Some of the things that felt most natural to me at the time (my neighbors constantly yelling at me through my window when I didn’t have a phone) are the things that will soon feel the most foreign to me when I return to the US. I teared up writing this list and boiling down my time into a series of numbers; I’m not sure why. A lot of it has to do with the fact that it clearly shows how much I’ve changed. A mere six months before I moved to Costa Rica, when all I knew were cities such as NYC, Las Vegas and LA, I would not have believed that I could accomplish such “feats.” (Even BlackBerry-addicted me can survive prolonged periods without a phone, TV, car or computer. Who knew?) In fact, I grew so rapidly during my year as an expat that not only could I not have imagined such a life beforehand, I doubt I could have achieved it. But slowly, my life morphed into something even fantasy-driven I could never have dreamed up for myself. During my year in Coco, I experienced/survived/enjoyed:
Three months without a phone.
One major robbery and two little ones.
The breakup of three major friendships and the addition of too many to count.
One permanent, slap-on-the-wrist stamp in my passport for bringing into Cosa Rica something I [guess I] shouldn’t have.
Three laptops: one was stolen, one died. The third (brand-new) Mac looks like it’s on its last legs, since I carry it everywhere for “protection,” even to the beach.
Exactly two dates in 12 months.
One film crew descending on Coco to interview me.
Twelve months without driving a car.
Approximately 142 hours of Spanish classes, outside, at Patricia’s little beachfront courtyard school, Pura Vida Teaching.
Three blond highlight appointments on Jen’s beachfront porch, usually with a beer in hand.
Zero: times I wore high heels.
Only one visitor during a year of living in paradise: my mom.
A whopping 4137 tweets at the time of this posting, since a friend (yes, Sneddy) signed me up on Twitter the day I left for Costa Rica to keep in touch.
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