So it seems I've reached the end of the road, both literally and figuratively. I've made my way to a small surf pueblo at the Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica by way of a series of buses, a pick up truck, and a few more buses. It was quite the trek to arrive here, which only adds to the isolated and chilled out feel; I think it is a good place to end things.
Yes, circumstances and experiences and general fatigue have brought me to the point where I think I need head back to Canada for a while. There is so much of Central America that I have not experienced, but I've certainly been here long enough to grasp the essence of it. And now, in Costa Rica for the final leg of my journey, there is one popular phrase that seems to capture that essence: "Pura vida"... The pure life.
The last few weeks here have been rather anticlimatic, as Costa Rica is a rather safe, clean, and friendly country to travel around. It's not a place I'd want to spend a lot of time, despite the incredible waves and the lush surroundings. It's just too easy here to have whatever you want, and I feel it kind of defeats the purpose of coming to a place like Latin America. I spent a few days surfing in a place called Playa Guiones, which also has been given the Spanish name of "Proyecto Americano"- the American Project. There, Americans own all of the businesses, mark up all of the prices, and basically just create a little bubble within Costa Rica that they can call their own. They even have a runway so those especially wealthy ones can make it to their beachfront home with ease. It's been an interesting contrast with everywhere else I've been, and I suppose an important part to see to give me an overall picture of things in this part of the world. So many travellers here look at me wide eyed when I tell them where I've been and for how long, as if I've just come out of a hellish war zone North of here. I've quickly been reminded how easily our perspectives in the developed world are distorted by rumours and the media.
Life in the poor nations of Central America goes on like anywhere else, and despite many struggles and problems, the people hold their arms open to the world and work to make their homes safe and comfortable for those willing to embrace them.
"Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it." - Siddhartha
I tried to define my purpose for writing this blog in my opening entry, and if I've succeded in any way I'm grateful, and I maintain my conviction. However, I´ve quickly learned that only experience itself is the true communicator. Throughout my travels I've told many people to read my blog, and when they learn the name of it they often dismiss it as arrogant and ridiculous. All I've tried to relay throughout this blog though, is a truthful interpretation of things I've seen and experienced; it has been the truth to me. Some may say that the title "the truth" ought to be left to something more objective, but what more is the truth than our own subjective interpretations of a series of facts or observations?
"Omne verum vero consonat" - Every truth agrees with every other truth. I maintain that I have written the truth, and I only hope that those reading this can get out into the world and discover the truth for themselves, for that is the only way.
Indeed, despite my my altruistic intentions, this journey has been very much about myself. I've tried to give along the way, but in a life time I would never be able to give back everything I've taken - everything I've gained. Surfing was an important aspect of my time here and it has left me feeling renewed and accomplished. I've surfed some incredible waves and met some incredible people whom I instantly connected with by our shared love of surfing. I've been humbled by the ocean and I've solidified surfing as an intrinsic part of my life now.
I received a letter from my grandmother while I was working in Guatemala in which she told me an old German proverb. The translation in English is roughly "With every new language that one masters, one becomes a new person". My greatest achievement over the last year has been learning the Spanish language, and indeed I feel like a whole new part of me has been found with this. I feel more worldly, and more deserving of the time I had here, I feel more deserving of being a human in this world.
My life in Central America has reached its conclusion for now, but what is certain is that the journey will continue. My time here has only invigorated my desire to see the world and to seek out new experiences. I will head back to my home city for a short period to spend time with some loved ones, but then I will be off too seek more. People often consider those who live their lives like this as being lost and uncertain, but on the contrary I feel more sure about myself, my motivations, and my goals than ever before. The most profound thing that was told to me throughout my time here is so simple yet so meaningful, and I think it encapsulates the life I live and what I've tried to pass on here.
Those that wander are not necessarily lost.