It was hard to leave Bocas this past Wednesday. I’ve been quite a few places in the world and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so “home” so quickly somewhere new. A large part of that was because of the many, many wonderful people I met; my host family, all of the staff at Habla Ya, the other students, the Give and Surf team, friends of the Give and Surf team, locals, expats…… It felt like instant-community.
I spent my last few days there on Isla Bastimentos, relaxing and spending time with the people I had met over the past 3 weeks. On Sunday, I went to a surf competition put on by Give and Surf with my classmates’ house mother’s daughter and her adorable son. My buddy Eduardo was in the competition and we stopped at his ice cream shop (which is also his house) on the pier on the way home and his wife did a crystal reading for me. When we got back to Bocas town, I ran into Oz, the guy that saved my shoes in the sea and we all chatted for a bit before I went home for dinner with my host family and German roommates.
I didn’t have class on Monday or Tuesday so it was nice to also have some time to myself to breathe, connect, and just be. I took a surf lesson on Monday morningI took a kayak out and when I got out as far as I could, I laid down, face up and felt the sun and the rain come down on my face at the same time. A warm breeze blew threw me. Time slowed down….and so did my breath. I could hear the thump of the water rhythmically hitting the kayak and not much else. A gentle smile on my face. Such peace.
When I had to say goodbye to everyone, there were lots of hugs and kisses, kind messages and letters, plans to meet again in the future, and good luck wishes for adventures ahead. It’s very hard for me to let go of people and experiences that move me. I want to hold on tight and take them with me forever. But in the year of letting go, it became easier to bow with gratitude for each person and each experience that lit me up and move on with love instead of sadness.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Not to mention, I was headed to see one of my best friends in another beautiful place- Tamarindo, Costa Rica! On my way there, I didn’t have the best luck with my flights. One was delayed for 4 hours and I missed my connecting flight on a different airline in San Jose, Costa Rica. I wasn’t able to be refunded or re-booked on another flight so I was just stuck in San Jose. I remember when these kinds of things used to upset me and now I’ve come to see that the hiccups, when not resisted, often turn out to be blessings.
I didn’t have working data and the wi-fi in the airport wasn’t working so I just went from one transportation company to another in the airport trying to figure out the best way to make the 4 1/2 hour journey that night. In the end, I decided to just rent a car and figure out the minor details of how to get to Tamarindo without google maps or navigation, or how to get a hold of my friend Lauren. As I was walking out of the airport with the Enterprise guy, I hear someone saying “Kelly? Kelly? Kelly Yonston??” I look over and there is a man with a big smile on his face holding a sign with my name on it. I was so confused! I made an assumption that my friend had somehow set up a driver for me while I was on my flight, and went with him in good faith. His English was about as good as my Spanish so I knew it was going to be a fun car ride.
We ended up having the best time! We talked about life, love, travel, adventure….and mostly in Spanish so I was feeling pretty good about myself 😉 At one point we were belting out Boy George’s Karma Chameleon with fake microphones and laughing our butts off. By the time we got there, we were friends and I was invited to stay at his family’s farm any time I wanted. ♥
The journey of connection and healing continues….