Having logged a full 12 years here in Nosara, I am constantly being asked if I plan on living in Nosara FOREVER! The question always seems so dramatic to me. I know what people mean, but really? “Forever?” Like,”Until I die, Forever? I mean,Geez, I’m just trying to get through my kale juice here, ease up a bit…
However, I usually just respond with something generic along the lines of ” as long as I am happy here” or until I find somewhere better” etc etc. The truth is, I have never really given it much thought.
I have lived in Nosara for most of my 20’s, and have never been one to really map out my future. I have just been running at top speed. Working, breeding, surviving economic turmoil, surfing, trying to find that balance that most of us are searching for. The balance between work and play, between selfish desires and family responsibility, between loving my jungle lifestyle and going stir crazy from living in the same 3 kilometre bubble for most of my year.
I have had my ups and downs with Nosara, for she is a fickle bitch. Always aware that my lifestyle is good, but, Hey! life is hard wherever we are and Nosara has its share of challenges. From typical small town BS, to terrible roads, to excessive dust and then mud and then dust again. It’s not a far trip from Nosara to the quaint little town of Insanity, population: get me out of here!
It took traveling half way around the world, full of giddy expectations that were ultimately dashed on the crowded breaks of a remote Indonesian Island, for me to get the perspective to truly appreciate where I live. To truly understand what Nosara means to me. As I lay in tepid pool of feverish sweat for the third consecutive day contemplating yet another trip to bathroom, I realized, that Nosara is special to me not because it is perfect, but because it is not.
Perfection exists. There are those who will argue this, but I would wager that they have not ever sipped $50 Margaritas poolside at the Four Seasons after a 3 hour spa treatment. Exfoliated, lubed up, rubbed out, perfectly perfumed and groomed and just a little tipsy from sipping Porfidio’s finest, is perfection. I promise. In fact, the whole experience awaits just 2 hours from here. Many people think it is some exclusive experience reserved for the special few, but the truth is they are whores for money like the rest of us and if you have a casual $500 for the room and a few hundred more for a bar tab, they will throw open the gates and welcome you with a cool towel and a smirk.
Perfection is just an internet reservation and a weeks pay check away. Excess in all its boring glory. No worries, no style, no adventure. Don’t get me wrong. 1 or 2 nights, ain’t gonna suck, but how much honey can you eat before you begin to gag?
This story started as a top 10 list of reasons why Nosara is the best place on the planet. I had it all summed up and was ready to post, but I realized that for me it was deeper than just the activities available. More than just the great surf, the crazy amount of good food, the ever growing number of courses and classes available. It was deeper than just your typical marketing hype. There is something about this place that draws people here and keeps them coming back again and again, and I think I know what it is.
Nosara feels like a second chance.
A place young, innocent, healthy, and small enough that those of us who are lucky enough to live and visit here get to feel alive again. Alive like you were just given a second chance. A sense that anything is possible. That maybe you were meant to be a pot smoking beach bum and spend your days surfing. That maybe, just maybe you have a dormant Yogi inside who is just one down dog away from coming out. That there is a chance to say “the hell with it” and sell your stuffs back home, and jump into the fray and giv’er a go.
And this is where the flaws come in, in all of their universal perfection. The challenges of Nosara work on multiple levels. They weed out those who are not worthy. They force us to have a sense of humor. Anyone who has survived a day in immigration or at the ICE office knows, that you have to be able to laugh at this wacky place or…, well, you might leave here crazier than you showed up.
In Nosara you must take responsibility for yourself in a way that you do not in most developed countries. 911, Triple A, and any number of conveniences from North America just do not exist here. And that is a good thing. Because when you have an emergency you call your neighbor and the local doctor. When you get a flat, you flag down a complete stranger and ask for help. Nosara forces us to become a community again. Forces us to recognize that every house we build, or lot we sell, or business we open or friend we tell, changes our little spot just a bit. We all have the power to affect change in this little piece of jungle. We all get a second chance to do it right in Nosara. To be our best, on our terms.
So, is Nosara perfect? I would say Yes.
But only if you are looking for a community that will challenge you into being the best at whomever you decide to be here. Nosara is a fickle bitch and will let you know quickly, if she is unhappy with you. Some of us like that, and some of us do not. I might not live in Nosara forever, but Nosara will always live with me.