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How I Fell In Love With A Costa Rican

Our home, as seen from The Lodge

Our home, as seen from The Lodge

In March 2009, I was staring down the barrel of a failed marriage.

I wanted out because it felt like I needed to get out. I didn't yet have an explanation or a reason, but after six years the relationship no longer felt right.

Desperate and isolated from friends and family while we lived in Madrid, Spain, I made an appointment with a psychic. My first ever. I was nervous about talking to her, a bit skeptical, but figured I had nothing to lose.

She confirmed that the relationship wasn't the best match anymore. I asked her about my future. I wanted to see if I could envision it with my husband. I told her I had an idea to run a guest lodge in the country. I wanted to teach people how to reconnect with Mother Earth. I grew up in my ancestral homelands in a small community of just a few hundred. Now I was living in Madrid, a city of 6 million. I loved that city, but I could go weeks without seeing the sunrise or the sunset. It was starting to wear me down. The need for regular connection with the Earth had never been more apparent to me.

"Yes, that's an excellent fit for you!" She said. "I also see you traveling . . .  Costa Rica, maybe?"

Costa Rica? I'd never thought of Costa Rica before. Wasn't that in Central America somewhere?

"Also, there's a man in your life. Your Guides are saying he's a good match for you. He's involved in sustainability or ecology and doesn't mince words. If he's not in your life already, he soon will be."

Hmmm. I didn't know who she might be talking about but I took note!

A month later, I was back in my mother's house in Washington State. I'd separated from my husband and was headed to New Mexico in August to finish up grad school. I wasn't sure what to do for the next 3 months but I wanted, needed, to look to the future. Thinking of my guest lodge, I decided to find an organic farm nearby. Maybe I could get out for a day or even volunteer for awhile. I started searching Washington and British Columbia. Somewhere along the way I came across a link that led me to a permaculture farm on the Caribbean in Costa Rica. It looked interesting. They accepted volunteers. I sent an email, volunteering my services but I didn't really expect a reply. It looked like the kind of place that doesn't check email very often. But within a few short hours I had a reply: "Yes, we could use you next month!"

Next month!?! That was 10 days away.

Excitement and adventure started to build in my gut.

I should run it by my husband.

No. I don't need to do that anymore!

I should run it by my mom.

No. I'm an adult! I don't need to do that either!

Could I really just decide to take a last minute trip to a foreign country on my own?

I booked the ticket. I didn't know how I was going to afford anything for the next four months, but I just knew I had to go.

I giggled and did a little happy dance and only then did I remember the psychic's words from a month ago:

Costa Rica.

My one month in Costa Rica turned into two months. I met friends with whom I will share a lifetime of friendship. I washed my grief away in the ocean. I learned who I was as an individual and as an adult. No one knew me as a wife. Or an ex-wife. They met me and accepted me as I was.

It was exactly what I needed.

About three weeks into my time at the farm a handsome redheaded tour guide passed through. There was a moment of mistaken identity when I mistook him for a big-headed college professor and he mistook me for a Costa Rican.

He was the Costa Rican.

I was the big-headed college girl.

Sparks.

Before he left he looked me straight in the eye. "If you ever come back to Costa Rica, I don't care if it's next month, next year, or two years from now-- you let me know and I'll take you on a date."

He was cute, but I knew I'd never see him again. I gave him my email address anyway.

In the end, it was two years. But I did go back to Costa Rica and I did let him know.

Today we live on a sustainable/organic farm where he and his sisters run a guest lodge with an emphasis on ecology and sustainability. I have 200 acres to roam, with an unbeatable view of the sunset. Oh, and two adorable little boys.