Monday, January 12, 2015

Winds of Change

The past 18 months have been an amazing experience, one that has helped us evolve into the individuals and family we are now. We've learned so much from the local culture, cuisine and history that make Costa Rica the country that it is today. We've had the opportunity to see active volcanoes, visit the beach, hold toucans and red eye tree frogs it certainly has been lots of fun living in Costa Rica. 

Just as everything in life, our chapter in Costa Rica is coming to an end in March. When we first said yes to moving to Costa Rica we knew it would be a temporary move, with that in mind we wrote down our travel bucket list to see everything we could but we still have not crossed out every single item in our Costa Rica bucket list, but we've certainly done a lot. 

The Bay Area will be our home again, we are excited for this new chapter and thankful for the opportunity. It's been busy around here searching for potential schools for our children and narrowing down where we would like to live this time around. Most importantly we are looking forward to be a drive away from our families. Some might say we are your typical latino family in which grandparents, aunts, uncles are actively involved in our children's lives however, it's the way our family works. 

We've met some amazing people, who are now referred to as our Costa Rica family. Our friends are a mix of fellow expats that come from near and far, and locals. It's amazing how many different cultures are out there and how big our world is when we think about it. So many countries that we've added to our travel bucket list and of course we plan on visiting our friends here in Costa Rica in the future. 

Amongst the places we'd like to visit still in Costa Rica is Monteverde, Rio Celeste, Tabacon Grand Spa, Tortuguero National Park we have also added to this list Puerto Viejo which is on the Caribbean Coast. I have a feeling our list is a bit ambitious even if we traveled every single weekend we would not be able to accomplish it all since we have to prepare for our move, but I am sure we can at least see two to three different places. We'll certainly keep you posted on how many places we visited.

There are so many more posts about Costa Rica I'd like to share with you, places we've visited in the past year that are still waiting to be shared. I can't wait to share them with you. 

I'd like to thank the country of Costa Rica for all we experienced while living here, because if we hadn't moved to this beautiful country we wouldn't have learned all we did. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Trusting 2015!

It's the first whole week of the year and I'm sitting here trying to organize my thoughts and focus. It's been quite a while to say the least since I last shared anything with you and oh, how I've missed sharing our adventures with you. However, I needed to focus on the end of the school year for both kids and prepare for our first holidays just us 4. No grandparents, no aunts, no uncles, no cousins. Just us 4.

Our lovely neighbors invited us over for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and yes it was an emotional holiday season but we made it through and counted the blessing of having made new friends that seem more like family here. For New Year's Eve we decided to host a small dinner/party with three other families. To say our holiday season was an international affair is a reality. We shared our holidays with friends from other nationalities that were kind enough to share their holiday traditions with us. 

For example in Costa Rica for most Costa Ricans it is baby Jesus who brings them gifts, for Germans St. Nicolai visits on December 6th and then again they get gifts on Christmas Eve when they are visited by "Christkindl" which means Christ child and the tree is brought inside their home, decorated, lighted and suddenly a bell is rang for everyone to see the magic of Christmas happen before their eyes. We had friends from Germany, Costa Rica, United States and Venezuela join us in our holiday traditions and celebrations. 

It was certainly fun to celebrate the end of 2014 and start of 2015.

A year that was full of challenges and triumphs for us as individuals and as a family. This week in 2014 was full of anxiety, fear, uncertainty as we were dealing with my husband's health and was in a difficult emotional position when I had to drop off my parents at the airport as my husband lay in bed at a hospital, little did we all know that as they were landing in Los Angeles my husband would be undergoing emergency surgery that lasted double the estimated time and wasn't for one procedure but instead 9 different procedures. 

It was the year in which I kept losing my focus and regaining my focus on my weight loss journey, I'm happily wearing a size 16 and in some brands 16W. After all that the anxiety I had this past year I am happy that I was able to maintain my size and feel proud of myself for it. 

