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  • This was not my first trip to a tropical destination. I had seen much of the Caribbean and Mexico as well. But it was the beach town of Samara, Costa Rica that made me understand, I mean really really truly fundamentally understand and love beach towns.

    Costa Rica was a different kind of vacation. Intensely warm, full of transportation, exhausting excursions, and small private locations with unique experiences. Everywhere we went it seemed that we were among locals, not just tourists and no place was crowded, loud or felt like a facade. Then we got to the town of Samara which embodied this experience. Beautiful, hot, small and sweet Samara.

    Samara has a healthy mix of locals, European expats and Americans. Friendly dogs running wild. Artist shops along main street, delicious local food and oppressive afternoon heat enough to make me duck into an ice cream shop and devour my rum raisin confection. But Samara was different in the fact that it was my first REAL beach town, apart from the ever infamous Venice Beach.

    Here, I saw that people were relaxed but inspired to create art, hand-made jewelry and accessories. Their inspiration did not have to be fueled by madness or sadness, much like mine usually is. Here, creativity did not come bundled in misery or arise from the manic state of the brain. Its here because that's what beach towns do. Here, creativity is uninhibited. The locals and expats of all colors and ages are covered in tattoos, tanned and don dreadlocks.

    I wondered if I would be able to disconnect here and be as inspired as I am in NYC without the downs that NYC brings. I always wonder, as I temporarily slip into the life of the place I travel, if I could live and more importantly, thrive there. I wondered if my body would also change and tan and tone like the locals. If it would defy its DNA and stop getting burned to a crisp at the slightest hint of the sun and stop bloating and swelling at the slightest hint of tasty food.

    I set there on the beach, passion fruit mojito in hand observing the beach traffic. I wondered if this mojito was now the BEST mojito of my life. I observed the beautiful people lounging around without a hit of self consciousnesses as I squirmed in my beach chair pulling down my shorts and trying to cover up as much as I humanly could. Always covering up and hiding. Even here where it does not matter. I saw the horses walking on the beach, the people with cocktails, the teenagers playing with tree branches and hanging off of them like monkeys, the wild dogs, the natural calm organization and balance of it all without being forced by rules.

    One dog parked himself in front of my beach chair, chewed on a coconut and relaxed into the sand while others ran about frolicking in the water in the distance. I don't believe in heaven, but if it existed this is what it would look like. An almost empty beach, a mojito in hand and dogs running about happy and free. I relaxed into my beach chair, sipped on my drink and watched the sun set as the beach traffic moved along. People walked slowly, some slept on beach chairs, women rode their bikes wearing just skirts and bikini tops while the dogs played in the sand. I get it. This is what a real beach town is really like. For a few moments there, I was able to really disconnect and understand it all. Costa Rica helped me understand the raw beauty and calm of beach towns.

    I get it now, I really do.

    Week 9 of 52 - Story a Week in 2014
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