The first week of the trip has come and gone, more or less as planned.
January has been planned for some time as an “ease in” month to begin our journey. We are spending pretty much all of the month in Costa Rica, where the weather is very warm, and not moving around much. The idea was to relax and recharge, get through the period at the beginning of all trips where your mind is on what you left behind as much as where you are, and to begin to develop the habits and routines that will carry us through the next 500 days.
This is especially true of our first stop here in Costa Rica at Playa Ocotal. We are staying here for 17 days, one of our longest stops of the trip. And, while there are a few highlight sights and activities nearby, we haven’t visited any of them in our first seven days. Our last week has been filled instead with lazy afternoons, long walks by the beach and figuring out how to incorporate some learning into each day for the boys.
We’re starting to develop some routines, but it’s very much still a work in progress. We’re all finding time for Spanish lessons (via Duolingo) and lots of reading and the boys are doing a little bit of math (via Khan Academy), some impromptu research (Dad, why is the wind blowing so hard today?) and writing (usually the hardest task to convince the boys to do). We’re adjusting to spending all day together pretty well, and finding ways to keep our day satisfyingly (but not stressfully) full without work, school and commuting occupying the vast majority of the time.
It’s a big change in the flow of the day, very much helped along by the midday heat here, which keeps us from wanting to do too much between about 10 and 4. We spend most of our time hiding from the sun at home (resting, reading or schoolwork), swimming in one the pools on our property or hanging out at the beach (mostly Ocotal so far).
We have two beautiful beaches within walking distance. Playa Ocotal, about 15 minutes walking to the South and Playa del Coco, about 25 minutes walking to the North – both made from black volcanic (and magnetic!) sand.
Playa del Coco is one of the oldest Beach communities in this part of the country. There are restaurants, accommodations and small shops aplenty. Playa Ocotal, by comparison, is clean and quiet, still very much in development in terms of tourist appeal. No cell signal, one restaurant only, great snorkelling and lots of space to stretch out – just our speed.
We’re finding our way, but not yet fully acclimatized to the life of the full time adventurer. I suspect finding that perfect rhythm of expanding our minds, feeding our family bonds and focusing on our own self reflection will be a long term project. Suggestions welcome.
Until next time…