The heart of a curious woman must always lead her from familiar places to the unfamiliar; guiding her along, as if a chain of flowers, into the unknown.
Warning!: Basic post ahead, proceed with caution. 😉
My corporate office job, as they are wont to do, had grown dull. Although not nearly as soul-crushing as my first, my heart was no longer in it. In fact, my heart (and work ethic) had pretty much been decimated by apathy. My work schedule had begun to encompass my entire life, and I could no longer justify the amount of time and mental energy I expended upon it, especially given that it had become abundantly clear that my career interests were very far from what I was pursuing.
I spent absurd amounts of time in my car commuting between appointments, trapped in a mechanical box, thick sheets of glass providing me a small window into the world. I watched the sun rise behind an endless line of cars with a cramped leg on the brake pedal. Instead of filling my body with fresh, good food, I often found myself just looking for the quickest place to eat during a 15-minute break. News from places I would rather be played on the radio and, and while listening to the world’s most important happenings, I wondered, “is what I’m doing making the world a better place?”
I lived my life namelessly bouncing from one blank hotel to another, occasionally going down to the mediocre hotel bar to drink a Manhattan alone and hope that a creepy, much older businessman wouldn’t try to talk to me. My “travel” job didn’t feel at all like travel anymore.
The home I’d so caringly appointed was still as cozy as ever. But I was almost never there, and I knew that buying a pretty rug and some throw pillows would not make me truly happy and that comfortable did not mean fulfilled. My spirit had grown restless, and I felt stuck.
But my lease was ending soon.
And my car had finally stopped running, for good.
And that morning, as I listened to a podcast during one of my long commutes, there was a special on the very country where I had once wanted to go and work on a farm before deciding to take my current job.
I had to make a decision, and I knew I had to choose boldly if I really wanted to make a change.
I would quit my job and move to Costa Rica and work on a sustainable farm in exchange for room and board.
It took me a whopping 5 days to develop complete resolve and start packing after the initial idea sprouted in my head. Call me hasty or impulsive (you would be right), but the truth is, it was long overdue. Despite it taking me years of wo(a)ndering to arrive at the decision, I was certain.
I moved out of my house and bounced between an overly-generous friend’s couch and a random single mom’s spare bedroom to save money. I cut back on unnecessary spending pretty drastically (didn’t cut out Miller Lite, couldn’t bring myself to do that). I researched, budgeted, and networked the hell out of the following few months to develop some semblance of a plan. I had something brewing, and it was starting to take form.
Almost 100 days after the initial idea popped into my head, I left my office for the last time, sold most of my belongings, put the rest in storage, and bought a one-way plane ticket to Costa Rica. I boarded my plane into the unknown and my curiosity, that chain of flowers, led me to a garden of orchids in Rancho Margot.
Years later, I still haven’t left Costa Rica, but that’s another story for another time.