Costa Rica 6: Pura Vida and the chicken bus
Published in Blog, May 5, 2010
Author note: meant to post this a while ago so here it is:
From a journal written on April 29th
I am on the “chicken bus” right now, listening to my Indonesia mix of music, thinking about how exactly this time last year, I quit my job and ventured on a boat to the Mentawais for a surf trip with 12 guys.
I spent all day yesterday in San Jose, the main city, doing almost exactly what I did at my old job. I went to malls, looked dozens of retail shops, but this time, it was all on my terms, and I saw the landscape with a more mature vision. I understood the retail environment more… and I was on such a different budget.
I traveled on an eight-hour chicken bus, sweating profusely, whereas my old job would have flown me business class. Last year at this time I was hopeful, but scared out of my mind. Everyone told me I was nuts for quitting my job in the worse economy to pursue the most dying of professions. No one thought I’d make it a year. I almost started thinking myself, that by this time, the game would be over, my savings drained, and I’d have to look for a “real” J-O-B. Sometimes the consistent income sounds so appealing. But sitting here on the bus — my tushy sticking to the seat, my legs still burning from an amazing spin class at 6am with a hot Tico instructor that had me pedaling faster than ever, next to a baby smiling, an old man weathered from years of labor staring deeply out the window, passing school kids playing, alligators bathing, a salty surfer telling me old sailing stories, and listening to locals laugh – it makes everything feel so much more authentic.
I am going over a river on a bridge where mud is caked high and alligators are surely feeding. It seems like a scene out of a movie, maybe because Eddie Vedder is playing through my ears. I always said Costa Rica was life changing, life invigorating. It’s in their blood, the air, the sun, the food, their rice and beans, playful waves, heck it’s in their slogan. Pura Vida – The Pure Life. Here I am soaking it all in.