mangrove kayak tour || eco-tour adventure || Blue Osa Yoga Retreat

Blues Oasis: The Place To Embrace Grief

Carly arrived at Blue Osa with one goal in mind. She wanted to feel something again. She experienced the unthinkable at the young age of 32 when she lost her husband in a tragic accident, catapulting her into grief and pain she could not explain.

Many people come to Blue Osa to heal.

And Carly’s experience was no different.

What transpired over the next few days for this woman’s shattered heart was an absolute miracle and a blessing to witness. And lucky for all of us, Carly was brave and open enough to share her story with others who may be experiencing grief and loss.

When Jordan passed I felt very empty, lonely and confused, like life had no purpose anymore. You know, blaming yourself, like why did this happen to me? Something so terrible . . . 

And then I realized, in my heart, I felt really strong like I was chosen for this to happen. And possibly that my story could affect others one day and inspire others to continue to live. And I knew I needed to find that strength inside of me but I couldn’t figure out how to get it. 

One morning, I was birdwatching on the porch. And I just thought I would really enjoy going to Costa Rica because of the wildlife there. And then I had dinner with some friends and agreed that the best possible thing I could do for myself was to come here. And so we booked the trip.

How did you find Blue Osa?

It found me. I was searching for wellness and spa retreats in Costa Rica and I came across it and the reviews were amazing and the name just spoke to me. I just booked it and decided to give it a try. It turned out that the day I got here was exactly three months from the day I lost Jordan. 

How was your mental state like before you arrived at Blue Osa and at the end of your vacation?

I was seeking answers and I wanted to feel life again. I wanted to feel something inside of my heart that I hadn’t felt in three months.

I didn’t plan anything for the trip. I just knew I wanted to get away and be alone and find myself.

Carly standing in a creek in the jungle on her hike to a waterfall in Costa Rica.

Now that I’ve been here for a few days, I feel so much more clarity about who I am and why I’m here. And maybe not necessarily my purpose. But I feel like if you stick to who you are and your heart and stay on the right path, things will fall into place and you don’t have to force them, you just have to simply be present. And it’s just amazing to find so much life here. Everything from the resort to the ocean to just the whole entire energy here is amazing.

What was your first morning at Blue Osa like?

I had my phone with me because I felt like I had to share everything I’m doing with people because they were so worried about me being here. And you want to share your experiences here and then I realized, first off there was no Wi-Fi and second off there’s no way to describe the experience here. 

There was no way a picture could show what I was feeling. And so I remember turning around (from the beach) and bringing my phone back to my room and I just let it go and then I walked back out to the beach and saw the sunrise and everybody was quiet. I love the morning silence thing! I saw someone meditating and I was like, what’s happening here? This girl hasn’t moved in 20 minutes, but I knew it was something special.

What was your experience like in the Blue Osa Meditation Temple?

I don’t meditate. Well . . . I didn’t before I came here. I would maybe take a couple of minutes sometimes when I’m really stressed out back where I live, but I’ve never really taken the time to just be still in the moment and when I walked into that temple, I just felt like I could lay everything out to Mr. Ganesh that I was feeling and there was obviously no response but I don’t know how to explain it. It’s like he was listening and I just felt so much more of a positive presence. 

A statue of Ganesh, an elephant headed Hindu diety that is in Blue Osa's Balinese-style meditation temple in Costa Rica.

I definitely felt a connection with my mind and being more open and free to talk about things and just understanding your soul and what truly makes you happy and pursuing that and not being so fearful of what won’t happen but be open to the possibility of things that can happen from something really terrible.

Describe how the excursions at Blue Osa helped you with your grief and fears.

I loved the bird watching tour and seeing the toucan and I loved the ducks. They were Jordan’s favorite. And I think just the connection to earth. Like, you just feel all this love and beauty that surrounds you. And you don’t have to look for it. It’s just there and it’s just an amazing feeling. 

