I began my walk toward the mountain, noticing the blisters on my feet already forming from yesterday’s walk in wet shoes over 5 miles. I continued onward.
There was scarcely a person or two along the beach, early morning risers beginning to make their way onto the sand. One beautiful, caramel-skinned young woman doing yoga salutations toward the incoming waves pulled me out of my meditative state.
Being that this was low tide, I found a flat area of packed sand to begin my morning meditative movements and stretches. With each day in this magical place I am slowly becoming more comfortable in my own physical body again.
For the past 15 months, amidst the chaos of the pandemic and a completely highjacked nervous system, I gradually became disassociated from my body, losing all connection with my physical expression and dropping pounds of weight and muscle. Something about being here in this natural environment, just miles away from some of the world’s longest living people, I can feel a sense of health and aliveness returning, a realignment with my own nature, taking effect without effort.
Perhaps it’s the fresh fish being dropped off by a local truck owned by a kind Costa Rican couple, or maybe the fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts, grown nearby, or the healthy air emitted by the infinite variety of trees and plants, or simply due to rising with the sun and walking the Pacific shoreline, or the realization of the limited need for electronic devices.
In just my short time here, the first five days into three months, it has me once again more deeply inquiring within.
How do I want to live whatever life I have left?
I have wrestled and chipped away at this question for almost a decade amidst my journeys to China, Japan, S.Korea, and Costa Rica. My travels have been metaphoric journeys of chipping away the unimportant. Each of these adventures have allowed me the unique opportunity to explore these questions deeply, while also considering them for long stretches of time in foreign places through the lens and ways of life of completely different cultures and ways of doing things.
As I have continually discovered, there are elements which seem to consistently emerge, themes and elements that make up a recipe for a happy and healthy life which begin to appear through the various ways and traditions of very different and paradoxical cultures. Perhaps what are emerging are the underlying elements that are most meaningful for me. And like any great explorer, I am simply discovering these during my time in these different places.
Walking an average of 5 miles per day is very good for my overall health and longevity.
Follow Kirk’s Adventure from the start:
- The Start – Five years ago I was quietly living in a small 1100 square-foot home just outside my native hometown of Austin, Texas.
- Day 1 – My journey to Costa Rica, the Rich Coast, began at 4 AM on a crisp Sunday morning.
- Day 2 – Arrival into Costa Rica was quite smooth and seamless compared to my recent experiences in Japan where things are done to another level of precision and detail
- Day 3 – This morning I woke naturally at 5am as the light was already beginning to make its way through my window.
- Day 4 – There is a stretch of beach to the estuary across from Tamarindo where I picked up two native branches that washed onto shore that will make great writing or painting brushes.
- Day 5 – Last night I drifted off to sleep while reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
- Day 6 – I heard the morning songs of exotic birds I had never heard before
- Day 7 – I have been quickly reminded once again that one can starve in Costa Rica if one does not know the local routine
- Day 8 – I was abruptly awakened before 5:30 am to the sounds of what I can only imagine to be monkeys in the trees just above my house.
About the Author
Kirk Lee is a Writer, Meditation teacher and nomad currently living in Costa Rica. Kirk has been an explorer on the journey for over 25 years having traveled to 14 countries culminating in a year living in Kyoto, Japan. Kirk writes about travel through the lens of simplicity and kindness to be found in people and places of every culture. Explore Kirk’s travel journals at https://zenandink.substack.com/