This list could easily be around 200 – maybe 250, but for both our sakes, I’ll keep it limited.
In case you don’t know, for the past year (over, actually), I’ve been at Farm of Lifein Costa Rica.
Welcomed by the owners Jody and Bryan Calvi, I joined their family as chef and have absolutely transformed my life since.
Words cannot express all of the magical times that have happened, nor the many lessons I’ve learned during this stay… But I will do my best to examine just some of the things I’ll miss about this oasis.
Farm of Life was founded five years ago on the vision of two US residents who knew that people could heal themselves naturally, and that’s exactly what has since happened.
HUNDREDS of people have been sheltered, cared for, and invited to transform at this jungle retreat, and I am so grateful to have been a part of many people’s journeys during the year that I have been here. I will never be able to express enough gratitude for this adventure in my life, except to hopefully convey incentive for you to visit this place as well.
If you want to change your life, expand your perception, let go of limitations – come visit the Farm of Life… Okay, okay. Now onto the Top 20 Things I’ll miss about this place: (No specific order)
1) The People
You have something pretty special when a group of people gather together in humility and love. At the farm to heal, face personal issues, and come together with others as community, I’ve met so many brilliant people who have reflected many lessons for me to learn, and will remain in contact with for years to come.
Yes, in any community setting there will be a bit of ego, but it seems like this place attracts a certain type of individual: one who is ready to learn love. And oh boy, when that’s the mission, fun times will be had. (hint: Cacao Elixirs & Disco parties!!)
The clan bonding with mud masks!
I’m incredibly grateful as well for the networking opportunities. Now I have friends all over the world – people I would never have met if I hadn’t been here the length of time I have been.
2) Waking Up to a Chorus
When I first arrived at Finca de Vida, I fell out of bed to the clapping chorus of toucans right near my window at 5 AM. I didn’t think I’d ever get used to the twittering sound of birds, hooting of howler monkeys, or the incessant drone of insects… but somehow it all became so familiar.
At all times a loving and beautiful chorus surrounds the campus. It’s all so peaceful and beautiful, I sure will miss it.
Nayaca, Peace Falls, Big Rock… Beauty abounds in this location! I had never seen a waterfall before coming to Costa Rica, and have to admit at first they frightened me! (Kind of like the ocean)… But sure enough, I came to love these familiar places and am still in awe at the majesty of nature.
Above: Top falls of Nayaca Waterfall
4) Jumping OFF Waterfalls
This was also a first. See that big waterfall and people climbing up to jump off? Yeah, I’ve done that quite a few times now.
There will never be anything as spectacular as jumping off of big heights and landing in a surge of pristine, alkaline water. Never.
5) Bryan and Jodi
I love these two people more than words can express. Both have such pure hearts and motivation to “do good” in the world.
If you come to the Farm, be sure to sungaze with Bryan in the mornings, as well as soothe your soul with his famous Tibetan Bowl bath. Jodi is a sweet, loving woman who has always dreamt of running a B&B, so she’ll tend to all the details and make sure you’re nourished while at their center.
The both are family to me. After over a year being here… I’ll miss them and all our crazy adventures.
6) The Ocean & Beach
Ah, the ocean. I remember when growing up in South Dakota one of my greatest dreams was to live near the beach, learn how to surf, and play in the ocean for hours. Wish granted!
No waves here – this is a cute & relaxing beach in Manuel Antonio!
I’ve taken quite a few surf trips now (an upcoming one to Puerto Viejo soon!), and have such strong appreciation for the ocean. The hostels are fun, the waves are great, the sun is hot… It’s all so grand. Can’t complain, and will definitely miss it while in transit in India and Africa.
7) Friendly Ticos
The people here are incredibly warm and friendly. Different than Panama and Nicaragua even, the Ticos are generous and kind-hearted. Whether from the small town of San Salvador, or even larger Perez Feledon, it’s rare to find an indigenous Costa Rican who does not exude the “Pura Vida” mindset.
Love you all – will miss your awesomeness!
8) Gorgeous Photo Opportunities
Title says it all. Whether at the farm and taking pictures for Bloom for Life…
Or in the jungle on a hike.
Beauty, beauty, beauty!
9) The Bugs – YES, you read that right.
