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What’s So Darn Special About Costa Rica, Anyway? by Heidi Michelle

Landing in Costa Rica this week for my fifth winter has got me thinking…

Why does everybody and their mothers come to freakin’ Costa Rica? And why do I love it so darn much?

Yogis, tourists and ex-patriots flock to this tiny military-free country exponentially, setting up homes, getting yoga teaching certified and dreaming of their return. The world-wide community is recognizing Costa Rica as a uniquely special place. But, why?

I’ll tell you what it is for me.

It’s the nature. In this, my fifth winter in Costa Rica, I notice that the majority of what my eyes rest upon is water, trees and creatures. Whether my toes are sinking into soft ocean sand or crunching over the spongy jungle’s leaf-laden carpet, my bare feet touch more earth here than ever they do in North America. That does something to a person’s psyche, you know?

It’s the people. Those who visit and/or choose to create home here seem to be, in some part, living outside of the norm, creatively crafting an existence that fits their personal values. I am surrounded by highly conscious friends in Costa Rica. Then those who sprouted from this fertile landscape seem to carry a secret recipe for happiness. Pura Vida, pure life, is their greeting and fairwell.

It’s the food. I just slopped through my first drippingly sweet papaya, seeds and all. Heaven-sent! Tropical fruit, organic veggies from the local farmer’s markets and intentionally healthy friends choosing non-processed goodness to put in their mouths, this is my personal paradise.

Moreover, it seems that I discover something new about the Earth nearly daily. Some new insect crawls upon my yoga mat in a downdog, making me stop to appreciate its vibrant colors. The other day 5 bright Scarlet Macaws flashed through a break in the high branches leaving me squealing in childlike delight! Not an uncommon occurrence.

Life is rich in Costa Rica. Of course, it has its challenges just like every country. Yet, because of its vast untouched space and clean, pranafilled air, I’m able to access my own internal untouched space more readily.

As a yogi, this means a more direct route to remembering my true nature.

I’ve witnessed in my yoga students again and again, an unwinding of tensions and stresses that we sand-bag into our physical and mental systems in the more developed countries.

Reducing the clutter, clearing up dis-ease and increasing health is just plain easier here.

Costa Rica is a sweetly special spot on the globe. Not the only, but certainly worth the jaunt and, likely, one of the best things you will ever do for yourself.

Fun Facts About Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica bridges North and South America and touches both the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans.

  • Costa Rica is an eco-tourist’s paradise with over 25% of its territory dedicated to conservation.

  • Costa Rica’s power is largely produced hydroelectrically with months without burning fossil fuels.

  • Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, paralleling the Galapagos Islands.

  • Costa Rica has over 34,000 species of insects that we know of.

  • Costa Rica has more species of butterflies than the whole African continent.

  • Costa Rica boasts 20 natural parks and 8 biological reserves.

  • Costa Rica has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

So, there you have it. Why Costa Rica is so freakin’ cool…and hot right now.

Cheers (with a coconut in my hand, typing in my bikini!), Heidi Michelle

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