I Can’t Believe This Took Me So Long…or can I?

Did I leave you hanging? 

As I am sure many of you have gathered, Shaun and I landed back in Canada, safe and sound. I couldn’t have been happier. Although I loved every moment of our five month vacation together, there is so much life and love here on the west coast. I just couldn’t wait to give everyone a big squeeze.

Our final few nights were spent in Villa Andalucia in Tamarindo, our amazing hosts made our final moments in Costa Rica a beautiful experience. We spent our days eating their amazing breakfasts, lounging by the pool,and picking up last minute souvenirs. Near the end I was eating two pipas a day just to get them in!

As I’m writing this it all seems like a beautiful but distant memory. It’s been over 3 months since we arrived home and so much has changed. I came home and quit my job and am finally following my dreams. 

I’m so excited to announce this to you all:

zealandcoaching_full_FINALIt’s happening! I have opened my own personal coaching practice, Zealand Coaching.

(hold on…just have to pause to do a little happy dance)

My practice is based on the learnings I gained while travelling Costa Rica. That amazing country is filled with incredible people and so many of them inspired me to make a change. 

With all this happiness, also comes sadness. Hostels and Hot Rollers is complete. The end of an era so to say. The number of people who read my blog while we were travelling continues to astound me. I’m so thankful for each and every one of you. 

The site will stay active, as you never know where life will take you. Maybe more big travel adventures await us, either way, I have my Hot Rollers packed and ready to go. 

Keep in touch friends

Pura Vida

Kate

Learning To Surf in Costa Rica.

For more on my surfing experiences, check out this article I wrote for the website My Costa Rica

I left Canada in November with a fear of water and an urge to surf. Interesting combination I know.

Within the first two weeks of our travels, I rented a board and Shaun took me out to “catch some waves.”

photo 3I wasn’t a total novice. I had taken a lesson during one of our first trips to Costa Rica, but that was in 2008 and I never actually stood up on the board. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling all that confident! Shaun showed me the ropes and started pushing me into waves. After about 30 minutes I caught one. That is right, stood up, on a board, in the ocean. Woohoo! It was very exciting. My urge to continue surfing was overpowered by my urge for a celebratory beer, so after catching my little wave we headed in.

We went out again a few days later and I trudged right into the water with the utmost photo 1confidence.

It was short lived

I went to catch the first wave and distaster struck. I bailed off the front of the board (such a rookie move) and the board came down right on the top of my head. It was one of those moments, where I needed to do a body check. Anything broken? Are you concussed?

When I finally emerged from the water Shaun was standing in the waves with his hand over his mouth with that “eeesh, that didn’t look good” face. I put on my tough surfer girl bikini bottoms, wiped the tears from my eyes and headed out for more.

photo 2Despite my bravery, I didn’t surf much for the next couple months. The waves at several of the beaches we visited were really big. Not ideal for a beginner like me. It wasn’t until we were in Samara that I tried again. I took a surfing lesson with Samara Adventure Company and it was so awesome. I was riding waves like a pro at the end. You wrote an article about it, you can read all about it here. 

After a couple more sessions in Nosara, you could say that the surfing bug took a little nibble. I’m certainly not the hardcore 5 hours a day surfer like my husband, but I did fall in love with the feeling of catching a wave. Now that we are back home in Canada, I have promised I will sport a wet suit and try surfing at least once here in the cold water. Only time will tell how that will go!

I learnt a lot of tips about surfing during my learning process and I’ll be sharing them in the next post. Thanks for stopping by!

Pura Vida!

Kate

Coming Soon:
Stay tuned to the blog for the next chapter of Hostels and Hot Rollers. 

Costa Rica By the Numbers

Are you ever sitting quietly, minding your won business, when all of a sudden you think to yourself “I wonder how many pineapple’s Kate and Shaun ate while they were in Costa Rica?”

Well my friends, you are in luck. Today’s post gives you a run down of this, and many other numerical facts about our trip to Costa Rica.

Enjoy!

Pineapples Consumed: 29215_pineapplefruit-940x626

Watermelons Eaten: 12 (all Kate)

Bags of Rice: 7

Bottles of Lizano: 14

Surf Boards Broken: 1

I may not know surfing...but I think it's supposed to be in one piece.

I

Sunglasses Broken: 3 (All Kate)

Dresses Purchased: 3

Bracelets purchased: 14

Waterfalls seen: 4

photo (1)

Lines zipped: 13

Sloths: 3 (2 moms and a baby!)

