Sunday, January 21, 2007

home from "home"

Just got back from 8 days in Costa Rica. Trip number 3. This one was very different. Instead of feeling like a tourist in the unfamiliar, it felt more familiar and "home". That might be because instead of us as the initiates, we took along Beth and Aaron, so we were the experienced and they the novice. When you are showing and telling and explaining, you have a feeling of familiar that you don't have when you are observing and commenting and absorbing. It was really nice, though, to feel like we were "home" in an unfamiliar place where we own land.

We also went through a different travel experience on this trip than usual. Our typical MO is to fly in to San Jose and take the first available flight to the Nicoya and reverse the operation on the way back. In other words, we hadn't ever seen any other part of the country.

This time, we rented a car, stayed a couple nights in San Jose, walked around, got a feel for the capital, drove to the ferry, ferried to the Nicoya, drove to Santa Theresa, beached, reversed the drive and went north to see Arenal volcano, and back to San Jose.
Yes, it is a beautiful country. Its green, lush, tropical. I'm glad that we toured around a bit, but I think that my heart is on the southern Nicoya, and in the future, I'm happy to do the plane hopping to get to the beach ASAP.

The other thing I have to say, is that our land is INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL. It was really great to be able to walk around and experience it. We mapped all the features with a GPS. The river is so magical (will post pics later), and the most incredible part is that since this land was used by the previous owner for his horses, and not as cattle grazing, it was never clear-cut. There is an obvious line between our land and that adjacent, because ours is a JUNGLE. In the past, someone planted tree fences and so there is a line of huge trees that marks the boundary - in case the jungle was not obvious enough. We saw monkeys, coati, and lots of lizards/iguanas.

Travelling on vacation with other people was also a new experience for us. We usually go on vacation alone or with my family (except for a trip to San Carlos, Mexico, but that was with SO many people that it was an experience unto itself). Anyway, I learned things about our friends that I hadn't known or realized before, and I learned things about us that I hadn't realized before - mostly, that we are pretty quiet people. I mean, I know that our home and life is pretty peaceful, but I had never really realized how much that is a result of who we are. I always thought it was because we didn't have kids, have cats (which are fairly calm, at least calmer than dogs), and because we spend our time at home trying to be relaxed to recover from all the crap and stress that goes on at work. But on this trip, I realized that Greg and I are innately quiet. We have times of excited, energy, passion, activity, but at the core is peace, quiet, and calm, not a lot of energy.

I've also known, through learning in my relationship, that Greg does not like anything that is a hassle, or more energy than the minimum; like crowds, or bustle, or confusion. He likes to be able to quietly process and absorb. This characteristic can be frustrating to me because he gets flustered in an airport, or mall, or doesn't like to make a complicated plan. But it also creates and perpetuates the quiet and calm. I found myself wondering if I have become more quiet because of it, or if the quiet it also an intrinsic quality of me. Probably it was there, and in my experience with Greg has become emphasized.

We are also pretty go-with-the-flow people, which is kind of ironic because we are both very Type A, independent, assertive; but in a group, we tend to allow others to call the shots. Don't get me wrong, if we have needs, we make them known; but overall, we allow others to direct conversation, topics of interest, and the general flow. I've seen how we do this with my family, but then, I have always done that with them because the rest of my family all like to be the center of attention more than me. On this trip, I realized that this is actually who we are, its not isolated to family experiences.

Anyway, that's all on Costa Rica for now, have to finish laundry, do groceries, pay bills, and finish unpacking. Then, I can download distribute and share the photos!

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