This looks like something you would really love: How a message at 2am changed me life forever PART THREE

The next morning I questioned what I was doing. I just signed up for a trip all by myself. See I acted like I could do a lot of things, but in truth I was often scared and just faking it till I made it. The good thing I can do is use the skills I have learned in my life to help me get through things. I had never learned about traveling, and I had never done it alone. I was in over my head.

I had just got promoted to the Regional Sales Leader for Central Canada so I needed to make sure I was set up and ready to go for my trip. My boss Kenneth (not his real name) was excited for me to go on my trip. I hopped on my flight and I was off to Costa Rica. I arrived as one of the last people there. I met my guides Liz and Cesar at the airport. They were nice, young and full of energy. Liz was cute and Cesar was bigger than life in his personality. We were also very lucky to have the CEO and Adventurer in Residence Matt Wilson on the trip. The first person from my group to say hi to me was a well built Asian guy with a really awesome smile. His name was Seng.

I was the last to arrive and everyone was waiting on me, this is a regular occurrence with coming from Canada because there are fewer flights, and for some reason we always end up delayed. I apologized to everyone and we hopped on the bus and started to get to know each other. I sat with Seng and his girlfriend. We talked about where we were from and what made us come on the trip. We were being driven down a Costa Rican road while Cesar told us some stuff about the country. We pulled into a roadside stand and we all got drinks in coconuts. It was a solid drink, and it left me tipsy. We also walked over to a bridge where a Tico was selling fish to through down to the giant Crocodiles that were below in the water.

The country was so gorgeous, we drove from the airport to Playa Manuel Antonio. The whole time I was moving around the bus making sure I got a chance to spend time with each person who wanted to talk to me. I remember vividly talking about McGill University with Alex, photography with Seng and Liz’s job. I was purposefully learning as much as I could about the people who made the same choice as I did. Why did they want to get up and travel with people they have never met before? What were they missing in their lives? What did they expect to get out of this trip. I met an investment banker from NYC, A Real Estate Mogul from Atlanta, A former Marine, A yoga instructor from France. These were really interesting people, and they all had a will to learn more about the world.

We arrived at our hotel. A beautifully appointed Spanish style concrete villa at the top of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Playa Manuel Antonio. The focal point of the hotel is a beautiful pool completely lit up with lights at the bottom to make it sparkle in the night under the Costa Rican night. So many stars. We sat down for dinner, a typical Tica meal with rice and beans as the staple of the diet. We each took turns introducing ourselves. I had planned out exactly what I wanted to say, I knew I was going to impress everyone with my skills in the work world. I waited for my turn, there was a Pharmacist, A political staffer, as well as the aforementioned people each going through who they are, and what they did. I felt less and less accomplished. It was my turn. I was going to get up and talk about the REIT I worked for etc, but instead what came out was much better. See what I hadn’t been hearing was that each of them did infact state what they did for work, but they focused more on what they wanted out of life and who they wanted to become. With a shaking voice I introduced myself. “Hi, I am Andrew, I work for a real estate investment trust, and what I want from this trip is to be with beautiful people, in a beautiful place, to get back to what I want in my life, happiness and peace”. It was completely different from what I wanted to say, but it was really what I was looking for from this trip. I wanted to get out of the rat race that was the corporate world. I wanted to learn about how other people my age were looking to make a difference in the way they used their skills. Dinner went late that night. We all sat around talking and enjoying each other’s company.

Dinner finished up and Matt convened us back to do something that has become a part of each day for me since then. Rose, Thorn and Bud. It was a simple exercise. Rose, the thing you loved most about your day. Thorn, the worst part of your day. Bud, what you are looking forward to tomorrow. I had never done something like this before. A few people went before me and it was my time to go. I still remember it even though it was nearly two years ago. My Rose was the dinner we had just went through, my thorn was that I was last to arrive to the airport causing the whole day to be late. My rosebud was going to the beach the next day to touch the Pacific Ocean for the first time in my life. I finished speaking and an ethereal feeling came over me. The blood in my veins was rushing through my body, and I just looked around at all the the people from all over the world, but still somehow connected by a mutual longing to live in a different world than we had experienced before. We were so different, but still very the same. We stayed up very late that night sitting around the pool bathed in the aquamarine light that was shimmering from the bottom of the water of the pool in the hotel.

I went to bed that night feeling more alive than I had in years, and I made a promise to myself I would take the best thing I learned from work and share it with everyone in the morning…

See you tomorrow.

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