I met an amazing travel blogger named Olivia Christine while visiting Costa Rica and we really bonded. We had so much fun doing our beach photo shoot and now Liv is a guest on my blog, sharing insight on travel, growth and following your dreams. Read her inspiring story here!
By Olivia Christine
They say travel gently peels away at one’s surface, helping to reveal your soul. I say travel harshly strips away your facades and makes you face yourself. Whether you like it or not.
Or maybe it’s both.
I began traveling in search of feeling like I belonged somewhere. It’s ironic that those who feel like they don’t belong often run away to even more unfamiliar places in search of “home”.
But after years of traveling alone and facing myself, I realize: my soul is home.
My latest destination along my journey of enlightenment is Costa Rica: one of my favorite countries. This time I have been living at a yoga retreat and I must admit, the experiences have been life changing.
Every week, new retreat groups come to strengthen their practice amongst the crashing waves and soothing silence of the Costa Rican jungle.
And lately I’ve been deeply meditating on where I am in life and where I want to be.
Although I feel like I’ve been down this road many times before, this one is different.
I am happy.
I find joy in the happiness of others and bask in the light of all other living creatures and organisms.
I find myself seeking nature, clarity, truth, and love in all that I do and with those that enter my life.
When I first started traveling it was because of school. I went to a boarding high school that pretty much required international community service to graduate, so I went to Alsace, France and volunteered in a school.
Unfortunately, I also got very sick that year and within less than two years I found myself in chemotherapy fighting a nasty autoimmune disease that was killing my kidney function. It was during that time that I decided there was too much to see, be, and do in life and I hadn’t done enough. My promise to myself was to live, live, live and never look back.
So, I started traveling through every connection I had, initially working as a national conference planner and marketing professional. And I burned out within just a few years.
It was as if I forgot the point of that promise and got caught up in corporate expectations and the fast life of New York City, and became stressed out and miserable.
So one day, I stopped.
I loved writing and was good at marketing and other jobs that would be easy to do remotely, so I cashed out on my savings and thought, this is enough for two years, and I’ll figure the rest out later.
Oh my goodness, how uncharacteristic of me! Perfectionist, meticulous, Virgo Olivia just took a leap with no safety net.
I was shitting my pants.
But the moment I quit, I literally felt my shoulders relax and the heaviest weight ever felt on my chest, release.
It was magical.
And here I am. I’m living in Costa Rica temporarily: travel blogging, managing international clients remotely, while bartering my stay at a luxury jungle yoga retreat in exchange for my writing and digital marketing expertise.
I spend my days waking up at 5:30 am to the sunrise and falling deeper in love with people and animals living here. I eat farm to table meals that are primarily vegetarian with the occasional chicken or mahi mahi for dinner, and practice (or sometimes teach) yoga 1-2 times, daily.
I’m not rich, and am surely not living a life of big spending. But my decision helped me shave away the unnecessary distractions in my life, helping me embrace minimalist living and appreciate the beauty of giving and exchanging, and most of all: loving.
Because we all have gifts, and sharing those gifts with the world through love is self fulfilling.
More about Olivia Christine: Olivia is a Travel Writer and Photographer consulting in writing + content marketing while exploring the world through bartering, volunteering, and adventure discovery. She spent a few months at Blue Osa as a blogger, marketing volunteer, and private yoga instructor.
Read about her adventures and travel advice in her blog and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!