Two months ago I arrived at Peace Retreat in Playa Negra, Costa Rica.
I’m not even sure where to begin with my Peace story. I decided to come to Peace as part of my degree at Brunel University. In order to get into my field and practise anthropology in the practical sense, I was required to complete a semester-long placement.
After numerous amounts of research, using key words such as ‘sanctuary’ and ‘retreat’, I finally found Peace Retreat!
Peace Retreat is a yoga retreat, training center and hotel. From the start I was hooked and keen to learn more. Although I’d never done yoga before, I was always interested to try. The idea of submerging myself in a new culture and improving myself as a person, was too good an opportunity to pass up.
In a short matter of time I organized my trip and set an arrival date to late September, including an overnight layover in the U.S.
My first two weeks in Costa Rica were the most challenging of my life. Yet each new challenge offered a moment of learning and growth. Even the process of traveling to Costa Rica entailed a lot of firsts: first solo plane journey, first time staying alone in a hotel, and first time ever doing yoga!
To say the least, it was all a bit overwhelming!
Luckily, the warm welcome I received put me quickly at ease.
In moments of homesickness, where simple acts, such as going to the store became completely foreign, I felt quite alone. But, at Peace, I am surrounded by a community of people, open and ready to offer words of comfort and support— it’s been great to clear my mind and get advice from others.
Now, two months later, I am feeling very happy and integrated into the group. We all work well in a team and I’ve met some of the greatest friends of my life.
Probably the biggest transformation in my life has been my journey through yoga. I’ve been introduced to so many new postures, styles and learnings of yoga, and am challenged on a daily basis!
What’s more– I’ve become a certified yoga instructor!
I could go on and on about how fab these past two months have been.
It has been a very exciting and challenging period of my life; experiencing new things and taking in the Costa Rican culture.
It has been so rewarding stepping out of my comfort zone.
Caitlin is a third year student at Brunel University in London. As a student of Anthropology, she is completing a semester-long placement in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. Caitlin is a lover of animals, avocados and all things Christmas!