Bottle’s of Sunscreen Used: 6

Beaches Explored: 35

photo (2)

Steps Taken: 1,984,287 (pedometres rule!

Illness Fought: 4

Illnesses Won: 4

Volcanos seen: 2

photo

Countries Visited: 4

Books read Shaun: 10

Books read Kate: 28

Coming Soon:

Don’t forget to stay tuned to hear about the next exciting chapter of Hostels and Hot Rollers. 

Pura Vida!

Kate

 

 

 

Meeting Fantastic while Travelling

It’s a day for shout outs today on the blog!

One of the best things about travelling is meeting some seriously fantastic people. I kept track of all the amazing people we encountered during our trip and thought I would take a second to mention them all.

A huge thank you to each and every one of you for leaving us with a unique and special memory. Perhaps our paths will cross again some day!

Pura Vida!

  • Karen,Terry-Kelowna
  • Alyne-Tofino
  • Junior-Tamarindo
  • Steven, Michelle-Tamarindo
  • Giovanni, Jullieta, Fransesco-Italy
  • Jake-California
  • Tia, Steven-Perth
  • Julian, Colleen-Fernwood
  • Yeison, Sam-Coco
  • Ian, Susan-Ontario
  • Jennifer, Andrew-Hamilton
  • Fransesca-Beligium
  • David-Barcelona
  • Enrique, Mariela- Matapalo
  • Gonzalo- Venezula
  • Manolo- Pueto Viejo
  • Jenny- Bocas del Toro
  • Jessica- La Fortuna
  • Bethan- UK
  • Amah- Colarado
  • Fabricio- Samara
  • Javier- Nicargua
  • Vince- Nicaragua
  • Kim, Wes- Victoria
  • Lydia- Colarado
  • Marco- Nosara
  • Pam- California
  • Neal- California
  • Ben- Brooklyn
  • Jeremiah- D.C
  • Benny, Magda, Eryn- Victoria
  • Simon- Montreal
  • J.C, Emerson, Jorge and Judy- Nosara
  • Chris- Idaho
  • Karen- Toronto
  • Sharr- South Africa
  • Gary, Jolene- Tamarindo
  • Dan, Jackie- California

Coffee in Costa Rica: A Photo Album

During my time in Costa Rica, my love affair with coffee went into hyper drive.

Having had five months worth of amazing coffee, I can guarantee I’m going to be a little more selective about what I choose back home.

But before I have to start thinking about how I’m going to fuel my coffee addiction back at home, lets take a trip down memory lane with some of my favourite cups of coffee throughout Costa Rica

This one is a bit of a cheat, but here I am having my last peppermint mocha in Miami. Not sure if I'll ever want to go back to Starbucks again!


Starbucks in the Miami Airport

Okay, so I know I’m not technically in Costa Rica yet, but I was so sad to leave just as Peppermint Mocha season was starting. I’m pretty sure I drank a zillion in the short period of time I was at home.

I was determined to find the Starbucks when we were in San Jose, but after so much good Costa Rican coffee, Starbucks was the furthest thing from my mind.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be a Starbucks girl again (aside from Peppermint Mocha season of course!)

Cafe Tico, TamarindoCafe Tico, Tamarindo

I’ve lost count at how many Cappuccino’s I’ve consumed at Cafe Tico. I even wrote a whole post about them here. Their coffee is by far my favourite.

I’m by no means well versed in describing coffee flavours, but if I had to, I would say their roast is velvety. It has this amazing flavour that I haven’t had anywhere else. I’m bringing a bag of their beans back home with me, but without the warm breeze and amazing atmosphere, I’m not sure it will taste the same!

Zwart, Santa TeresaZwart Cafe, Santa Teresa

As you can tell by the caption on this photo, this coffee shop was inspiring. An cafe/used bookstore/art studio, of COURSE I’m in!

I hung out at Zwart alot during out time in Teresa. The coffee was delicious but it was the chilled out creativity fused vibe that kept me coming back for more.

 

Sel et Sucre, Puerto ViejoSel & Sucre, Puerto Viejo

I now present to you the most beautiful coffee in all of Costa Rica. Seriously! Let’s all just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this cup of joe is.

I know I’ve written about Sel & Sucre before, but their coffee deserves to be mentioned again. It took me forever to stop snapping photo’s and finally dip my spoon in to stir it up. After such crazyness in Panama, this cup warmed my up my soul.