Ah, I’ve learned a lot from these critters! Big, small, large, crazy – they’re all so unique and just buzzing with energy and love for creation.
I’ve been taught how I can learn more about myself by what I disdain about bugs (or nature – if ever), and in return am gifted lessons to work on and better appreciate what God has created.
No longer do cockroaches the size of my hand or spiders dangling near my face freak me out. They’re just living, and if I remain peaceful and calm (while grabbing a jar to shoooo the bugger out), then all is good.
10) Interesting Town Adventures
The colorful buildings, long wait-time, and fruits and vegetables that abound… Sounds like Costa Rica!
I love this place and the interesting adventures that always take place on Thursday market days. While I’m sure I’ll get plenty of other adventures down the road, Costa Rica sure has handed me many good memories from the chaotic – er interesting – town days.
11) The Gringo Spot at the Farmer’s Market
The lovely, intriguing, blossoming people I see every (sometimes ever other) Thursday… I will miss you all. You light up my heart and fill my belly with organic, gluten-free, and oftentimes-raw vegan goodies!
12) Like-minded People
This goes with #1 and #11, (hey triple 1’s!), but in general… I’ve met many more like-minded people working at Finca de Vida and being in this location than ever before.
Of course the Earth is populated with almost 7 billion people (odds are we will come across similar-minded ones eventually), but it’s been nice meeting friends like John Lucky Blue (amazing acupuncturist) and hanging with guests at the Farm.
13) Fun & Spiritual Activities
Late-night bonfires, spiritual ceremonies, full moon meditations. In conjunction with kirtan, cacao elixir parties, and disco dance nights – I’m starting to re-think why I’m leaving!
This place offers tons of fun events and spiritual activities to get you more in-tune with your true self. They’ve certainly helped me come to better terms with my life’s purpose and personal truths.
14) Exhilarating Hikes
You don’t have to go to a waterfall to have a good time. Just look at this picture from Big Rock! Right down the mountain from Finca de Vida, through La Joya del Sol (with Erik Rivken) awaits this alien-rock beauty.
It’s huge, beautiful, and shadowing an incredible swimming pool with nearby waterfalls. I’ll miss the sweaty, long, and exhilarating hikes – that’s for sure!
15) Freedom to ‘be’ me!
I’ve come to accept my many quirks and passions while being here. It’s easy, though, because I pretty much have been living in a bubble. The difficult part now will be to return to the ‘real world’ and remain true to what I like to do (watching documentaries, writing, working, running, being all spiritual and stuff) with the same mindset of freedom I savor here.
16) Limitless opportunity to grow and create.
I’ve painted showers here, written books, made incredible dinners for people… When you’re living so naturally – and living like I do at Farm of Life – it’s like creative energy flowing through you is just an organic part of living.
I’ll miss these times, but will also always treasure them.
17) The FRUIT.
You’ve never had fruit until you’ve tried what Costa Rica offers. JACKFRUIT, mango, papaya, pineapple, bananas, etc…
18) Coconuts, too!
And *sigh*. Until Thailand or South India, I will miss you too, wonderful coconuts!
Mi amo pipas!
19) Clean Water, Pure Air
While in the city (I’m landing in Dallas then off to New York… then landing in Mumbai), I’ll miss the purity of the land and fresh, alkalizing, non-fluroidated water.
Yep. I’ll really miss that.
20) Being able to live in minimal clothes.
The best for last? Not by a long shot… But I’m pretty sure I will miss being able to live in a shirt and tank (not to mention go to work dressed in such way) without any makeup, and likely after having jumped in the natural spring nearby.
In India, I’ll be required to have long sleeves and very modest wear. No complaints – but it sure will be toasty!
I’ve been gifted many incredible opportunities the last 14 months, and in no way am complaining about leaving. I love these people, love the farm, love Costa Rica, and now am ready to go explore more of the world.
After the next two weeks in Puerto Viejo, I fly into Dallas the 19th of July and then
head to NYC shortly after. By August 2nd I will be in India (after transiting through Saudia Arabia)…and then the adventure continues!
All in all, I love the Farm of Life, but will definitely be back again – hopefully with family to share in the majesty! I also hope you allow yourself the opportunity to visit soon in the future!
Check out their website here!
Surf & Sand in Puerto Viejo…!