Living the Pura Vida

Our First Days in Costa Rica

It has been a busy last few months and we are both exhausted. I guess we are suckers for pain. In the span of about a month we conquered an Ironman triathlon, gotten married and moved our belongings half way across the country into storage. Our lives for the next year can now be found amid the contents of four strategically packed backpacks.

The best feeling in the world was embarking on the plane at the Moncton International Airport knowing that all of the chaos that had been our lives this last little while was finally behind us. We have nowhere to look but forward.

Ready, set, take off! Costa Rica here we come. Going on about four hours sleep and forgetting to put deodorant on we were both in for a disgusting flight. I can only hope that security does not feel the need to search me. Lifting my arms may be reason enough for them to lock me up. With the lack of sleep really starting to show as we send our carry ons through the scanner. In our haste to get to the airport, the bag with all our camping knives got mistakenly put in our carry on’s. What a rookie mistake! What’s even worst is that US customs are not fans of anyone that is not Canadian, and here I am with my European husband. As you can imagine my mind was racing at about a million miles an hour and I thought for sure we would wind up in serious trouble. I could feel myself turning red hot as a stone-faced security woman rifled through my bag and indiscreetly pulled out not one, but two knives. Thank goodness I had stashed my undies in Joey’s bag. I could feel all the nosy bystanders watching and walking around me on egg shells. AWKWARD! The silver lining in all of this is that we didn’t get in trouble, we still got on our flight and no one got butt probed (much to my sister’s dismay).

Joey had visited Costa Rica a few years ago for his parents 25th wedding anniversary. They had went on a full fledge wilderness kayaking trip, to a remote island off the Atlantic coast. For me, Costa Rica was a new country with sweltering humidity. We hadn’t even left the baggage claim area and I could feel my shirt dripping with sweat. We had no trouble picking up our baggage and finding the driver that was scheduled to shuttle us to Playa del Coco. The trouble happened after we got dropped on the doorstep of our airbnb for the month.

For those of you unfamiliar with airbnb, this web service connects people looking to rent their home to tenants and vice versa. As a tenant you can browse and either rent a private room or an entire home. As the renter, you can photograph, price and place your space on airbnb for travelers looking for a comfortable place to stay. With customizable filters and people all over the world looking to rent or be rented from, airbnb is quickly becoming a popular and affordable way to book travel accommodations. Click here if you want to learn more or sign up here for a discount and start you adventure.

Most airbnb’s have the person you are renting from (also known as the host) meet you at the residence for the key exchange at a pre negotiated time. Unlike the previous airbnb’s we’ve stayed at, the host didn’t live close to the house, in fact, they didn’t even live in the same country. Given that the airbnb ad stated that we were staying in a condo, I assumed that it would have a front desk concierge. Assuming was not a smart move on my part. To my dismay upon our arrival, there was no concierge desk to be found. I left Joey with our excessive amount of luggage, and a zillion mosquitoes, while I went searching to see if I could find the condo property manager. Fifteen minutes later… nothing….thirty minutes later….nothing. I headed back to Joey dripping in sweat and convinced we would be sleeping in a tent on the front step. When all seemed lost and I was close to tears, Joey reminded me that he got an international cell plan that gave him calling minutes and most importantly, DATA. I could almost hear the alleluia choruses. I solemnly swear from now on I will pay better attention when I read my emails. I re-check my emails and stumbled across an email send from the host a few days prior. The email gave pretty clear instructions on how to access the condo. I guess it was an email I had hastily opened in the flurry of activity prior to leaving Canada and never got back to it.

After our minor speed bump, it didn’t take long for us to unpack our gear and make the condo feel like home. By the end of the week there wasn’t a nook or cranny of Playa del Coco that went unexplored. We had checked out the town and done a grocery run in our trusty golf cart, been on several snorkeling adventures in neighbouring bay’s, survived torrential downpours, found the best places to watch the sun set and tasted an authentic Costa Rican meal of beans, rice, plantain and chicken.

It had been a long summer of saving and planning but we had finally made it. To our delight the honeymoon we had been dreaming about had finally begun. The adventure of a lifetime was unfolding before our very eyes.


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