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Published: October 7th 2007
Hello All! Today I have experienced one of the freest feeling simple pleasures that I have never seen much value in until today. I RODE A HORSE!! Whether it was seeing the pride the Tico farmer had in his arsenal, trotting through the natural beauty-The type only Costa Rica can offer, or finding the joy in galloping uphill in a torrential down pour, the whole ordeal was overwhelming. For the first time in a VERY long time, it felt as if all the important little stresses or anxieties in life had been demoted to trivial. It was as if true freedom could alleviate anything. For one afternoon, 172 acres of pure greenery, nature, and horizon completely took me over and it felt terrific.
I must be perfectly honest. I have never ridden a horse before. However, it was a lot easier than the first time you ride a bike. I still have lucid memories of my old man holding on to my seat while I ventured off on my own for the first time. Yeah, that was something I’ll never forget and something I would like to do for my son(s) or daughter(s) when I have kids some day. But
this was special in a different way. There was no human invention. It was me and this animal, almost instinctual, understanding how to control her right from the get go. Now, for those that know me best, I’m usually a complete wimp when it comes to nature; I’m deathly afraid of bees and sometimes even cows. Yet, I was able to conquer my fear of the unknown because horseback riding was that darn remarkable.
Joking around, I made everyone stop so I could ride by them and say, “They may have taken our lives, but they’re never take OUR FREEDOM.” It’s one of my favorite lines from “Braveheart.” Without getting political, I want to make the point that being free is something not only to cherish or appreciate, but also something to practice. One of the principal reasons I’m proud of where I come from is that the United States is a relatively free country; however, today I felt Costa Rica might be a bit freer. Free in the sense that there isn’t a tremendous pressure here to keep up in the rat race. Consumerism is almost non-existent. I’ve witnessed Costa Rican farmers turn downs hundreds of thousands of
dollars, sometimes more, just to hold onto their land, the same land they’ve raised their kids, milked their cows, and rode their horses on. Also, for the first time today, I fully understood how they could turn down so much money. It’s as if when life is so beautiful, there isn’t much more you need. I also realize most of this is subjective, depending on your views and priorities, but It is simply refreshing to see people value fresh air and green grass over material fancies.
Costa Rica has taught me a lot. It’s also brought me a lot. It’s brought influential people, special friends, a new outlook on what’s important. Three years ago I never imagined living outside the U.S., speaking another language, or enjoying horseback riding more than cruising on the highway. I’m so thankful that a place like this exists. For all its quirks and at times, cultural nuisances, it’s still where my heart is. I’ve been here over a year and believe me I don’t find Costa Rica perfect, but it’s still where my I want to be. If someone packed my bags for me and told me I could live anywhere in the world
right now, I would simply unpack.
If any of you are pondering moving here, or even paying a visit, please let me know. I’m more than happy to share advice. Also, as I announced in my previous blog, our new website will be launching soon and I’ll be available to chat live with anyone that visits the site.
On a completely different subject, I'll be heading to New York for 5 days next week. I'm going there to spend some time with my family. I was hoping to catch some Yankees games with my dad, but it's not looking good right now. The Yankees are already down 2-0 in a 5 game series, which means they'll have to come back and win the last 3 games. I've seen them do this before so I'm keeping the faith. It should be nice to visit Upstate New York in the fall time. I do miss the change of seasons a bit and the smell of autumn air. I also miss REAL maple syrup. I don't know how people eat Aunt Jamima type bootleg syrup. It tastes like liquid sugar. I'm also going to grab a box of flavor blasted goldfish. No, I'm not home sick in the least, but there are certain snacks I just can't live without!
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