my love affair with nosara, costa rica…

Last year two of my best friends/roommates moved away. One left in January, the other in July. We shared so much together during our time together – years and tears and laughter and feedback, among many many other things. One of our favorite memories is when we sat around the kitchen table making fun of each other. The way Bethany cleans the kitchen, the way Hannah walks down the stairs, the way I always ask, “do you want to split something?” when ordering at a restaurant.


Life wasn’t the same after they left, but I survived.

That is… until September rolled around. The beginning of September was wild. I arrived fresh off a plane from Africa, got promoted, stopped dating someone.

I was jet-lagged and teary-eyed.

The cherry on top was when I wanted to go to the Atlanta Arts Festival and no one would go with me. I knew it was silly, but I felt lonely and rejected. Like I had no friends.

Instead of turning inward and becoming a hermit (like I can do when I’m feeling that way), I reached out for hope.

I emailed Bethany and Hannah and asked if they wanted to have an epic reunion over New Year’s Eve (they were both coming back to the States in December.)

I knew I was going out on a limb. People seem to like the idea of reunions, but when push comes to shove kids or money or this or that usually gets in the way.

To my delight, they both answered with lots of exclamation points.

Thus started our chain of texts and emails and one Skype call (I was in ‘Merica, Hannah was in Vietnam, Bethany was in Thailand.)

Where would we go for this epic reunion? Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic were all thrown around. Oh and Hawaii.

After calculating cost and comparing airline miles, we landed on Costa Rica. None of us had been there before.

We went back and forth on the seemingly endless options of beaches and hostels… did we want to move around or stay in the same place? Did we want to pay more for AC or not? Did we want a private or shared room? This beach or that?

Eventually we decided to stay at Kaya Sol Surf Hotel in Nosara, which I learned about from a travel blogger I follow.

We planned everything in late September/early October, and then didn’t really talk about it after that. We were busy with other things.

I picked up Hannah in Charlotte, NC on December 30, and on December 31 we met Bethany at the Atlanta airport. It was the first time the three of us had been together in nearly a year.


We took a 4-hour flight to Liberia, Costa Rica, followed by 2 public buses (aka six more hours and lots of waiting) to get to Nosara.

We arrived at our hostel around 8pm. What happened that night (New Year’s Eve) is another blog post in itself – I’ll just say that Bethany went to bed at 9:30 and Hannah and I went dancing. No one died.

The next four days all we did was eat, beach and sleep. Rinse and repeat.


We didn’t use alarm clocks, we didn’t wear makeup. We rolled out of bed when the sun came up and talked for hours over breakfast. We spent the afternoons at the beach – drinking smoothies, jumping in waves, laying out, reading, napping.

We went from gym shorts (morning) to bathing suits (afternoon) to cotton dresses (night.)

We watched the sun dip beneath the ocean every night.


One night we ate sushi and took salsa lessons, another night we listened to live music over dessert. I took a free yoga class in the afternoon.

We ate shrimp, mahi-mahi, octopus.


We went to bed early(ish), snuggling under the thin sheets on our beds and reading while the fan above us danced in circles.

Our roommate was a 24-year-old Norwegian man named Gard. Also another girl who slept in his bed the first night. We thought she was his girlfriend (silly us), but really they had just met a few days prior. I guess all the hostels were full, or something, so Gard was nice enough to let her share his bed.

Eventually Gard left, but the girl stayed. She was nice. 32-years-old. Born in Miami, raised in Mexico & Costa Rica. We never got her name.  But I think we were friends.

Everyone in Nosara was so nice. Everyone was so happy, so chill… so pura vida. It was hard not to be. Nosara is a little piece of heaven on earth. Dirt roads and undeveloped beaches.

dirt road    beach

I could have stayed forever. I wanted to.

On my last day there I wrote in my diary,

This life. I can’t even. There is no pull to go and do, only to stay and be. We don’t do much during the days, yet they still feel so full (and go by so quickly!) It’s hard to imagine going back to a lifestyle of schedules, emails and alarm clocks…

The transition was hard. I went from 90 degrees to 30 degrees, from lazy, leisurely mornings to waking up early and getting to work before everyone else because I had so much to do (slash so many emails to answer), I went from playing in the waves to working out with weights, I went back to dressing properly aka wearing pants (instead of my bathing suit.)

Thankfully I love my life here in Gainesville. It just took me a hot minute to adjust. (Or should I say a cold one.)

Nosara was a dream. Nosara with two of my best friends? A dream times two.


About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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5 Responses to my love affair with nosara, costa rica…

  1. “Reached out for hope” …somehow I don’t see that as a tough reach. 😉 haha

  2. alysseay says:

    It’s encouraging to see how intentional you are with your friends and enjoying them. I want to be like that, too. Love ya.

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