As I was winding through yet another dirt path trying inconspicuously to pass for a road, my brain began to fizzle into the despair of being completely and utterly lost.
Tiny lumps began to form in my throat, the lever for my tear ducts was being pulled, my pupils must have become deep, dark orbs, widening by the second. To get to the middle of this desolate jungle road overlooking the bays of Puntarenas, I had spent over 13 hours; a trip that when I set out, I thought would last only 3. I pulled over to gaze out and contemplate my vast lostness-ness for a moment, taking in the inlets of the sea, and the vast green ravines which undulated far into the distance. As I look back now, I should have stayed there a few more minutes to breath in the experience of being simply, and quite beautifully lost. This word, it's usually associated with anxiety and fear, but I wonder now why we don't see it in a different way...
Funny how I didn’t realize it at the time due to my budding trepidation, but now that I envision those moments, the word that fills my head is EXPANSION. Like my pupils, my world expanded out to nothingness and everything all at once. In the not knowing where you are, you have no labels, no objectives, no Google map pins nor tourist landmarks, no need… You are purely staring out at a new horizon, you are not just flying by anymore. You are in lost territory.
It’s hard to see these things in the moment. Our agendas take over our lives, our timelines become our world, and our necessity to do things right and stay on track overtake our sense of adventure. Our senses redirect to fear instead of intrigue.
Time is the most precious thing we ‘have’… it’s what we count every day for appointments, every year for anniversaries and birthdays, every millennia to mark milestones and history. When we get lost, we feel as if we have lost time… and that, for me, is what I focused on most as my tiny wheels crept through the endless curves. I was losing time by being lost. I should have been at my destination by now, this being lost robbed me of precious time at my ideal destination. Yet, I forgot to appreciate the time I was in that window of lost. Where time actually did not matter, where I found myself in a place on the planet where few others travelled and where my sense of adventure and appreciation of nature could flourish. I did stop several times to snap a photograph or two, but if time weren’t chasing me so fervently, I would have gotten out of the car, breathed in the lost air, felt the lost breeze on my face, been one with this fleeting lost space for a few moments longer…
Eventually, as I rounded the corner to see a bona fide road coming into focus, my heartbeat returned to normal and I gave thanks to my little car for its impossible feat. I could feel in the air that something special was coming my way in the days ahead -that I was about to be rewarded for my tenaciousness in finding this tiny stretch of pot holed road - the one that would lead me to discovering another piece of my soul. As it turns out, I was right. My gifts were playing in the curls of my perfect waves, blowing through the leaves of the seaside lush, and burrowing softly inside my spirit so I would not forget the Yin and Yang of being Lost and being Found.
During my 9 days in Costa Rica, I fell madly in love with so many people and places. I felt a flurry of emotions ranging from illumination to disillusion, overjoyed to overwhelmed. Traveling solo has its disadvantages, and sometimes I feel lonely, or crazy for choosing this kind of adventure. But in the end, I find that conquering my fears - in any way possible- is always the best choice. If we take the lessons and beauty over the fear and solitude, life has endless gifts for us. So, expand as much as you can, take the moments to breath it all in, and appreciate the moments between the lines -especially when you are feeling lost.