Have you ever found yourself wasting time on social media? Literally trolling Instagram. Oddly enough it was on a pretty mediocre day, where I had much to do (and absolutely no desire to), that I found myself Instatrolling (not a word, but will be #instatrolling). Social Media, in all it’s big brother wisdom, often puts posts in your general feed, of profiles that your followers or friends are following. As creepy as that sounds, it was because of this that I happen upon a pretty incredible photo, of what seemed to be a very stunning location. As an avid traveller, I clicked the photo to see where this place was. I stumbled upon an exclusive and remote resort called Natures Edge Cabina’s in Costa Rica. Vaguely familiar, I realized an old acquaintance had told me about this place; how her two friends sold what they had in Canada, and literally mic-dropped their life to start anew. I was curious about this, so I moseyed over to their website and realized, this is my next vacation. Even more fascinating is that the owners and operators are two Canadians. Their story, and locale intrigued me so much that I connected with them to better understand their desire to leave the comforts of Canadian life for the uncertainty of starting a business abroad.
Both Michelle and Fabiana grew up in Canada. Michelle was born there, and Fabiana immigrated with her family at the age of 9. Both women were successful in their own rights in Canada, Michelle having worked as an executive in Advertising for 18 years, Fabiana worked in PR for 10. They lived, what sounds like, most people’s dream (or nightmare). Waking up to work, at a job that makes you miserable, guilt always looming, knowing how grateful you should feel. How we should feel, and how we do feel, are often oceans apart. The ladies told me, with cantor, that they simply didn’t want the life they had meticulously built up over the decades. The cold Canadian winters, the endless meetings, and deadlines of corporate life, can often become vexations on someone’s soul. But life is funny. These ladies seemed to be on a collision course with their own destiny; a chance meeting, turned into getting better acquainted. And with the second email they exchanged, they realized that they were both seeking out a shared destiny, a shared desire to change the course of their life. Call it kismet or collective consciousness – in finding each other, they found their future. Both women divested of their hard earned assets and set sail to Uvita Costa Rica, with little more than faith, desire and each other. What they created, appears to be an incredible resort, one that I will visit before the end of 2018.
When I asked the ladies about their Philosophies, as business owners and human beings, their response is as relaxed as the impeccable cabins look from their pictures. “Do what makes you happy, and if you are not happy, make changes. That is what we did”, states Michelle. “I spent 18 years in advertising and for the last 10 years I was miserable. I was desperately trying to find a way out”.
Desperately trying to find a way out. Michelle’s words resonate in way she can’t understand. But I understood her. I envied her and Fabiana’s gusto. Their balls if you will, to do what was in their best interest; to do what was in their hearts to do. I’m not quite there yet, but knowing of them gives me hope. The biggest thing they have learned through the process, may sound cliche. But truthful simplicity is relevant and endures all time. “Living in Nature, has taught us to stop and smell the roses. We’ve learnt to sit still and listen. We have also learnt patience. Life is not the same as we know it back home, where things are fast paced and based on convenience.”
Patience and listening are elementary lessons, that we all learn by the age of 4. We also forget them at the age of 4. We spend our entire life talking, trying to reason, trying to find purpose. And if we all just remembered that simple lesson from kindergarten, perhaps we’d all be as courageous as Michelle and Fabiana. What I have learned over the fast few years, is that life will throw you a curveball. And just for shits and giggles, life will throw you two more, while you are still trying to handle the first. Patience allows us an opportunity, to listen. To stop talking, to stop seeking, to stop begging for love, for friendship, for success, or power. The art of silence, the art of nothing, is what draws clarity in your mind’s eye. That everything is happening for you and not to you. A storm that destroys trees, is not happening to the tree. It is happening for the greater good, so that a new tree can take form, stronger and healthier. These women have somehow embodied what I seem to know, but have yet to exercise. What they have done, is they have created a physical reality of their shared desire. And in doing so, Nature’s Edge Cabina’s was born.
Nature’s Edge opened their doors in November 2016. The women wanted to create a sense of community. A common area with full kitchen encourages their guests to prepare their meals and socialize. A sense of belonging, is what they create for their travellers, who hail from around the globe. The women have hosted guests from Germany, Switzerland, Holland, France, England, Spain, Italy, Canada and the US along with other countries around the globe. A cornucopia of cultures and language. Their location is so remote that you require a 4×4 to trek to them (yes a 4×4). If it sounds like too much effort to get to this place, need I remind you, that reaching Paradise is never easy. And Paradise, is just how guests have described this spot. For anyone seeking an adventure to the best kept secret in Costa Rica, you may have just read about it.
A five star rating on TripAdvisor, offers some insight into what guests feel. “Heaven in the Hills”, says Rob. “Absolute Paradise”, is how an Australian guest described her stay. Now to be fair, I have yet to visit Nature’s Edge Cabinas. However, when I look at the photos that the women have shared, and become mesmerized by their website photos, I am excited by the prospect of spending some much needed time, waking up to the monkeys, in a treetop paradise, surrounded by nature, where I can practice patience, be completely silent, and listen, truly and finally listen to my own heart for a change.
This is part one, of a two part article. A follow up will certainly proceed, as I find time, in my own rat raced schedule to make time, for me. Just like these ladies did.
Michelle and Fabiana, I will see you soon. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for living your dream.
Interested in visiting? Head to naturesedgecabinas.com and use code ‘jetsettimes’ for a special discount, valid from April 1 to Nov 30 2018.
Poem by Beatrice about Nature’s Edge:
I don’t fit in with the hippies, or the conservatives, or religious men. I don’t want to talk to the self righteous, the know it alls or to the zen. I don’t wish to ponder inequalities between the blacks vs the whites. It’s not about straight or gay, or who has superior rights. I don’t want to judge others lives, to validate my own that much more. I don’t want a revolution, thinking it will stop some unneeded war. I don’t want to ponder the purpose of this thing which we call our life. I don’t want to fill my last days full of regret, angst or strife. I don’t want to love the ones, that can’t seem to love me back. I don’t want to question my worth, or what exactly it is that I lack. I don’t want to question what’s right or for that matter even what’s wrong. I don’t want to listen to words of a stale, worn out song. I don’t want to live my life in a negative state of mind. I want to empty my thoughts, of anything unjust or unkind. I just want sit with these trees, so strong and silent, and tall. They watch without opinion, as the sun rises and the sun falls. Forever they’ve stood right here, without ever saying a word. Maybe deep down they already know, that people are all, just no good. And still they gives us our shade, in the heat of summer days. I want to be like this tree, in his presence and in his ways. – Ode to Costa Rica – By B. Pitocco