My residency as a volunteer writer at Blue Osa did not get off to the best start: the internet was down for over a week, forcing me to travel the 30 minutes to the nearest town for wifi (and on two occasions, the power in town was out)! Then I was the loser who kept falling asleep during the savasana portion of yoga practice because–let’s face it— rainforest sounds + ocean waves + rainfall equals nature’s Ambien. Additionally, for three weeks I was stalked by a giant bullfrog named Simon. Simon was never anywhere to be found except when I exited the bathroom at night. That’s when he would magically appear outside the door, threatening to pounce on me as soon as I made a move. I can jump out of a plane without the slightest fear but critters that hop or fly in my direction FREAK.ME.OUT. And let me tell you, when it gets dark here, it gets REALLY dark. And the things you hear in the dark sound REALLY big. This is the perfect location for a horror flick called, “Yoga Retreat…Or Die.”
As long as I’m casting aspersions, let me direct some toward the food. It is so unbelievably delicious at Blue Osa that I’ve gained weight. That’s not cool. It’s healthy farm-to-table food but I’m consuming way too much of it. Ok, so maybe the occasional wine at dinner isn’t helping. Nor are the beers on our Friday night excursions to Martina’s, a little jungle bar in the middle of nowhere. The point is, I was supposed to return from my three month adventure with a taut yogi body, not a yogi beer body.
With the complaining out of the way, that leaves everything else, which, dare I say, is magical. Blue Osa and the surrounding rainforest in the Osa Peninsula are stunning and Mother Nature has really rolled out the blue skies and iridescent green carpet for my stay thus far. She even throws in the occasional light show for my entertainment and perfectly orchestrates the sounds of the rainforest for commercial release to those who can’t experience this melody first hand.
Living in Costa Rica was a bucket list item for me and I’ve already checked off a couple other bucket list items since I’ve been here: waterfall rappelling and zip lining. And there’s no shortage of other exciting activities still on the agenda: paddle-boarding, surfing, kayaking, river rafting, bungee jumping, hiking. If it ends in “-ing,” Costa Rica’s a cool place in which to experience it (except maybe “sting”).
Above everything else, what makes this place special is the people. I don’t know how they do it but owners Adam and Aaron somehow manage to congregate the most wonderful people here as guests, workers and volunteers. Many of the Ticos (the locals) employed here literally built this place with their own hands and continue to work here, always greeting me with a sincere smile or hug and willing to provide a little Spanish assistance when needed. The other volunteers were strangers to me a few weeks ago and now we’re planning trips into Corcovado Park or over to Panama. You quickly feel like you’re part of a family here and I think that’s a testament to the loving, supportive environment Adam and Aaron have created.
And I can’t forget our furry inhabitants. I’m not referring to the capuchin or howler monkeys that frequently hang out 20 feet from my room (if you ever heard a howler monkey, you know that sound definitely belongs in a horror movie). I’m talking about our three rambunctious dogs and one precious cat. The dogs are adorable but aren’t so bright; they have no idea what their names are but they do know what “who wants to go to the beach?” means. And they go crazy with excitement at the prospect even though they accompany people to the beach 10 times a day and they’re free to walk the 100 feet to the beach whenever they want. Mirabelle the cat is my sweetheart who sits beside me as I work and I am so in love with her. Does it make me a bad person for not-so-secretly hoping one of the owners develops an allergy to Mirabelle, forcing me to take her home with me?
I feel so fortunate and grateful for this experience. It has been phenomenal so far and I can’t wait to see what the next two months have in store for me!
About the Author
Jenée is slowly working her way around the world, one job at a time. It began at age 19 when she moved to Hawaii for a three month stint (which turned into almost five years) even though she didn’t know a soul there. She later toured as a standup comedian all over the United States and even performed for our military troops in a dozen countries, including Bosnia, Kosovo, South Korea and Afghanistan. And now she’s combining her love of traveling, writing and yoga at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa in Costa Rica.