As you learned in my post Where Are You From?, I was born in Costa Rica but I never lived there. My dad worked for the airlines in New York and was commissioned to open the sales offices in Lisbon and Madrid as part of his promotion. My mom, a native of Costa Rica, decided to wait out her pregnancy in her country before venturing out to Europe to set up a new home. My first passport picture was of me at six weeks old in my mom’s arms.
As a family, we visited Costa Rica occasionally. For some unknown reason, I never went back after the age of fifteen and seldom thought of visiting. In my younger years, we moved from country to country until finally at the age of eighteen, we landed in Canada. Luckily, we lived in various Spanish speaking countries, so I knew the language fluently. As a matter of fact, both English and Spanish were spoken at home. I understood English but when my dad addressed me in English, I responded in Spanish. That was until the age of seven when I was thrown in an English-speaking school in Tokyo, Japan. The nuns thought that I’d learn to speak in English quickly and they were right. Within two months I was fluent in English.
The more I lived in Canada, the more I thought about Costa Rica. Especially during the dark, rainy, cold months of winter. The warmth of my country of origin called me every year. I spoke to my husband about my native land and wanted to visit and see if there was an opportunity to live there instead of in Canada. But we were newly married and other priorities took precedence such as buying a house and growing our businesses.
However, living through every winter took it toll on me emotionally. I tried to everything to adjust to the cold dark weather but it just brought on more depressed feelings. Every year I’d say to my husband, “I feel every winter here shortens my life.”
In 2008, we decided to travel to Costa Rica. We stayed in San Jose with relatives and then went on to travel to the Central Southern area of the country. We had plans to visit a real estate development in Ojochal.
To get to Ojochal, it was recommended to us to take a tiny commuter flight to Palma Sur. I became a little suspicious when we were asked for our body weight at the check-in counter. I had taken commuter planes before but not a 12-seater. The weight needed to be balanced for the plane to fly. I was both excited and nervous about the flight. Luckily it was only 35 minutes. We took off watching the pilot and co-pilot at the front with the cockpit door wide open chatting away while flying the plane. It wasn’t the smoothest of flights but we made it.
As we approached the airport, I kept noticing the beautiful scenery out the window. Beautiful rows and rows of banana trees and coconut palms interspersed by water ways. Bright blue skies and water made me smile with growing excitement.
I remember the airplane door open and as I stepped off the plane I took a minute as the warm, humid air hit me. I looked straight ahead of me to the airport, an open structure with a tin roof.
Walking towards the airport, I noticed in the corner of my eye a huge round rock sphere. I had heard of these spheres that have been discovered throughout Costa Rica as land is being excavated. The origin of these formations is unknown but their perfect shape is thought provoking.
The sun, the warmth, the tiny airport with the tin roof, the sphere …. It was perfect. It felt like home.
Want to learn how being an international citizen lead her back to Costa Rica? Check out Elizabeth-Patricia’s post Where Are You From?