 

My Coffee La Fortuna (2)My Coffee, La Fortuna

Coffee Art alert! My Coffee used little stencils to make designs out of cinnamon on the top of my Cappuccino and then always added a little chocolate syrup flower flourish…

Never in my life would I have thought something like that would make me so happy, but by the look on my face..it did!

Bagelmen's, NosaraBagelmen’s Nosara

Bagelmen’s coffee was awesome for two reasons, it was cheap, big and they always put tons of cinnamon on it.

Although Bagelmen’s is technically a Costa Rican fast food chain, I was able to look past that. On those days where our budget was tight, Bagelmen’s was my saviour!

 

 

El Barcelo, TamarindoLa Bodega, Tamarindo: I discovered this place on a whim. It’s tucked away on the dirt road in Tamarindo, the one that heads to the gym.

I wish I could tell you about the coffee, but there is a huge tree right next to the cafe and when I was there it was full of howler monkeys. That means I was completely distracted throughout my entire cup of joe. I’m sure the coffee was splendid, but the my coffee companions that day were the biggest memory makers.

 

 

Where is your favourite place to go for coffee?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

 

 

Our Favourite Meals in Costa Rica: A Photo Album

When you have to cook hostel meals for yourself in a shared kitchen, going out for dinner is a real treat.

It’s no secret the Costa Rican cuisine is delicious. We made it a point to snap a couple shots of some of our more spectacular meals.

So without further ado, our favourite meals in Costa Rica!

Classic Ceviche, Nogui's, Tamarindo

Classic Ceviche, Nogui’s, Tamarindo

Passion Fruit Ceviche, Gallo Finto, Tamarindo

Passion Fruit Ceviche, Gallo Finto, Tamarindo

Chicken Taco's, Green Papaya, Tamarindo

Chicken Taco’s, Green Papaya, Tamarindo

Classic Burger, Bugers & Beers, Nosara

Classic Burger, Bugers & Beers, Nosara

Etyl's Famous Pancakes, Kaya Sol, Nosara

Etyl’s Famous Pancakes, Kaya Sol, Nosara

Fish Taco, Kaya Sol, Nosara

Fish Taco, Kaya Sol, Nosara

Marinated Veggies in a Raw Plantain Wrap, Robins, Nosara

Marinated Veggies in a Raw Plantain Wrap, Robins, Nosara

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The best Casado I ate in all of Costa Rica. Mahi Mahi Casado from Seven in Playa Grande

Tamale at Sabor Tico, Monteverde

Tamale at Sabor Tico, Monteverde

Black Bean Soup, Gallo Finto, Tamarindo

Black Bean Soup, Gallo Finto, Tamarindo

Casado from the trunk of a car (SO good!), Tamarindo

Chicken Casado from the trunk of a car (SO good!), Tamarindo

I’m so hungry now!

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

 

Homeward Bound: My personal journey through long-term travel

Some days it feels like we just left, other days it seems  like we have lived an entire life time here in Costa Rica.

Today is the day we land home in Victoria. My heart feels like it is going to burst just typing this. I have had so many moment lately where I’ve pictured the hugs I’ll be giving and it has brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.

Today is also a final day of reflection, 24 hours worth of travel time will do that to you. I find myself continuing to come back to a moment that occurred a few days before we left for Costa Rica. I was laying in bed, sick with worry. I turned over to Shaun and asked him what we would do if I couldn’t “handle it”, could we just come home?

I had never travelled for longer then three weeks, and I was so worried about the trip. What if I couldn’t handle being away from my friends and family. What if I couldn’t live a life so drastically different from the one I lead at home. What if I just couldn’t do it.

I was holding on to so much fear about our travels. I was holding on to so much fear about life.

This is how I was choosing to live my daily life. I lived from the foundation of fear, the foundation of the “what if?” The end result was that I wasn’t truly living.

Going into this trip, I knew that something needed to change. And as I reflect back on what I’ve learned, I find myself in awe of what occurred over the past 5 months.  I didn’t actively pursue change, change pursued me. As soon as I opened my heart to all the possibilities my journey of self-discovery unfolded before me in an almost magical way.

I’m not a different person, I’m not coming home completely changed.  I’m coming home with an understanding of who I am deep down, and what I want out of life.

I’m coming home and it’s time to Shine.

As for the blog…

Can you believe that I actually still have stories to tell? As of today, I will post on the blog twice a week to finish up the last few stories of our trip. After that, the blog will transform into something that excites me to no end.

But you’ll just have to wait to see that chapter unfold…

Until then my friends, Pura Vida

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