Day 26-57/180: The Cute Couple – Living Life in Costa Rica

I’ve decided to write one single diary post about my month in Montezuma, because I’m simply too behind with everything to divide it up any further. Wish me luck in trying to fit in all the details without making you read through a 20 page dissertation.

After a long and exhausting 3-day journey from Bocas del Toro (Panama) to Montezuma (Costa Rica), I arrived at what felt like an oasis of peace and quiet. It was a nice change from the first few weeks of hasty travelling and Caribbean madness. The Airbnb studio was located on top of a hill (I know, what was I thinking) and was part of a beautiful house, owned by a lovely elderly couple. They must have been some of the nicest people I’d ever met.

Playa Cuevas, Malpais, Costa Rica

The man, Glen, picked us up from the beach (of course we arrived by boat) and showed us around town. He was a tall man with kind eyes behind square glasses and grey hair that was always a bit of a mess. I immediately felt his warm and friendly energy. He’s the kind of person that always seems to be in a good mood, constantly cracking jokes and never rushing through life. I never once heard him complain about anything. He had the most enjoyable high-pitched laugh that inevitably makes you smile as well.

His wife, Rose, was a tiny but fierce woman. She gave me so many clothes I was afraid they wouldn’t fit in my backpack at the end of my stay. My favourite was a long, flowy dress with flower pattern. I’d only packed practical clothes (read: plain shorts & t-shirts), so I was thrilled!

Playa Cuevas, Malpais, Costa Rica

I’m hesitant to even attempt to describe their place, because I feel like I could never do it justice. It was for sure the most colourful space I’d ever set foot in: yellow walls, bright red ceiling, blue sink. All of this was complemented by red pillows, a green cloth with tropical birds on it and red and green curtains. Typing this, I realise it sounds like an absolute colour clash that would make you go blind, but it was honestly a Mediterranean dream.

On top of that, there was a balcony with two swinging chairs (can you believe it, because I couldn’t), with a view of the dense Costa Rican jungle. The hollow tree right in front of the studio was a nesting place for lots of different birds (they did not get along) and if you got up early enough, you were almost guaranteed to see some monkeys swinging on branches.

Then, the kitchen. Oh my goodness. After living on pasta and beans and cooking out of one pot for weeks, we suddenly had everything we could ever need. There was salt and pepper! Garlic! Herbes de Provence! I’d almost forgotten the taste of herbs. There was a toaster oven and even a blender! It was more equipment than I’d owned in my apartment in Antwerp. As if all of that wasn’t enough, there was also a pool. As a lowkey, always-kind-of-messy-looking backpacker, I felt weirdly out of place. The only reason I was able to afford this btw was because it was low season and I got a crazy monthly discount. I never expected it to be this nice, though.

The first few days I was beyond excited, but I soon discovered one big disadvantage: everything was hard to reach. The hill we were on was insanely steep, and walking this on flip flops every day got very tiring, very quickly. Imagine 30°C heat, the sun burning and a seemingly endless uphill (or downhill, which is JUST as annoying) road before you. It was probably the most intense workout of my life. I didn’t let it stop me from exploring, but I still ended up being in my studio quite often.

After a while, this caused some friction. I started to feel isolated and lonely. I started doubting everything I was doing. The fact that my external reality was close to perfect made me feel even worse. I was supposed to enjoy this. I was supposed to be nothing but grateful, I was living the dream, for crying out loud.

Of course, that’s not how it works. You don’t get to choose how you feel, only how you deal with it. So I chose to accept every bit of restlessness and boredom I was experiencing and I trusted, as much as I could, that this too shall pass and that I would feel better soon. My greatest comfort in times like these is that change is always on its way. Spoiler alert: it did get better.

I’m aware that it may seem like I’m the last person in any position to complain and I hope I don’t come off as ungrateful, but I refuse to put up an image of constant positivity and cheerfulness, because that’s not real and frankly, there’s enough of that on the Internet already. I would never want to spread the message that everyone should pack up their things and travel to the other side of the world as a cure for all of their problems. Travelling may be a great stepping stone, but it still depends on your attitude whether you will eventually become a better version of yourself. This will inevitably happen through many ups and downs, which I will keep sharing with whoever wants to read my ramblings!

Want to keep up with my adventures in Costa Rica? Read My First Diary Entry or My Next One!

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