Jungle Life, Hurts Where it Counts
Part 1: Arrival
I love living in the jungle, don’t get me wrong. The jungle isn’t to blame for my recent frustrations and feelings of intense rumination. HOWEVER, the jungle DEMANDS a high amount of intesity and activity just to survive, which isn’t easy if you’re a single woman living alone in the mountain with no transportation of her own!
But 1) That wasn’t the original intention, and 2) I’m not the only one! The women of Puerto Viejo are tough, independent, beautiful, and edgy because of the valiant lifestyle we lead. So, feeling a little PRESSED with the timelessness – feasbily unmeasurable next to peers and age itself – I’m going to expound on the grim, dirty, and unforseeable means in which we lurk within our neverendingly enchanting rainforest – do or die trying.
Let’s start with the basics we’re all involved with on some level:
Food, Laundry, Mobility, Cleaning
And then the sort of implied, but nevertheless differential outliers:
Jungle life makes you work your @ss off for each and every endeavor – leading, of course, to more appreciation and a more selective life. I was initally drawn to this part of Costa Rica partly because most people use bikes as their main source of transport, and after 10 months of relying on my feet and the bus schedule, I was really up for more independence.
Buying a bike was fairly easy, and biking was a joy for the first few months — then it became a bit tiring. Physically, it’s a lot of energy to exert during “summertime” – hot and steamy days of quality sun. During the 4th month here, biking became burdensome, with my hips constanly tight, my low back always aching. I was spending way too much time in the morning working my yoga postures just to undue the pain from the previous day’s ride.
Biking is fine for vacation, but when you need to do regular things, without having exercise being the main energy-draining activity, it becomes trying. I was searching for normally priced, comfrotable place to live long-term during HIGH season in one of the most popular vacation spots in the country. Because tourists will pay so much more, this was a serious challenge. Over 3 months, I creatively searched and messaged countless people, and at the end of it all, found about 8 places availalbe. All these places, I had to visit on my bike.
Like many people, I generally prefer to leave home once the afternoon crawls past 2’oclock onwards – a bit more cooler and manageable. Unless I wanted to get up extra early and forgo my morings – involing yoga, meditation, and space in silence, the crux of my job and involvement being here – I have a 3-4 hour window available for all out-of-the-house needs, including my appoinments. Stretched along the ocean, Puerto Viejo extends both directions, and instead of being able to visit different places like you easily would in a vehicle, you essentially have to choose which direction you’re going for the day to make it feasible.
Three months after I began my search, I finally found a clean, normal-priced, and homey place to live for 9 months, thank god! My new home was up the mountain – not as hilly as the initial place i lived – but the couple who was renting it to me had a moto to get around. Living here at this point for 14 months, I planned to find a used scooter to make it possible for me to stay at this wonderful space. I needed a break from biking! I had tripped the week before, twisting my ankle – and had to stop biking. I pushed through the pain until walking was equally bad. Moving my stuff on my poor, disjointed ankle was a STRONG message that I needed to rest and go deeper into my body.
I spent the first 9 days in my jungle abode juicing, cleansing, resting, and listening. No worries – Pura Vida – this was a time to recalibrate and rejuvinate for the next step. Except for the fact that I was totally alone, in the jungle, no mobility, and completely uncertain of what I would do next. I was in no position to do anything other than tune-in and discover what the jungle offered.