Fjaka to Pura Vida: One Year Later

One year ago, I set off into an unknown that introduced me to the meaning of fjaka as I arrived in Croatia, the start of my Remote Year journey. Today, pura vida is on my mind as I write this post from the Costa Rican airport.

Fjaka: a relaxed state of body and mind, the sweetness of doing nothing

A year ago, I thought I needed a sort of system reboot and took advantage of an opportunity to travel in a new way. After a few months, I figured I would be ready to hit the ground running back in my “normal” life with a nice apartment, working my way up that corporate ladder.

Little did I know this little adventure would be a complete factory reset.

Thoughts of a lease or a cubicle are now sources of anxiety rather than security. The frustrations of flying are less frequent knowing I’m headed to a new unknown.

Pura Vida: the simple or pure life, being thankful for what we have rather than dwelling on the negative

A lot has changed in 12 months, more than I think I am ready to realize or admit. But reflecting on the past year, and what might come next, I am starting to understand what I am chasing after.

Since Remote Year ended, I’ve been hopping around the US with short stops across borders every now and then. It’s a struggle to not fall into the rat race, allowing work to take over. But then there are the days where I catch a beautiful sunset, go for an evening hike or stumble upon a random Cher concert that leave me with a feeling I can’t quite explain. Those are the days I am striving for.

I won’t be defined solely by my career or material possessions. I won’t look back on my life and ask “what if.” I want to pause, recognize and appreciate the beauty our world has to offer, and celebrate my true self. One day, I’ll look back and know I’ve lived rather than survived each day.

This has been a year of unique experiences, new friendships, tough love, and personal growth. I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface in so many ways (including with this post), but I’ll continue to get uncomfortable, embrace spontaneity and pause to take it all in.

So here’s to pura vida – one year down, many more to go.

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