Happy New Year, from Monteverde.

The day I started living, was the day I stopped trying to live.

We have this obsession with reposting inspirational quotes, and forwarding "how to be happy" chain letters; telling friends how "drama free" we are; making long lists of resolutions towards "being a better me". But we never stop planning and always forget to start doing.

Living has no quotes. Living has no plan. Living has no regrets or second guessing. Living just is. 

It is the first day of 2014. The last days of 2013 were frightening, amazing, adventurous, scary again, and downright tiring. I made that bus to Liberia, but quickly learned there was no easy way to get to Monteverde. With roads of mountains and steep turns, there was a long journey ahead. At the bus station, we negotiated with a driver, figuring out that he would drop us off at a road where another bus will arrive, heading in the direction of Monteverde. Sweet deal, right? No.

The catch? It was 2:30 pm and that next bus arrived at 4:00 pm. We had to make it there in time or else be stranded. Sure enough... We missed it. 

I quickly learned how fast the sun sets in Costa Rica. I quickly learned there were no street lights other than the blanket of stars. I quickly learned everyone felt sorry for me and wanted to help. Long story short, the bus driver found a taxi-driver friend who was willing to drive to what seemed like the other end of the Earth towards Monteverde. During the taxi ride, I used my best Spanish to tell him about home, my family, and my travels. He was happy that I could communicate with him and asked me why I didn't feel comfortable speaking Spanish if I was Latina. I told him about my mother's day care and how she'd only speak English, to prepare the children for school. Somewhere along the way, I stopped trying to learn.

He told me my Spanish was better than I let on and recorded a message on my iPhone to my mother, saying that I did a good job... I laughed and thanked him, grateful that I missed that bus.

Through this ordeal, I learned two valuable lessons...

1. I needed to stop planning. If it wasn't that I already had a hostel booked in Monteverde, I could've arrived at a number of feasible solutions. But instead, I had to overcome hell and high water just to stick to the plan.

2. No one cares that my Spanish isn't perfect. :-)

Treehouse dinner in Monteverde.

My first Monteverde breakfast.