wrong?  Lesson 2: Live simply.

There was a part of me that didn’t even want to write about Santa Teresa because it’s so special to me.  It’s such a pure and magical place in my memory that I hope it never gets tainted.  Like any paradise, it’s a trek to get to but like all things in life, the best things are worth waiting for.  I landed in Santa Teresa as a lost girl and left renewed and fired up.

santateresa2 {Nautilus Hotel Entrance-Pure Serenity}

santateresa3 {Gluten Free Pizza at Olam}

santateresa4 {Zwart Cafe-Perfect for Breakfast or Lunch}

santateresa5 {Art Gallery at Zwart Cafe}

santateresa6 {Gallo Pinto-Costa Rican Rice and Beans}

santateresa7 {Surfers at Sunset}

santateresa8 {Almendra the Miss Buttercup of Santa Teresa}

santateresa9 {The Most Gorgeous Walk to the Beach}

santateresa10 {Surfing at Sunset}

santateresa11 {Daily Ritual of Watching the Sunset Every Night}