Friday, September 19, 2008

Free again - lesson learned again

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade right? When Costa Rica gives you shitty roads, get a motorcycle. Living with less is like turning down the noise to hear the music. It´s never been about a quest for poverty, but a search for more satisfaction in things I realize are important to me. Transportation and better yet reliable, fun transportation is a lesson I learn yet again here in paradise. When I first came to the castle and had the chance to cook, I had my backpack, two legs and the will to carry six frozen chickens daily from town. When I bought a used bicycle it was like being a kid again. Then came the old Land Rover and I was almost back to being a mobile modern person. But the hammer of reality hit hard owning a used, illegal car in Costa Rica. Five dollars a gallon for gas with a 5000 lb Land Rover meant I needed a lot more money. I´m happy I´m able to fix old cars, but laying in the mosquito infested mud dropping a starter kills motivation. So the stout 4x4 was reduced to guest pickup and emergency shopping trips. At the same time shopping was getting easier with all vegetables coming by delivery once a week and even fish being brought to my front door. The need for the freedom of transportation lessened since I was busy with exploring my new work. The walk along the beach to town kept me in shape and always made me feel better. Social connection came in dry season with guests and friends. Funny how traps are built from such seemingly content surroundings. Easier and easier it became to just stay here at the castle by the beach. Rainy season came and the reasons to stay in just kept growing - cars now have to take the long way to town since the river is too high to cross and the words "cut off" take on real meaning. The rain brings mud which makes walking a sloppy, slippery trek. There is nothing carefree about stopping by to see a friend, or make a friend. Back to the definition of living with less - the idea is not a punishment to money or things, just a recognition of what´s important and that availability can be more powerful than ownership. At this point it´s clear I need a change but I´m low on cash. Motorcycles are intrinsic to Costa Rican culture - with an infrastructure of roads that look more like trails most Ticos own motorcycles and the most revered are motocross. I owned a few street bikes in the states, but burned out on oily roads and blind drivers. I decided a motorcycle was just a smarter choice and set off to sell the land rover to raise cash. When you decide you want something or wish for something you send your ripple through the universe and the results spark the conversations of amazing "coincidence". My friend Chris is three months new here and the proud owner of a new 400 enduro hybrid from Honda. He also has a new love in his life and made plans to get his woman a motorcycle. Chris is a uniquely generous person in that he truly enjoys sharing. I say this because I´m fiercely independent and slice my own throat before taking help I need, which means I must be very convinced of someone´s motivations. We came together on owning a motorcycle half and half and we found a 1999 Yamaha 225 XT - the name should be changed to WOW!!! Instead of waiting until I raised my half, Chris made all this possible now and reminded me again that happiness comes from taking help and getting past your own ego saying you have to do it all yourself to be strong. Now the roads are roller coasters and "long way" means "fun way". Mud, dirt, and asphalt run together in an adrenaline paradise. But the return of freedom and spontaneity top the list of what makes life fun. Places only a few miles away are completely new to me and the simple act of getting away makes me fall in love with the castle all over again. Videos coming soon...

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