And I loved the boat ride with all the dolphins, so majestic. That was healing because you just feel that presence again of overwhelming beauty. Just fills your soul . . . it overflows your soul.

At one point, one of the girls on the boat and I were talking, and I was saying I just feel really sad and lost. Like I don’t know how to feel again because I miss him so much and she told me that love is always present and he’s always with you, you just have to feel it inside your heart like he’s always there. And I was crying and then all of a sudden that’s when we started seeing all these dolphins and we were just surrounded by them and just the validity of what she just told me and then what I was actually experiencing was a good moment.

Carly sitting at the front of a boat with two dolphins surfacing just a few feet in front of her in Costa Rica.

Also while we were on the dolphin excursion, our guide spotted a boa constrictor in the mangroves and at first I was scared and ran away because I’m afraid of them. Snakes are my scary dream. It’s always a really big snake and I have to catch it or get away from it and I’m always so scared. But I learned at Blue Osa that the snake represents the healer and energy movement and growth because they literally have to shed their skin in order to grow and it’s a painful transformational process. So then I got closer and realized he wasn’t so scary. I even said “I want a snakeskin” and sure enough, we got a snakeskin!

In that moment, I guess I realized that all things are possible. Sometimes you just have to embrace the unknown and the fear inside of you and see it in a new perspective, like transformation and growth. And I think that makes you dig down deep and realize that that’s one of your flaws and that is one thing that may be in your way of getting to where you want to be in life. And sometimes it takes some crazy scenario out in the middle of a frickin mangrove on the river in Costa Rica finding a snake and getting snakeskin to realize that.

And now I’m giving the snakeskin to Mr. Ganesh. This place makes you remember things that have made you happy in the past and now I have so much clarity around the things that do make me happy. And where have they been, besides Jordan, and now that he’s gone, I think it’s a sign to remember other things that bring you happiness and fulfill you and that you can pursue when you get home and that can bring you fulfillment or that feeling of being alive again. There’s a lot of things in life that can bring you that and loving myself I think is my number one priority.

Carly holding a snakeskin on a boat in the mangroves of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Describe your experience on Blue Osa’s Matapalo hiking excursion.

I was by myself this morning and we (Carly and a guide) went hiking and one of my favorite moments was when I was completely sweaty and muddy but then I found a waterfall at the end. And it’s a reminder that all hard work pays off.

When I was in the waterfall, I had this aha moment because I looked up at the waterfall and it was just gushing out, just overflowing with water, literally the meaning of a waterfall. And you look at it and you want your heart to feel overflowed with love and then a message came to me: when you find love in yourself, there’s always a light and when there’s a light, there’s always a path.

I think everyone can learn from that and seeks that in this world. Everyone’s trying to find that love and feel that they’re doing something right with their life and just witnessing that in real life in the middle of Costa Rica was such an amazing moment that I decided to meditate in the waterfall.

I floated on my back and just looked around and the butterflies were everywhere, everything was so surreal. In that moment I felt like I knew I could live again and I felt life again. I felt fulfilled.

Carly standing in a creek on her Matapalo hike in Costa Rica.

How did being at Blue Osa help you release some of your pain?

Sometimes you just feel appreciative for where you’re at and just being in the moment. And we’re in this beautiful ocean surrounded by mountains.

I just wanted to say thank you for letting me have that moment to experience something that I came here to experience. Like I hadn’t felt that life I was like looking for and I finally felt it. So in a way, you want to give back and say thank you or just be appreciative of it because it was really special. And then we went under the water and screamed so there were lots of different releases. That felt good. 

Carly standing on a deserted beach with two of Blue Osa's volunteers during her dolphin tour in Costa Rica.

What was your community experience like at Blue Osa? Did you feel alone?

I feel like we live our everyday life on our phone where we can in seconds communicate with people. And here you’re obligated to disconnect from that because literally the Wi-Fi turns off and there’s no other option and you have to just learn a different perspective and sit and let go and just stop trying to talk to other people but enjoy the people you’re around and talking at the dinner table and not feeling like you have to text or Snapchat someone. 

