“For people could close their eyes to greatness, to horrors, to beauty, and their ears to melodies or deceiving words. But they couldn’t escape scent. For scent was a brother of breath. Together with breath it entered human beings, who couldn’t defend themselves against it, not if they wanted to live. And scent entered into their very core, went directly to their hearts, and decided for good and all between affection and contempt, disgust and lust, love and hate. He who ruled scent ruled the hearts of men.”
On May 12th 2017, I sent a happy birthday message to someone I met in Puerto Viejo (Costa Rica) on July 31st 2016 and got a warm “thank you” back, while I was at dinner in Marrakech (Morocco), with 9 people, eating various colourful foods and trying to be in the moment. Just like I am trying to be in the moment now, sitting in Skövde (Sweden), work typing my day away.
But that did not work. I got transported instantly to Costa Rica (then and now).
I thought about the colourful hostel where I stayed, the way it smelled (like fragrant wood and salty air), about how I could hear the waves at night. About fresh exotic fruits from the market, homemade dishes and delicious drinks. Tonight (May 12th) there was a feast on the table but my eyes, my nose and my heart were full of Costa Rican magic.
This beautiful land is scent. It somehow gathers all the right reasons for which we decide to spend our lives traveling. Its scent transcends from wild to tamed and back to wild again.
I often imagine how not living to the fullest would be if it affected our physical appearance. I would imagine a crooked body, with troubles breathing, and with pain in every movement.
Costa Rica fills your lungs with hurricanes, gives you wings to fly and the ability to run far far away into the sun. Each morning you feel its nature embracing you with light, embodying smells and for each breath a gift of visual tale.
How it felt to listen to Pearl Jam on the hammock in front of my room, overlooking the sea
How it felt to run home at dusk, knowing that I couldn’t be out alone after dark
How it felt to wake up early in the morning in my blue room kissed by sunshine
How it felt to wait in line to wash up in the sink in the corridor, with everybody smiling and chatting cheerfully
How waiting for hours for my coffee, felt
How it felt to work at my laptop with a kitty in my lap and tourists buzzing by
How knowing nobody, felt
How meeting two sweet guys in line for the ATM that didn’t work, felt
How it felt to not have money for two days
How it felt to buy groceries at the supermarket
How it felt to have my lunches cooked by beautiful exotic women with colourful dresses and fiery manners
How it felt to swim in the strong sea
How it felt to be utterly and completely in love with myself, wearing no makeup and no worries
How it felt to bike in the national park on winding roads and into the jungle
How it felt to visit the animal rescue centre and see baskets full of baby sloths and other beautiful creatures
How it felt to buy hot cocoa from local women while waiting for the bus on a rainy day.
How it felt to get close to someone without ulterior motives
How it felt to be on a bus full of back packers and reggae tunes
How wonderful it felt to drink chocolate home brewed beer while listening to live music all by myself
How it felt to leave and head over to Panama on a minibus full of dreamers
How it felt to see and take in so much beauty
How it now feels to have stayed in Panama for two weeks and have experienced more happiness, more bonding and more beauty.
How it now feels to have since then travelled to dozens of countries, leaving small or big pieces of my heart in each, while daily patching this terribly fascinating organ with love, wonder and adventure.
And now in this precise moment, I am looking at the table in front of me, wishing there would be more coffee in my cup, pleasant emails in my inbox and stupidly smiling at my Google Chrome tabs containing work pages, maps, travel information and messages from friends scattered all over the planet. And I remember all the useless worries I get from time to time and how I somehow manage to forget what I am made of.
All the beautiful memories that we have and all the beautiful things that we have felt, help us remember who we really are and how lucky we are to be alive. PURA VIDA!