So here I am, at this awesome hotel in Turrialba, Costa Rica.
Actually, it almost doesn’t even seem like a hotel. It wasn’t, always. It used to be someone’s house. Now it’s a “hotel” with twelve rooms and four suites, one of which Jim and I were given (yay!). I am in heaven, honestly.
This is a working trip for Jim, and I tagged along willingly, knowing that I would be left to my own devices. I find that most people either don’t mind spending time alone, or they absolutely hate it. I rather enjoy it, to be honest. It’s not that I don’t like (or prefer) being with others–I adore Jim and the rest of my family of course, and I love spending time with my friends, and you all know how outgoing I am–but this trip was needed. Doing what I do (freelance writing and working in social media from home, plus LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER) means that I spend ten to twelve (and often more) hours a day working on various projects.
Though the escape was needed, I still planned on making this a working vacation, just abbreviating the work. Like, a lot. Like, down to about three hours a day. A three-hour workday still leaves tons of time to do all kinds of relaxing things when you’re one hundred percent alone. Having one day in Alajuela on Monday was nice and I looked forward to checking this place out, but I couldn’t have expected how glorious our second (and main) stop would be. This is paradise. There are flowers everywhere, birds in the trees, horses on the grounds, a lake and mountains behind me, and an attentive staff that is spoiling me like crazy because I’m the only guest who sticks around during the day.
Even in this heavenly place, I find it difficult to sit in silence with myself. As busy as I am at home, silence makes me fidgety. My wheels turn every waking moment of every day, and often at night too. Silence? Yikes. That’s tough. That said, I have been determined. Costa Rica is known for its extreme sports like ziplining, kayaking, and other outdoor adventures. Though I had initially intended to try ziplining, I decided against it because for me at this moment in my life, I needed to decompress badly, and just be quiet. My abbreviated workdays on Monday and yesterday led me to today, the perfectly quiet day with my constant companion, Me.
Today I didn’t work on anything, for any hours. I did vacation-y things all day (and evening) long, all by myself–Jim had a company dinner right after work–and when it was all said and done I declared (to myself) that this day was totally perfect for an all-alone girl like me, in every way. Here’s what I did today:
1. Did my Dailey Method DVD workout in the hotel room.
2. Went for a hike on the trail here on the grounds to try and capture some bird pictures. Had to come back after twenty minutes because of the mosquitos.
3. Had a traditional “Turrialba-style” breakfast: fresh orange juice, two eggs, hash browns, gallo pinto (beans and rice), a muffin, and–when I told my server (and new friend here at the hotel) Juanita that I don’t eat pork sausage, she offered a substitution of–fried cheese.
4. Went back to my room to find housekeeping here already so I grabbed my swimsuit and headed to the pool.
5. Walked/jogged in the pool for about thirty minutes, and then added some water aerobics to complete my second workout of the day.
6. Chilled on a lounge chair for another hour, finishing a 400-page book I started yesterday morning.
7. Went back to the room, showered, and then went back to my poolside “office” to have a Google Hangout with Liz.
8. Went back to the room to charge my computer and had a second, shorter Hangout with Liz because we had unfinished conversation topics that were pressing.
9. Visited the hotel spa, where I had a chocolate body wrap and a massage. Two hours. OMG. Seriously. OMG.
10. Back in my room, I brushed my hair and collected myself before going to the lobby to buy some postcards.
11. Took the postcards to the restaurant where I started drinking margaritas and eating an amazing dinner alone. I stretched dinner out to about an hour and forty-five minutes, just listening to the music, gazing at the pool, and really just savoring every moment.
THIS DAY is what a vacation is about. No matter where you go–or even if you don’t actually go anywhere but decide to take a day for yourself–focusing on the little things and enjoying every little bit is the way to go. Sure, I’m going “back to work” (at my poolside office) tomorrow, but today? I’ll be thinking about today for a long time to come.