And it’s just that feeling of letting go and living more in the moment and not worrying about what people think about your moment. Like, it’s your moment and it’s taught me to think about why is everybody so worried about what other people think? And constantly trying to update their Instagram or Facebook to show what moment they’re living in instead of actually living in the moment. I think a lot of people can learn from that because this whole society is all about what other people are doing. And nobody’s life is that great. I learned to stop trying to take a picture of things and just experience them. 

How do you feel at the end of your trip to Blue Osa?

I’m definitely sad to leave. I’ve never been sad to leave a vacation, I’m usually ready to go home, but I think the tools I’ve learned here are gonna help me have a really successful life and I just want to share that with other people and inspire other people to know that no matter what they go through, they can always find light at the end. And there’s always something amazing to be felt. You just have to be you and find self-love and do the things that make me feel good and that bring me happiness, like eating healthy and painting or exercise or whatever that is. 

Carly on a boat in Costa Rica with three of Blue Osa's volunteers.

What Blue Osa practices will you implement back home?

Oh my god. I’m thinking about implementing the morning silence on our next vacation. It’s great, because your thoughts aren’t fully processed in the morning and you’re just kind of waking up so what you say is probably not worth much anyways and it’s just good to sip on coffee and just hang out with yourself and start your day.

How has being at Blue Osa helped you talk about your grief?

It’s so easy to talk about it here because I feel like everyone’s accepting and everyone’s here for their own reason and trying to find their own path in life. And we all kind of intersected to help each other. And it’s amazing to find a group of people that don’t necessarily know you and you don’t know them but in a way you feel this really deep connection of friendship, like I feel like I’ve known you for years and we’ve only known each other for five days. It’s pretty special, and that’s just the beauty of what happens here. Like Destiny, like the dog. The dog’s name is Destiny. 

Would you say Blue Osa is a good place to come if you are grieving?

Yes. 110% Yes. Book the trip and don’t have any second guesses about yourself and making the wrong decision because this will be the best decision you ever make in your entire life. 

Carly kayaking in the Gulfo Dulce with her arms up in the air and a ray of sunlight beaming down right next to her.

Because when you experience grief it hits you like this really raw and really profound, deep pain. But I think you can either dig a hole and bury yourself in it or you can use it as a catalyst to bring new opportunities to your life. And I think through the new opportunities, you can find more love and fulfillment than you ever thought was possible but you have to choose to take that opportunity and leap of faith, like me coming to Blue Osa and traveling 6,000 miles to some random resort in Costa Rica. And you just gotta take that first step and trust the process and in the end, you’ll look back and see that it was the best decision you ever decided to make.

High Hopes at Blue Osa

Carly was overflowing with inspiration and motivation to start her new life on her final morning at Blue Osa. She said she had the song High High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco playing on repeat in her head. So this one’s for you Carly. We’re so honored to have been apart of your inspirational and transformational journey, thank you for leaving your radiant mark on Blue Osa. Your Blue Osa family will always be here for you.

Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes

Mama said
Fulfill the prophecy

Be something greater
Go make a legacy
Manifest destiny
Back in the days
We wanted everything, wanted everything
Mama said
Burn your biographies
Rewrite your history
Light up your wildest dreams
Museum victories, everyday
We wanted everything, wanted everything

Mama said don’t give up, it’s a little complicated
All tied up, no more love and I’d hate to see you waiting

Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes (high, high hopes)

Mama said
It’s uphill for oddities
Stranger crusaders
Ain’t ever wannabes
The weird and the novelties
Don’t ever change
We wanted everything, wanted everything

Stay up on that rise
Stay up on that rise and never come down, oh
Stay up on that rise
Stay up on that rise and never come down

Mama said don’t give up, it’s a little complicated
All tied up, no more love and I’d hate to see you waiting
They say it’s all been done but they haven’t seen the best of me
So I got one more run and it’s gonna be a sight to see

Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes

Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes (high, high hopes)


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