For anyone who missed the memo, I’m back traveling in my teardrop in the US again! But I still have some catching up to do from Costa Rica, so here’s another travelogue from my time there.
Living at Wild Sun Rescue Center is like living in a bubble. It feels like a completely different reality than my one back home in the US. Which is not innately good or bad, although in the months I’ve been here, I have discovered one big benefit from such a long-term dramatic change: it makes the problems I’d been dealing with back in the US seem smaller and easier to handle.
My average day at Wild Sun involves working half of my waking hours with animals, then spending the other half primarily reading in the hammocks or swimming in the pool, with occasional outings to the ocean for surfing or beach-going, or trips down to the local store in Cabuya for groceries or ice cream. Nothing really blog-worthy in the grand scheme of things.
I have off one day a week, and occasionally I go out and do interesting travel things on those days, like a trip to the Montezuma waterfalls, or this trip to Santa Teresa on the other side of the cape. But most of my days off I just want to chill and not do a lot of anything.
I haven’t been updating IO frequently while here. The pressure to always be working on content is less intense being these many miles away from “home”… and that’s a good thing. For seven years I blogged regularly here on IO and now that I’ve put some time and distance between me and camping, I can see quite clearly that I was burning out. I can contribute this to three things:
First, moving from the Casita into the Hiker Trailer last fall sparked a lot of resistance from a small but vocal subset of my followers, which made dealing with comments and e-mails not very fun for a while. (This problem has since solved itself as those people have moved on, and new people more into teardrop camping have found me, hello!)
Related to that, I’d always branded myself online as a full-time RVer, which with the switch to the teardrop and now the extended international trip, isn’t really who I am anymore. I was feeling rather lost about how to change gears with the blog.
And lastly, road travel was just becoming less exciting because I’d been doing it so long without pause. It had been three years since I started boondocking extensively, and I’d lost a lot of the passion that made writing and making videos seem like fun and not hard work.
As for that third problem, coming to Costa Rica has allowed me to take an actual break that didn’t consist of batch-writing a bunch of posts in advance so that I could have a couple weeks of not writing. And I feel so much better for it. I’m volunteering 40 hours a week at Wild Sun, but it still feels like a vacation from what constitutes normal for me. I can feel my excitement for travel returning as my time here comes to a close, and with it comes the inspiration to work on IO again – hence this post.
And for that second bullet point, I’m sure coming here and effectively living a completely different life for a few months is going to give me a different perspective on how to handle IO’s evolution as my own travel style and interests evolve.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying my bubble and my relaxation time. And every now and then I do something worth blogging about, like the two weeks Nick’s friend Harald visited from Norway with his professional quality camera, and the poi crew went out several times to get awesome photos.
As a quick rundown for newer readers not familiar with poi, it’s a circus art somewhat related to juggling or hula hooping, which involves swinging weights on the ends of tethers in geometric patterns. Which probably still doesn’t make much sense, so here’s a video of me poi dancing which will probably shed more light on things. I first was introduced to poi at the very first Xscapers Annual Bash in Quartzsite in January of 2016. Fellow RVer and blogger Cherie of Technomadia performed with fire poi around the campfire one night, and I knew I wanted to learn how to do that.
Two summers ago to up my game, I attended a 10 day poi retreat in Canada, put on by a guy named Nick Woolsey, who is pretty famous in the poi community (and the person whose YouTube videos Cherie and I both learned from). It was at this retreat that I learned about Wild Sun, where Nick taught poi classes during the winter when it was too cold to want to be in Canada.
Those familiar with my past before becoming a nomad know that I went to college to be a veterinary technician, and that I worked with monkeys in my last real job before hitting the road. Which has made Wild Sun an amazingly aligned choice for my first big international adventure, because not only are Nick and another poi friend who I made at that retreat (Rob) here, but Wild Sun has quite a few monkeys, which I have a lot of experience working with.
So, I’ve been volunteering alongside Nick and Rob, and most weeks Nick has a student or two visiting Wild Sun for poi classes (and we collectively are known as the poi crew), and for two weeks in April one of those visitors was Nick’s friend Harald, and we rented a car for a few days (which is quite expensive in Costa Rica) to drive around and get poi photos.
A couple times we went to Montezuma to the falls to get photos, but my favorite trip was to the rocky shore of Mal Pais, which we visited near sunset on a full moon high tide (so very high). The waves were crashing against the rocks and splashing dramatically.
Whether you consider yourself an ocean person or not, and I sure didn’t when I arrived here, you owe it to yourself to spend some time watching the waves roll in from the ocean. And if you can do it near sunset or sunrise at a beautiful location – all the better. This was right on the edge of rainy season beginning, and the clouds came as such a shock to me, having spent all of February and March under clear skies. It was such a perfect evening.
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