This is the third time we have been to Costa Rica, and this time we are here to stay.
According to my son whom is about to turn ten years old next week, we are not moving. Well, he isn’t. I am free to keep on traveling and visiting other countries if I want to but for now he is staying put.
He declared this to me a few weeks ago whilst we were lazing in hammocks on our balcony overlooking the forest that lay between us and the not so distant ocean view. In our hands we held the first pick of the guanabana season.
To be more precise the guanabana was dripping all over our hands, fingers, and arms whilst running down our chins. I have not been taken by such a delightful and heart stopping taste sensation of a fruit since I tried the perfect Lucuma in Peru two years ago. And that experience was like eating soft fluffy caramel. The delectable sweet white flesh of the guanabana tasted better than any sort of ice-cream I have ever had. My son would disagree on this part, but all in all he thinks it is pretty damn good too.
Finding a Fruity Jackpot
Back in my home country of Australia growing up in the eighties and nineties mango was the most exotic and sought after fruit around. If you were lucky that is.
Where we live in this small community of a mix bunch of both foreigners and locals alike, everyone is excited for guanabana season. The fruit is regarded as a treasure. Eyes glaze over whilst smiles broaden at the mere mention of eating one.
Our house is surrounded by trees that grow the fruit and we spend each day keeping a close eye on the large green bulging spiky balls of deliciousness making sure we spot the perfect time to pick them before the Toucans get to them first.
This is how I saw that the first guanabana was ready to pick. A huge toucan flew above and rested in a branch not far from where I was sitting. Dribbling out of its huge colorful bill was the white flesh of the fruit. I retraced a path from where the toucan had flown and found a half eaten very ripe guanabana about to fall from its branch — jackpot!
Bye, Bye Australia!
Rescuing what was left I spent the afternoon in fruit heaven with my son beside me declaring his love of this country and his complete non interest of moving. And I have to say I can’t blame him.
We left Australia three years ago after making a relatively easy and for all tense and purposes quick decision that life in the west was not for us. Sitting on the floor of the small shop in the industrial estate of Byron Bay in New South Wales from where I was attempting to run a clothing label business, my then six year old son and I made plans to sell everything and leave. Life in Australia was typically geared towards the need to work more for more consumption and it was glaring down at me way too brightly for my liking. Leaving was only the real plan we had.
The mere act of packing up and flying out would surely set in motion the realization of where we would need to go. With no fixed plans at all we spent three months in Bali followed by three weeks in France and Belgium visiting grandparents to then arrive in San Jose just after my sons seventh birthday.
Hello Costa Rica!
Having never set foot onto Central America before strangely enough nothing felt out of place at all. Feeling at ease as if we were at home we quickly found our forest groove living in an intentional community outside Nosara in the Guanacaste area. Never being one to have worn shoes even in cities such as Brisbane or Sydney and definitely not on the island of Bali in Indonesia, my son found his kindred posse of young boys with bare feet and wild long hair among the howler monkeys running through the overgrowth of dense greenery.
[quote_center]Tarzan, Mowgli, and Peter Pan all seemed to be gathered in the one spot and it happened to be close to the small wooden cabin with no walls we then called home.[/quote_center]
After six months of a simple but wild life of beach days, hot days and intense rainy days filled with snakes, monkeys, humming birds and turtles we decided to go to Peru to live for awhile. Although he had learned to speak many words of German and Hebrew, community living was not giving my son the chance to learn Spanish. It was time to go further south on the continent and try some mountain living and local village integration for the chance to grasp the Spanish language.
That was exactly two years ago now.
Back in the warm climate of this lush land of Costa Rica no one can quite pick where we are from. I use to live in Paraguay decades ago where I learned my Spanish and still can be heard to have an Argentinian tilt of an accent from a marriage in my late twenties.
Constantly jumping from his Peruvian street twang to the local slur of the “Tico tongue” many now believe that my son was born here. I am proud to say that no one ever guesses we are Australian. From Brazil maybe, and not often asked if we are from the US of A, our origins are a constant flux of conversation.
So, for now Costa Rica it is.
Choosing Pura Vida
With local food markets that are like theme parks with new rides and sights each time we go, the extensive variety of fresh fruit and vegetables alone are enough to keep us here. We drink fresh water straight from the spring and every sunrise is accompanied with the sound of howler monkeys on the ridge. Birds of every color, butterflies as large as my hands and wild horses grace our every day. Brightly colored frogs, lizards as green as can be and insects the size of small mammals are everywhere. Armadillos come by noisily at night rummaging through the pile of opened coconuts that lay beside our house. The surrounding nature is a living playground with the animals as the characters that keep us highly intrigued, entertained, and in constant awe.
Life in our little patch of paradise here in Costa Rica is rich with surprises, intense color and constant joy. Pura Vida may be the local catch cry to describe everything from health, state of mind and the weather, but our life is a pure life indeed when we get to live in surroundings so alive and incredibly beautiful.
I am with my son on this one. There is no need to move and for now Costa Rica is definitely our home.
[quote_box_center]Hailing originally from Australia, Melissa Boord has been traveling the world on and off for the past twenty five years. A blogger, chocolate maker, clothes designer and freshwater lover, her biggest passion is raising her beautiful and wild son with the world as their classroom. She is currently living in Costa Rica and writing her first book. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.[/quote_box_center]