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A week in Costa Rica | Self Love Fridays | Philly MUA | Natty Contrera Artistry


Traveling is out of your comfort zone. Self-love is taking that comfort zone and throwing it out the window.

I spent a week in Costa Rica with one of my cousins. She is the absolute definition of family and a strong "boss babe". That's the new "hype term" to describe women who are self-sufficient, determined, and just all around awesome, right? While on my trip, I decided that not only am I NOT a boss babe, but I actually hate the term. I’ll go into specifics of why in an upcoming blog.

Anyway, we stayed in San Jose and Santa Teresa. We took public busses and ferries in a long 7-hour voyage to get from one side of the country to the other. I wouldn't have changed a moment of it. Well, actually, I would have packed more snacks. We got to visit a few cities along the coast, where we stayed in Santa Teresa. We also spent time in San Jose and Santa Ana (pronounced: Santana). Santa Ana and San Jose had such a different charm than the coastal sides of Costa Rica. Plus, we went on the Brit Cafe coffee tour.

The moment we hit the sand, and my feet touched the warm ocean water, I was recharged. There is something so amazing about the ocean. The biggest picture filled with so much detail, so much mystery, yet it connects us to everything. The waves crashed against my body and let me know in each moment, there is so much for me. I did it. I am here. But, just like self-love, there is no destination. Sure, Costa Rica was my destination for the week; but traveling, exploring, realizing that I am something in such a big world… this is the journey.

Before anyone starts to think they can’t travel, hear me out. I’ve always wanted to travel, but I made every excuse under the sun not to. I missed out on so much because of reasons like “I can’t take off work...” “I don’t have the money...” “I’ll go to Morocco next time, but let’s get drinks here for now.” First off, when is someone going go to Morocco, again? Don't get me wrong, I've been fortunate to see places. But I missed so much. Put down that Starbucks coffee. Stop going to fucking Panera because you forgot your lunch for work. Actually, stop eating out even when you packed a lunch. Don’t settle for these same old chains for dinner and drinks.

Enjoy. The. Worlds. Food.

Pura Vida! It's Costa Rican Spanish for "pure life". It means, hello, goodbye, I'm good, see ya! It means everything. And what I've learned is, we need way more Pura Vida!

The lifestyle of not always arriving on time, catching that extra wave, being okay with eating all the rice and beans, falling asleep on a hammock reading, laying in the sand and more. We need more of that. We need less "lifestyles" and more of life. Less defining and more being. We need more Pura Vida!

Get out of your comfort zone. Nothing was more amazing than forcing my already bad Spanish to get stronger, having to rely on directions instead of my cellphone and emerging my life into another culture for a week.

Everything was great. Minus the tarantula that flew into my face while driving through the rainforest on ATVs. The world is truly your oyster. Make the best life out of all the beauty were surrounded with. I cannot wait to travel somewhere next.

Pura Vida,

Natalie


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