Costa Rica VIDEO!

Well friends, I am officially BACK from Costa Rica! Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers! It was truly SUCH a fun trip, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. And I promise, this will be the last blog post about it! Back to programming as usual on Monday!

I finally compiled all the video footage into a YouTube Video that I’m thrilled to share with you guys tonight! To be honest, we were too busy having fun to capture absolutely everrrrything, but we DID capture the best moments 🙂 So I hope you enjoy watching it!

**Update 8/30** I just got our footage of a mama whale and her baby that we saw when we were boating! So it didn’t make the original video, but I popped it on another one! **

But before I put the Costa Rica stories to bed, I wanted to just share one more story:

I really feel like I got reacquainted with my true self this trip. I faced so many fears – from swimming in the open water in the ocean, to zip lining through the jungle (see the video!), to going tubing (I hadn’t been since I was 8 years old! again, see the video!) — I could truly feel the Holy Spirit flowing through my veins this trip and giving me the strength and courage to do all the things!

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again — recovery is a constant evolution. You’re never just stagnant — you’re always moving forward, always progressing, facing new fears (and hopefully not the other way around).

But this trip was such a recovery win for me, and it was highlighted by the pinnacle event: surfing.

Before my anorexia, I was OBSESSED with surfing. My favorite Disney Channel Original Movie was “Rip Girls” and all I wanted to do was be a surfer. My bedroom was decorated in a “surfer girl” theme, complete with mosquito netting and a bamboo tiki bead curtain in the doorway. I even got a sweatshirt from my dream school: Hawaii Pacific University. I mean, I was all in.

But once my anorexia took hold when I was a sophomore in high school, my passion and dream of surfing quickly was snuffed out — along with all of my other hopes and goals and dreams. Eating disorders are like a category F5 tornado. They leave a path of destruction a mile wide that take decades to rebuild, if at all.

But “Take that, ED” — because this trip — I became that surfer girl my adolescent self always dreamed of.

Our final day in Costa Rica, we went surfing.

We hired two private teachers, and let me tell you — they were awesome, and really showed us the ropes.

And believe it or not, I actually caught on super quick! I caught the very first wave I tried (not that it was pretty!) — and then it was onward from there! ((The guy even pulled me aside afterwards and told me that I was a natural!)) I’m sure he was just looking for an extra nice tip — but hey — in the spirit of recovery, I’ve learned to embrace feedback – both good and bad – in a spirit of love and self-acceptance.

It was such a surreal experience. There was a moment I was paddling out to catch a wave, and the waves were just crashing into me, head first. I mean, that’s the thing, you have to paddle through the surf to get past their break point so you can catch the right one. So the paddle out — it’s the hardest part, because you have to battle the waves. So you’re getting salt water up your nose and in your eyes. And the board can hit you in the face. It’s treacherous.

And the whole time, I was just loving it. I was thinking to myself — this is such an allegory to my recovery, you know? You’re going to get beat up, crashed on, your eyes will sting at times, and you’re most often going to end up with a board rash on your elbow. But you’ve got to go through that in order to surf. You’ve got to endure falling, and the struggle in order to ride the wave. And when you do – it is the sweetest, most exhilarating feeling in the world.

But the struggle is how you learn. And sometimes you’re out there and you’re waiting and waiting and waiting for a set to ride, but the ocean is dead. Or sometimes the waves are too big. There is a respect you have to have for the ocean, if you’re going to surf.

And so it is with recovery. The more and more years I get under my belt — I’m at 12 now! — the more I have learned to respect my recovery and embrace my past. Not because I am “proud” of it or anything like that, but because of the woman I have become because of it. It has shaped me. It has made me who I am.

And in the spirit of this cheesy metaphor — it has taught me how to ride the waves of life — not just the ups and downs of recovery, but of life.

That’s what I was thinking of during that beautiful afternoon on the water. I was celebrating that victory of returning to myself. Embracing and fulfilling the passions and dreams that I once thought were lost forever.

But as my life has shown, and through the power of Jesus — absolutely nothing is ever “too lost” to be found. Never, ever.

Sometimes it just involves a little waiting for that perfect wave.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.


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MAGIC TOOTHPASTE? Yes! I am in love with this superior whitening toothpaste. It keeps my smile sparkling, without sensitivity or bleach! I made a website where you can directly order this miracle product! So if you want to give it a try, you can go ahead and grab a tube for yourself. I promise, your smile will thank you!

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104 responses to “Costa Rica VIDEO!”

  1. What a delightful, enthusiastic post. Love how you relate every experience you are having to the experiences of the past that you came through. Probably why your millions of followers love your blog. It is millions, right? If not, it should be. You ever think of doing a Master Class?

    • Thank you so much Michael! Yeah, it’s kind of my world view if I’m honest. When you go through something like that, you start to relate everything to it 🙂 haha oh gosh you’re kind to say that. I haven’t but now that you mention it…:) great idea! Thanks for the encouragement and for just being awesome. Hugs and love xox

  2. Aloha Caralyn,
    You come Hawai’i next time … Waikiki. I’ll teach you more surfing and even buy you one new HPU sweatshirt. Surfing is the MOST spiritual activity. God lives in the waves. One must find their connection to be part of the ocean, turtles and the awesome power of waves.

