Before my retreat in November, it had been something like eight years since I had been back to Costa Rica. The last time I was there the roads were a disaster. I mean pot holes everywhere. And not just pot holes, but, like, POT. HOLES. Cell phone service was pretty much nonexistent, and you could forget about wifi. Despite the infrastructure issues and spotty cell service, the country always had a special place in my heart due to having participated in a foreign exchange program there when I was sixteen. The family I lived with and the friends I made had such an impact on me and to this day I am in touch with them. The country feels like my second home, and I had desperately wanted to book a retreat there but I was scared.
Mostly, it was a lot of self-doubt. What if no one signed up? Would I go alone? What if people signed up but the logistics screwed things up? What if we got a flat tire and were stranded on the side of the road with no cell service? What if I got sick from the water? What if, what if, what if.
And finally, I just decided that enough was enough. I was sick of making decisions (or rather, not making decisions) based on what ifs.
So I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. I paid for the venue, I hired a great Costa Rican chef (a longtime friend of mine from when I studied there). I rented a car. I bought my plane ticket. I was a ball of nerves and excitement (but mostly nerves), wondering if anyone would sign up and if this little vision I had would come to fruition.
In the months leading up to the retreat, I reached out to brands for swag bag items. I promoted like crazy. I told everyone I knew. And I tried, in my heart of hearts, to believe that it would come to fruition. I actually, don't laugh, would close my eyes, and picture myself there, in the warmth of the Costa Rican sun, beginning the morning yoga practice.
Not only did it come to fruiting, but all the negative things about the country that I remember have changed. The roads were excellent, my phone had service everywhere, and wifi worked perfectly. No one got sick from the water, and everything went better than planned.
I felt so proud that I pulled it off. I remember one night, stepping outside onto the patio outside my bedroom. The white marble tile was still warm from the afternoon sun, and it felt so good in contrast to the chilly, dreary fall weather I had just left in Europe. I remember looking over the most amazing view, far past the jungle, out onto the horizon of the ocean, and whispering to myself, "You did it."
Here's to getting out of our comfort zones, meeting new people, exploring new places, and believing that you can do anything you put your mind to.
Let's talk When is the last time you got out of your comfort zone?