Gentle musings on a quiet day…A walk along the steep road in the neighborhood…

Each home in our gated community has exquisite and well-maintained landscaping befitting the rainforest surroundings. We don’t always live in such desirable surroundings, as seen in our photos in Thailand one year ago.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Our friend Louise, whom we met in Kauai, Hawaii, identified this bird as a Hoffmann’s Woodpecker. Thanks, Louise, we appreciate the information. I took this photo while sitting on the sofa on the veranda while working on a post. I knew if I stood, it would fly away, so I stayed put. 

This morning by 5:00 am, we were both up and out of bed, ready to start our day. With no daylight savings in Costa Rica, it was already light, and we could hear the cows mooing, the roosters crowing and endless varieties of birds singing their usual tunes. It’s a great way to start the day.

Costa Rica is all about lush greenery and other bright colors.

Oh, I don’t mean to imply everything is perfect in Costa Rica. Like any country we encounter in our world travels, each has its problems; poverty, crime, environmental issues, and more. 

But, sitting atop this hill, partway up a mountain in this dreamy property, it’s easy to let the realities of everyday life waft away. Yet, oddly, the responsibilities and tasks we’ve been undertaking since our arrival have grounded us as they have throughout this past almost five years. 

We had to walk up some seriously steep hills to take today’s photos, quickly as vertical as they are, in Campanario, Madeira, where we lived for almost three months in 2014.

In a good way, it’s been helpful we haven’t had access to a car which has kept us on point and determined to complete all the financial tasks and “paperwork” we’ve had before us. 

By the time we pick up the more permanent rental car in San Jose on the 28th, we’ll be prepared to change our focus on exploring and enjoying ourselves more freely, especially knowing we can come and go at a moment’s notice.

Many of the homes in the gated community are also gated for an added layer of security, as is the case of our villa. The main gate is operated by a guard 24 hours a day.

We never wanted our lives to feel as if we’re living in some dream or fantasy. Instead, it’s the harsh realities we discover in each country coupled with those of everyday life that we all experience, including rare illness and discomfort, that allow us those special moments, that unique sighting, and that perfect photo that makes this life feel “real” and purposeful.

Embarking on this life is not unlike falling in love. In the beginning, the adrenalin is flowing, the hearts are beating, and the enthusiasm is difficult to harness. Now, like after being in love for a while, we’ve settled into a gentle acceptance and appreciation that far surpasses that initial sense of obsession and heart-pounding passion.

Although not seen in this photo, there are dozens of butterflies fluttering nearby wherever there are flowers. 

We no longer think about how “brave” we are (we were) to tackle this lifestyle. Instead, we now think of making logical and practical decisions that ultimately will enhance our experiences.

Oh, don’t get me wrong…we haven’t lost a morsel of our enthusiasm and excitement for living in the moment nor in imagining the next.  But, it’s become like that magical moment when the in-love couple is in a crowd, each engaged with others to suddenly look up when their eyes lock in a knowing embrace that only time and memories can understand. We do that with each other and with our lives.

We notice various types of “clay” roofs on the homes in the gated neighborhood, including this less rounded style.

This early morning when I found myself peering over the veranda railing mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the vast Alajuela Valley that stretches much further than the eye can see, a wave of wonderfulness washed over me.

A profound awareness flooded my mind as I was reminded that we don’t have to live close to the sea in our world travels.  Contentment and total fulfillment may be found inland as long as we’re surrounded by nature.

This appears to be an older type of roof material, more rounded with natural clay.

Perhaps, that’s why when we select a home for a two or three-month stay, 90% of the time, we choose houses, not apartments or condos. At the first light of day, the views we embrace become imprinted in our hearts and minds as the purpose and powerful meaning we glean from our world travels.

Today, as always, we continue, our eyes peeled to the canopy of this rain- forest-lush country, our ears peaked to the slightest new sounds, and our hearts filled with the wonders of it all. We’re grateful. Eternally grateful.

Thank you for sharing it with us!

Photo from one year ago today, August 18, 2016:

The unique shell on the left is US $722, THB 25,000, with the shell on the right at US $808, THB 28,000.  They’d fit in the palm of one’s hand.  Interesting to see.  For the last of the seashell photos, please click here.