    You are a natural — as you are ONE with God. You love the beauty God has given all of us; you are thankful and practice gratitude every minute. Mahalo nui loa for always supporting me. Look forward to returning the aloha when you come out here.

    • Aloha!!! Oh my gosh would LOVE to visit Waikiki!! Hahah HPU – yeah mine is pretty worn out by now! I love that so much. God DOES live in the waves and the vegetation and nature – they’re all His handiwork!! You’re so right. Thank you friend. 🙂 what a kind comment. Hugs and love xox

  3. I love this post Caralyn! I’m so glad you all had a great time there. The smiles on your face, beautiful! I hope none of you earned a sunburn. 😎😍 Be well!!

    • Oh thanks John! I’m so glad!! Yeah we had an absolute BLAST! been tough to get back to the grind. Haha we were all super careful about sunblock! No burns! PTL! Hugs and love xox

  4. I’m so happy for you! You look glowing and so beautiful … the underwater shot is SO COOL too! I’m glad you were able to connect to your inner surfer girl … go you! Glad you had a fabulous trip!
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    • Aw thank you!!!! Yeah our guide had a pretty awesome go pro to take that shot! Power to the dreamers indeed! Big hugs xox

  5. Caralyn, the natural beauty of Costa Rica comes through clearly. Love the video with all the scenic views and the lovely condo. What a beautiful place to relax and have adventures with your friends! XOXO

  6. From A League of Their Own – “It’s the hard that makes it great.”

    I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time! Even more so that it helped take yet another step in your recovery. Not such a cheesy metaphor, really. Cliché’s are just a recognition of common truth. So, well done you for elaborating on it and making it meaningful. And I loved the video!

    Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

    • I love that quote (and movie!) thanks Jeff! I agree – if it’s a cliche it’s because it rings true! Thanks so much!! 🙂 hope you have an awesome weekend! Hugs to you and your girls xox

    • Thanks Alice 🙂 the cheesier the better in my humble opinion 🙂 hehe Hugs and love xox

  7. I love all you blogs, video’s and stories! you are a little hard to keep up with though. Never know where you’ll be next or what you’ll be doing. We can only wish for that life.

  8. I am happy and excited for you! You are truly having your feet on the ground and going forth with a good sense of self. These little victories that happen for people are what I wish for everyone. Keep rocking Bx3!

    • Thank you so much!! You’re kind to say that – recovery is a series of little self challenges! Hugs and love xox

  9. Beautiful post. 💛 so happy to hear things have become full circle. Really encouraging to know, regardless of struggles… dreams can still come true. Glad you had a great time in Costa Rica. Always a fan of yours ☺️💛

    • Thank you so much 🙂 you’re kind to say that!! Yes they certainly can come true! Always! Hugs and love xox

  10. You are beautiful and amazing!! Did you get to go to Mass there? Mass in Latin America is beautiful!!😘😘😘😘😘♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

    • Oh gosh thank you Miguel 🙂 I WANTED TO! but we didn’t have a rental car and the nearest church was 45 minutes away. I streamed mass from st. Patrick’s instead 🙁 next time! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much! It was absolutely amazing — it’s a vacation timeshare club called Exclusive Resorts in Peninsula Papagayo. It was phenomenal. (my friend’s family belongs)

  11. I see that you had a little fun while in Costa Rica. Pura Vida, and you and your friend seem to have lived the Moto. You looked really good on the Board. I have memories of a time when I was able to Surf. Great post.

  12. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for reminding me that you have to keep going. I’ve been having some issues with my weight and my body image disorder-I’ll get to the recovery phase again. If you can do it, so can I.

    • Thank you so much! oh my gosh — definitely try surfing! it was so SO much fun! thanks for stopping by! big hugs xo

  13. I think that this trip wasn’t just a vacay. It was something you needed to rediscover yourself; a restoration of self, if you will.
    Awesome posts, videos, Caralyn. I’m glad that you had a great trip. Merely the beginning of more fabulous adventures to come. 🙂

  14. Did you book this through a travel agency? We have been talking about planning something similar but haven’t started yet and this trip looks like it was amazing!

    • I didn’t! My friend was really the mastermind behind it! She worked with the concierge at the resort! Hugs and love xox

  15. A wonderful post. I am so glad you came through. It is beautiful to see you enjoying yourself with your friends. I am five years into my own struggle to recover from narcissistic abuse. Your recovery journey is an inspiration. I know about howler monkeys. They have them in, I think Dubbo Zoo. You can hear them throughout the town.
    Your courage has really inspired me today.

    • Thank you so much!! Yeah it was such a special trip. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  16. I love how you were able to tie your personal experiences with surfing. As a surfer I often use my experiences on the water to describe my faith to others. Especially the moment you feel the wave take hold of your board and lift you up, and as long as you follow which way the ocean is guiding you it will carry you. For me the wave…the ocean is like God in our lives, and as daunting as it may feel at times to paddle out into the surf or live my faith in this society, the only way is “to live by faith, and not by sight” and trust in God.
    God bless.

    • Thank you so much!! It was such a beautiful time. And the ocean really made me feel close to God! Hugs and love xox

    • yes!!! I’m so happy to hear that you know the joy of freedom too!!! cheering for you nad your recovery dear friend! hugs xo

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