I packed my shit up and I left.

Just like that.

It didn’t take much planning. I booked a plane ticket and hoped on a plane, Costa Rica bound.

When I arrived it hit me in the face. My big city girl’s ego was too big for the place. After 20+ years of life in Paris and six in New York, some serious adjustments needed to be made.

costa rica

 Here is what life has been teaching me since I’ve arrived in paradise:

1. “All we know, is that we know nothing.” Aristotle

I arrived in Costa Rica thinking that I had nothing to learn from this place. My thought process was basically something along these lines: “What can be possibly so extraordinary here? I speak Spanish and I’ve been to Mexico, I think I know what this is all about.”

Huge ego-check.

Nothing here is like what I’ve experienced before. Out of fear I had convinced myself that nothing could surprise me anymore. But being immersed in a country and a culture completely foreign to you is all about opening your mind and admitting that you don’t know.

No assuming.

No guessing.

No comparing.

Just learning to experience everything.

2. The people who care won’t care.

The people who truly and deeply love you from a genuine and unconditional place will always support you no matter what your endeavors are.

They won’t hold you back; they will push you away with a smile. They will want the best for you and they’ll accept you for who you are.

These people are rare and the best way to add more of them into your life is to be one of them yourself.  Give people the support and positivity they need to grow and make their own leaps of faith.

3. Life is not limited to what you can see right now.

This morning I saw four baby monkeys playing in the tree in front of my house. Then, two iguanas walked by. The wind blew in the palm trees. I took a deep breath and I thought how disconnected we are in our big city lifestyle… we worry so much all the time about useless stuff and we forget about the world out there.

Life is not limited to what you can see right now. There’s a whole world out there waiting for you to discover it. And I know that deep inside you know that you’re not on this planet to meet deadlines or sit behind a desk all day.

4. To travel light, you must be willing to detach from what you are clinging onto.

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, peace will always come from within.

Don’t think you have to quit your job and jump on the next plane to Brazil to find serenity. Relocating might help but know that wherever you go, you bring your emotional baggage with you. To travel light, you must be willing to let go, detach from what you are clinging onto. Know that when you are far away from home grudges, deep insecurities and unhealed wounds might show up to the surface for you to release them and move forward.

5. Life is pure.

If you ask a Costa Rican what’s up? He or she will probably respond, “Pura Vida” (Pure Life) with a huge smile.

When you get close to nature, life becomes pure. When you remove all the conditioning society empresses upon you to keep you small, you expand. When you’re not worried about where the cool spot to be seen is, no fancy car to drive, no designer clothes to wear and no 9 to 5 to show up to, all of a sudden your attention shifts on what truly matters: the beauty and purity of life as it is.

Garance Clos is an Integrative Life Coach and Yoga Teacher. Get your free De-stress Manual: 5 Easy Instructions to Build the Relaxed Life You Want.