By: Sammi Benowitz Photo: Chris Dodds
As an avid traveler, it is not about how many different places I have traveled to, but the beautiful relationships I have gained; the new insight I have attained; the challenge to learn and conquer a new language and lifestyle! I beg people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go have your mind blown, eat interesting food, dig some interesting people, have an adventure! Come back and your going to see your country differently, music, culture, food, water, and even the air you breathe. In various places, you will see first hand how some spend half a day walking miles just to carry a bucket of water to their home, realizing how fortunate we are for the quality of our own life. Taking that moment of gratitude and possibly choosing to making a difference in those communities, or sharing this knowledge within your own communities. So my point- there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book, that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. This time, Costa Rica was awaiting my arrival on the other end.
Excited to reconnect with my friends, immerse myself in the overgrown jungle that thrives here, and of course absorb the unique quality of natural energy which radiates all over this country (has me coming back, every time). It’s funny when you travel without any set plan, guiding yourself solely on your intuition, how life seems to flow so effortlessly. As if you’re swimming in a stream of endless opportunities. While I sit across the street from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (top ten according to Lonely Planet), I cant help but smile thinking of the recent series of events that have perspired here. I like to call it “magic in paradise”, but in Costa Rica they prefer “Pura Vida” which means pure life. Here, it’s a way of life.
Last night I noticed another interesting soul sitting across the bar; our mutual friend introduced us, and shortly after we embarked on a journey of conversation. We touched on many topics, sharing similar perspectives. Regressing a bit of our past adventures and the circumstances that brought us to this particular place. He was a photojournalist, here on assignment, to cover a music festival, called Envision. I told him that I was a writer; he smiled and asked "what are you working on?" When I said I was going to be blogging about Buddha Pants, his jaw dropped and he responded, "I love Buddha Pants! It happens to be the only pair of pants I brought!" In disbelief, I asked him to show me, as he was noticeably only traveling with a back pack. He pulled out the pants, and sure enough, he was not lying!
I ineluctably knew what I wanted to write my next blog about (for obvious reasons). Buddha Pants are not only the best choice to bring along for traveling, but also undoubtedly serve as a symbol that can unite enlightened souls, true adventure seekers, and all around Buddha happy people! Buddha pants have an interesting way of saying, “Hi, nice to meet you, even though I do believe we are already friends”. That night there was an undisclosed agreement, Chris and I would be long – time friends and our future travels would certainly intertwine. Before he left, I asked him if I could show off some of my photography skills, and take some photos of him enjoying his Buddha pants in Manuel Antonio. He loved this idea, smiling, as we both knew we were in good company. Here are a few photos I captured:
This story has a happy ending as we enjoyed his final sunset on the beach, and I continued on with the rest of my journey here. I like to believe these are all confirmations that I am on the right path- as we all are just swimming along this vast ocean, waiting to swim into one another. Trust the message, trust yourself. Take a dive into the unknown! You won't regret it.