Wild, Witty, Creative Creatures on Retreat in Costa Rica
I jump out of the shuttle van and onto the cobblestoned pathway. I’m once again in the land of Pura Vida, for Pink Pangea’s 2018 Travel Writing Retreat. The tropical breezes hit my face and it relaxes the many stressors waiting for me back home. For now, I’m free to be the real me. The wild woman who walks silently with a smirk on her face knowing that this time is precious and just for me.
However, I am not alone on this soul-seeking adventure. I soon meet up with eleven others who brave the struggles of traveling internationally and shed the overwhelming responsibilities from their everyday lives. Little do I know what I am in for on this wonderful and creative journey.
My mind floods with questions and uneasy feelings of insecurity rise up, but as I walk into the reception area, my nerves begin to calm and my doubts soon fade. Warm smiles greet me as small introductions fill the small room. What an effortless beginning.
The first day is amazing. I am blown away by the talent of all of us. It’s so empowering and encouraging. I am in writing heaven. Another wonderful tribe to connect with makes my heart swell with happiness and joy. What an incredibly humbling experience.
These wild and beautiful, creative beings will accompany me on many more journeys for they are in my blood, in my skin, in my heart, and in my soul.
As the days pass by and we each venture out on our own or with an additional travel companion or two, the connections deepen among these wild, witty, creative creatures. Their writing inspires me to push myself and become vulnerable. What a feeling of freedom in expression, experimentation, and exploration.
As much as I would love to introduce each woman by name, personal labels such as names are not enough to express what magical impressions they brand upon my heart. Describing their physical attributes or even personal characteristics would hardly scratch the surface of their profoundly powerful souls. No, these wild, witty, creative creatures require and deserve so much more than mere mortal proper nouns and adjectives. How can I even begin to share what they mean to me personally?
On our last night together, I gather the strength to carefully choose such mere mortal words to acknowledge my love for them and the ever so fleeting feeling of courage to hold back my tears of emotion. To me, spending seven days learning to effortlessly write from a down-to-earth dual-city-dweller facilitator, listening to the hysterical harpings about everyday living, envisioning the vulnerable victories of the human spirit, taking to heart the caring coaxing of encouragement, losing myself in the profound lyrical weaving of words, striving to thrive through great tenacity, expressing intellectually engaging moments from life, receiving strength and energy from another sacred goddess, laughing from satirical stirrings about relationships, hearing sweet and gentle words of support for my success, and allowing me to share space with another courageous traveler – these are what make for an incredible and unforgettable journey. These are the invaluable gifts that I treasure the most. These are the kinds of exquisite creatures that change one’s life.
The next day, we say our goodbyes and hug one another. We wish each other a safe return home or a “Buen viaje” for those who are off to another travel adventure. Before heading out on my own, I lavish one last mealtime with a couple of my sisterly cohorts. We laugh and reminisce about the week’s events, which include flavorful healthy food, exciting outdoor excursions, and an array of heavenly, healing, mind and body wellness treatments.
I am blown away by the talent of all of us. It’s so empowering and encouraging. I am in writing heaven. Another wonderful tribe to connect with makes my heart swell with happiness and joy.
As we depart, I head straight to a quiet place and spend my last private moments, not napping in a hammock, but writing. This is what happens when you go on a writing retreat. You get into the habit of writing. I am able to type a few paragraphs, but of course, have to stop right in the middle of the juicy part. I quickly gather my luggage and I’m off to the airport.
Once again I am alone, much like in the beginning of my trip to the land of Pura Vida. The shuttle driver dashes and darts through the little but lively city of Alajuela. We exchange no words. Usually, I am quite friendly on transfers to and from the airport, but not today. A day full of fond farewells puts me in a bittersweet mood.
As the sole traveler on a shuttle van built to carry at least ten passengers, my mind runs through the whole week like a beautiful, colorful motion picture. Tears begin to well up in my eyes and warm, wet droplets slowly fall down my face. I am thankful for the large, protective lenses of my summer shades that hide my swollen, teary gaze. I discreetly wipe the tears away.
We are only minutes away from the airport and my mind begins to wander. Gratitude overflows from my heart and a multitude of blessings spill into my soul from this expansive, moving experience. This is not a sad day for me. In fact, these wild and beautiful, creative beings will accompany me on many more journeys for they are in my blood, in my skin, in my heart, and in my soul.
Should you ever have the pleasure of meeting one of us, you will be forever enchanted, expanded, and enlightened. A tribe of bold, beautiful badasses offering the world unimaginable gifts of the written word, the sacredness of thought, and the unapologetic, unveiling of the soul. We are wild, witty, creative creatures.