Reflecting back on all that I have learned in Costa Rica. First off is that I have the coolest boss in the world for allowing my family and I to do this. I also have the most wonderful wife for facing her fears to shake up her life and leave her comfort zone for an extended period of time. Without further ado here is a quick list of things I learn or relearned on this trip.

Everything in life is possible
If you want something bad enough and can believe in it’s attainability enough, it can be achieved.

Wherever you go there you are!
If you are an a-hole wherever you live, you will probably still be an a-hole in paradise. Living somewhere amazing doesn’t really change you, change comes from within.

Not to be so scared of snakes
At first I was so scared (mainly for my son) that snakes were everywhere and we were only days from an imminent attack. One time I was traveling down the mountain with sandals on and the sun was going down. Almost paralyzed with fear I realized I couldn’t live like that. I realized I hadn’t seen a snake since I arrived and that I shouldn’t listen to my grandma.

Nature is precious
It goes without saying that our world is the only one we have but the benefits of being in nature are boundless. From the clean air and water to the mood it puts you in to have green living things all around you, Nature is good for your body and soul.

People need more freedom
I grew so much and had such a clearer head being on that mountain.

My fears of growing old are gone
The main concern I had with growing old was that I would complain about everything and be a huge pain in the butt to everyone around me. I kind of realized, through many conversations, that the people who displayed these traits were always that way or choose to let life get them down. So I have high hopes now that I will be me, but with white hair.

That I really want to live in Costa Rica
One of the reasons I wanted to work in Costa Rica for two months was to see if I would enjoy actually living in Costa Rica. I love it. We might miss some conveniences from the United States but I love everything about Costa Rica. The weather, the people, the way of life… everything. The trade off is minimal in comparison to what you receive.

Seek to understand
If you seek to understand almost before you seek to be understood it would help the world. If everyone was to do that I imagine the amount of conflicts would be small.

Always try for peace
It goes without saying.

Focus on solutions and not the problem
You can achieve your dreams much faster if you don’t dwell on the problems. Not that you shouldn’t give them any consideration but just where you should the majority of your time into should be the solution.

Your perception is your reality
I’ve known this for some time but when you think you have problems or fears your whole world can be consumed by them. Let it go and after a while you will realize the world is an amazing place.

One of the hardest things is to see people you love that hate each other and fight constantly.
I hope to never put my children or grandchildren in this awkward position.

I don’t really like dogs
I kind of knew this for a while but just thought it was my dogs that I didn’t like. But no, it’s every dog I have met. I respond well to pets that aren’t needy and have naturally short (one to two year) lifespans. If they could genetically modify dogs to meet those criteria as well as not whine or bark or smell or sit right next to me and start scratching that makes me immediately start itching, well… I might be interested.

Cows are more nimble than you would think.
And their tongues are also rougher than I would have thought. If you ask me, they can see into the hearts of men and know your true self. At least the friend I made. Everyone said he was a bad cow that charged people. I fed him Guavas and he let me pet and love on him.

He was slaughtered the morning I left. R.I.P. Charger.

Sometimes it is not others but yourself that is your worst enemy
I knew this but it was interesting to see some people really shoot themselves in the foot and think the problems were someone else’s.

Be true to your intentions.
If you want to see young ones and their children, make the atmosphere inviting for kids. Realize they are going to be rambunctious.

The things you own end up owning you.
Kind of goes with the last one. But also applies to the trappings of your lifestyle holding you back from living your dreams.

Hearing the same story over and over is such a pain.
Seriously

Always keep a journal and write in it.
So many times I had an epiphany on a walk or at the breakfast table. Something by my side at all times when inspiration strikes would have been handy. I started taking my phone and jotting down in that for the walks. Also I took a Moleskin journal with me but I have such an issue about everything that goes into the journal has to be amazing that I never write. My wife said can I have this and actually wrote in it. Amazing!

Everything in life that you might think is too hard can be done incrementally.
Climbing up a mountain is done one step at a time. Dealing any problem you can break it down into smaller problems that are bite sized and easily managed.

Also, don’t forget…
If you invest your age as a percentage in bonds and the rest of the percentage in stocks you don’t have a risk balanced portfolio. Since the market in riskier it is more like 95% risk. That is assuming you are reallocating funds every 6 months to a year.