Our now 5 and 9 year old have matured and grown so much, they've learned a lot from living here and experienced the true meaning of the holiday season. We took several small trips around Costa Rica, sadly we have yet to visit the Caribbean and I say sadly because it is on our list.

Welcome 2015! This year will be no different in the sense that change is inevitable and we are gearing up for some changes. For starters we will finally have both kids in the same school, after 5 years they will finally be together something they both are looking forward to. 

I finally have a group of friends that I see or keep in touch with consistently, we are an international group of women that are here to support our spouses but do often get homesick and long for having the support of our loved ones when we are stuck in a rut. 

2015 is full of hope.

Hope for new experiences, new adventures and changes to become better and stronger. For the past 2 years I have been choosing a word to describe what the new year will be all about, perhaps it's more of what I need to work on and each year it has certainly been all about that word! 

Back in 2013 I chose "relax", my need to be in the know of everything {our present, our future} of what will happen when... or what will happen if... 2013 was the year we moved to Costa Rica and "relax" was all about learning to just enjoy the ride, boy was I in for the ride of my life. 

2014 I chose the word "health" thinking it would be my year to finally run 5km and lose even more weight, little did I know that on 01/05 my husband's health would decline and it would take 3 months to nurse him back to good health or that I would fall and hurt my foot and not be able to exercise at all for a month or that towards the end of the year I would be dealing with high blood pressure and need a series of tests done on my heart in addition to bed rest. 

For this year I chose the word "trust" because I chose to trust the decisions made and those that will be made are the best for us and our family. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Reinventing life...

Today I want to share with you a special post, I connected with Kate a year ago through Stroller Adventures and since then we've met up for smoothies in Costa Rica and she's moved back to Victoria and began a Life Coaching business and written an online course. So much has changed for Kate and also for me, in fact just a few weeks ago I had a Skype call with Kate in which she helped me figure out where I'm heading and where I am at. Which is why I invited Kate to write a guest post for you. 

Here's Kate:

1 year ago this month I was planning 6 month trip to Costa Rica. I was doing all sorts of research about what to expect and stumbled upon a post Maribel wrote about grocery shopping in Costa Rica. In her post she wrote about how pickleswere both expensive and elusive. As a pickle lover, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Maribel and I actually had the opportunity to meet in person while I was travelling. She has been so supportive of my journey and I am so thankful she has given me the opportunity to share my story and new project with all of you.

My name is Kate Zealand and I am the proud Creator and Facilitator of a brand new online course called Lead Your Life: 6 Weeks to Learn Who You Are, What You Want and How To Reinvent Your Life. This course walks participants through a step by step process of defining personal values, creating a life vision, eliminating limiting beliefs and creating a personalized action plan to help them achieve success.

But before I go any further, I want to tell you a little bit about how Lead Your Life came to be. For 10 years of my life I was stuck. I was in a job I wasn't passionate about, I didn't have any drive. I guess if I summed it up in one word it was that I felt "unfulfilled." In my heart I knew there was something bigger and better out there for me, but I had no idea what that was or how to get it. Instead of dealing with these feelings I just stayed put, where it was safe and stable and where I living a life I didn't love.

It all came to a head when my husband and I decided to take a leave and travel through Costa Rica for half a year. I made the decision that this wasn't only going to be a big adventure, but this was going to be my opportunity to re-evaluate my life and its direction.

So I did.

I had just written my Master's thesis and so I was in full on research mode. I started investigating all sorts of ways to jump start a life, or get your life back on track or get on track for the first time. As I did this, I used my background in Values Based Personal Leadership to create a process I could go through. I wanted to figure out who I was and what I really wanted out of life.

I spent 6 months working my way through a process of self-discovery.  I came home with a vision, a plan and a new zest on life. I left my career, started carving out a new path and opened up my personal coaching practice, ZealandCoaching.

As my coaching practice began to grow, I started taking on coachees and talking with them about their stories. I was struck by how many people identified with my story and felt similar emotions. I found myself often referring back to the processes that I had gone through while travelling. There were so many aspects of my journey that were helping my coachees.  I wondered whether my personal journey  would help others too.