At the beginning of this year, 2019, we went to Costa Rica for a family trip. Being in nature, spotting wilderness in real life and not in cages, eating fresh pineapples and every single moment that we spent there was very beautiful and mesmerizing.
The trip was refreshing, fun and mindful. I loved the really slow-moving three-toed sloths. I even spotted a jaguarundi at our jungle loft air BnB. For a change, I really loved to watch the Iguanas on our river tour (from far away of course). I never thought I would get to see wildlife in natural habitat ever but I was so thankful.
The kids enjoyed themselves a lot. We spent less time on our cell phones and more time enjoying nature. The kids even walked 300 steps down to see a waterfall and 300 steps back up.
The Mistico hanging bridges made us cross 16 bridges from start to end. There was some learning about success and comfort in that experience. The first few bridges were scary to cross. We thought we would fall, the bridge would break, we were not sure of crossing it. The last three were easier. We were willing to stop and take pictures. We had confidence that we would cross it. It showed us that staying consistent and practice makes seemingly hard things easy.
Throughout out the trip, I felt like I was learning different lessons. Lessons of Mindfulness and Simplicity.
Here are 10 Mindful Lessons I Learned From My Trip To Costa Rica
1. It doesn’t take a very highly developed country to provide clean bathrooms to residents and visitors. It just takes a pure heart.
Everywhere we went we had easy access to bathrooms. All the bathrooms were clean and tidy. Going in, I did not think this country would have such cleanliness. Even in Singapore, which I have heard to be one of the cleanest countries I had found horrible bathrooms. So I was very skeptical but I was proven wrong. I am amazed by this and thankful for the convenience throughout our trip.
2. Keeping your country clean is the responsibility of every citizen. It again doesn’t take a very rich country to do that.
It was not just the bathroom but everywhere I saw there was no sign of trash on the streets or surroundings. Everyone in the country is responsible for keeping the country clean. The streets and the beaches and the parks and the rainforest were very clean. I realized that all it takes for a country to be clean is for every citizen to take that responsibility in those hands and not wait for others to clean up after themselves. It is everyone’s duty and everyone should do it themselves.
3. You need very less really in life to be happy.
One our way back from our river tour, we waited at a local resident Wendy’s house to have a snack. The snack was very tasty and freshly made. This place was her residence. She did not have a fancy kitchen. She had a stove in the house (not electric or gas like we have. This was a very basic earthen stove). She had a small sq footage house and she did not have any electricity in her house. No internet nothing. Wendy though was very happy and satisfied and fulfilled in her life. She had some fruit trees in the backyard, a grown-up son, a dog and some fish.
I realized a person really needs very less in life to be happy. Wendy was happy and she did not need 24 by 7 internet, big rooms, beds or anything like that to be happy in her life.
4. Connecting to nature is very healing.
When you are around so much greenery and wildlife, you naturally feel happy and grounded. There are fewer worries and more feelings of abundance. Nature puts you in a reset mode and helps calm your nerves. Going To Costa Rica was a great recharging vacation for all of us.
5. Picking up a local language to get by for a few days is easy and apps make it so easy these days.
Maybe not every language but we picked up basic Spanish words through Duo Lingo and could ask basic questions to people for our needs in Costa Rica. Most people understood and spoke in English but we just wanted to see if we could hold basic conversations and we did! We learned it as a family. Well, my younger son only learned Si and he said that after every sentence we spoke to him!!!! LOL!
6. You don’t need to talk your ass out with everyone you meet. Solitude is bliss.
I am an introvert on most days and a talkative person on some other days but when on vacation I prefer quiet and solitude. I loved that I could have that in this vacation. I did not have to continuously talk with either my husband or kids or the guides if I didn’t want to.
7. Some experiences cannot be shared even with your family.
I happened to spot Toucans, Jaguarundi and some birds that I saw so quickly and then they disappeared that I could not share those amazing moments with my family. I realized that it is completely ok to not share and just enjoy this for yourself. Our natural instinct is to share but in the jungle when you spot a jaguarundi or a toucan and then it disappears and no one else can see it, there is nothing you need to feel guilty about. Your enjoyment and gift from nature are only yours to relish. Be happy with not being able to share. It is OK.
8. My husband finds the best air b n bs
This is not exactly a lesson of mindfulness. But I just wanted to give him a shoutout. He did a great job finding the two air bnbs we stayed in. Their locations and the air BnB themselves were very beautiful. I am thankful for my husband and his choice.
9. If you panic in the middle of an experience, you just take a few mins to breathe.
For me, the panic was swimming in the middle of the ocean for the first time. Even with floats, it was scary to not have feet touching the ground or any side to hold on to. I had to just give myself a moment of pause and breathe in order to make sense of where I was and how I was capable of what was in front of me (which was snorkeling)
10. Live a pure life. Pura Vida.
Find freshness in air, food, books, your life everywhere. Live every moment and love yourself and love life. Take efforts to make it effortless. Do it for yourself and how you want it. Not how anyone else wants you to live life. Let go of all judgments and complications. Just be. Life is simple. Do not over complicate it.
Embracing Mindfulness created big shifts in my life.
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P.S: All Images in this post belong to Sneha J. If copied or downloaded, you do not have my permission to use it on your ads, your blogs, your social media or anywhere else personally or commercially.