I’ll admit, I’m a little delayed in writing this. I’ve been living in Uvita for about a month now and have been doing all I can to embrace my new lifestyle. I’m coming to Costa Rica and working at Bodhi Surf School after four intense years working as a management consultant at one of the largest global professional services firms. However, this shift in lifestyle has been just what I needed.
From going full bore…
Back in the states, I was regularly clocking in 70-hour weeks and escaping the city life when I could summon the energy to squeeze in a hike or a visit to one of the city’s small vegetable gardens. Life was moving at 100 miles per hour and my type-A self was taking it all in (literally, all of it — I would leave my apartment before the sun came up and usually didn’t return until well after dark). However, I was getting burnt out – quickly. I came to the realization that I wanted something more than my corporate grind. I sought out the opportunity to immerse myself in an entirely different (and slightly slower-paced) lifestyle where I’d have the chance to have a direct impact and gain a greater sense of personal fulfillment.
Serendipitously, I found Bodhi Surf School. I’m now regularly practicing my Spanish, finding my inner yogi, doing my best to maintain my balance on a surfboard, learning about responsible business practices, and advising on the strategy, marketing, and branding around surrounding the positive impact Bodhi Surf School has on their immediate community, the country, and the world.
… to life at the “Tico” pace
This experience has opened my eyes to so many different perspectives. Not only have I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, but I’ve also learned a lot about myself. This refined self-awareness is directly in line with Bodhi’s ideology – translated from Sanskrit, Bodhi means “awakening”. In the past month, I’ve awoken elements of who I am as an individual that have previously remained in the background due to my always-on-the-go lifestyle.
Primarily, I’ve awoken an appreciation for tranquility. In the states, there was always something else that needed to be done, and that needed to be done yesterday. Here, I’ve discovered how incredibly relaxing it can be to take a deep breath and prioritize the things that I want to make time for.
And the respite that only nature can bring
Alongside this shift in mentality, I now find myself surrounded by nature at every turn as opposed to an hour’s drive away. The gentle, yet restorative lull of the ocean waves and the singing of the macaws have reminded me that is often better to slow down and take it all in instead of jumping onto the next thing. It sounds cliché, but you really will miss the beauty of the world if you don’t slow down to appreciate it. The shift in mentality and immersion in nature has allowed me to put my mind at ease in a way that it hasn’t been for years.
This self-awareness will help me immensely when I return to the U.S. in a few short weeks to start graduate school full-time. I will take my appreciation for tranquility – both mental and physical – with me wherever I go. In fact, I’m already searching for ways to preserve tranquility for myself and for others; I would like to play a role in making sure that the tranquility of nature is available to generations to come. With this, I leave you with my personal Ocean Guardian pledge: to help raise awareness about the impact of single-use plastics on the environment in my home-state of Massachusetts.
Written by Katrina Goulden