What Living La Pura Vida Has Taught Me So Far

by Andie Mitchell on February 9, 2012

punta uva beach 009_edited-1



my backyard.

A postcard.

punta uva beach 005_edited-1

And today,

on my two year blog anniversary,

I’m just wishing you were here.

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To celebrate 730 days of writing Can You Stay for Dinner?, Camille, my best and most wanderlustful friend, who is sharing this Central American adventure with me,

is gracing us with her reflections on life in Costa Rica so far (one week in).

punta uva 001_edited-1

Earlier today she and I were sitting in our newfound favorite juice and coffee joint- an open air cabin across from the beach in Punta Uva {La Botanica Organica)- and she read me a list of things she’s learned here.

Things that she’s taken away from our now-simple beach existence.

And as she read them, I thought:

This list is almost precisely what I’d have said.

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So here goes: Camille’s reflections on living la pura vida in Costa Rica

1. Living a simple life is unfamiliar, boring, and satisfying all at the same time.

2. My legs will happily carry me 15 miles a day. Everyday. **Andie note: We have, unexaggeratedly, walked no less than this amount on each of the six days we’ve been here. Ask my legs.

3. Relaxed is a state of mind, not a circumstance.

4. I will go to great lengths for sea salt. **Andie note: Camille bought a 1 lb bag of sea salt at the local market on the night we arrived in Puerto Viejo, and since we were already out on the town, she earnestly stuffed it inside her tiny yellow fanny pack and we went out dancing. She showed her treasure to nearly every person we met that night.


5. All white clothing may be Caribbean in spirit, but far less in function.

6. Even in a torrential downpour Costa Rica is absolutely beautiful and, dare I say, perfect.

7. I love peeing in the ocean more than almost anything in the world, and should learn to be more discreet about it. **Andie note: True story.

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8. Wherever you are in the world on a Saturday night, you are the sexiest, most desirable woman in the room if you have infectious energy and laughter alongside your best friend.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey February 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I am so jealous of your life, I would love to pack up and go somewhere and just be somewhere else for awhile. I wrote you awhile back, and just wanted to share with you that I am officially 20 pounds down! I hope you continue to have a blast!


Jillian February 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I love every aspect of your story. Costa Rica is lucky to have the two of you. I would probably take sea salt with me on my adventures as well. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a warm ocean then pee away. I love your honesty.
I’m celebrating two anniversaries today. I arrived in Seattle two years ago today and one year ago today I started counting calories resulting in 96 pounds gone as of this morning.
So cheers my darlin’ to wonderful lives lead no matter where in the world one might be celebrating! Mwa!


Jules February 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Love. as in period. aka end of story.


Lea @ Healthy Coconut February 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience….that’s exactly how I felt when I went on a really long honeymoon and went island hopping in the Philippines.

Beautiful pictures, please keep them coming because I love seeing them.


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh February 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Gorgeous. Splendid. Lust inducing.

Your life can’t get much better than this. Happy blog-iversary!!


Lauren February 9, 2012 at 11:24 pm

#8 is my favorite. Somebody needs to stitch that on a pillow!


MelissaNibbles February 10, 2012 at 1:54 am

Congratulations on two years of blogging! Thank you for being a friend (like the Golden Girls!) to me over the last few years :)


klh February 10, 2012 at 4:50 am

This place is beautiful! Glad you are able to share this experience w/ your great friend and that is has been wonderful so far :)



Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy February 10, 2012 at 5:34 am

Gorgeous. So glad you’re enjoying your trip! And happy 2 years- my one year is today :)


Trish February 10, 2012 at 5:44 am

Happy 2 years – I am so happy I found you :)

I would love to be where you are right now!!


Nicole February 10, 2012 at 5:57 am

I absolutely loved Costa Rica during my month-long stay there in 2007. You will LOVE Manuel Antonio! Tortuga Island is also really neat if you ever want to take a day trip!

What’s the obsession with the sea salt??

And I am starting my journey… 4 lbs down! Feels great!! Yesterday I said, “As much as I am craving chocolate and want that Cookout milkshake, I want to be healthier more.” Thank you for being such an inspiration!


Rose February 10, 2012 at 6:30 am

I love the pictures and what you have learned so far! Number 8 is my favorite and it made me think of my best friend and I out on the town! It looks like a gorgeous place to be! Happy Anniversary!


Carol @ Lucky Zucca February 10, 2012 at 6:45 am

Beautiful pictures!! I hope y’all continue to have such a lovely time!


Amy February 10, 2012 at 6:58 am

This is my favorite blog! Glad you’re enjoying your time away and learning more everyday. In my opinion, traveling and experiencing new cultures is one of the simplest yet most amazing pleasures of this life.


Ana Maria February 10, 2012 at 7:12 am

So, so, so lovely. Beautifully written, as usual, and gorgeous photos!


Jillian February 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

How amazing! I love that you had the courage to pick up and move there for a while!! Absolutely inspiring! How did you go about planning your trip and finding places to stay?

Please keep sharing pictures, they are beautiful!! Enjoy your trip and stay safe!


Adrienne February 10, 2012 at 8:05 am

I want to be jealous, but somehow I can’t. Your transparent joy somehow defies jealousy and so I am, simply, happy for you.


Tonya February 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks so much for sharing…I love seeing people make significant life changes and then go on to squeeze the very marrow out of life. Andie, you’re doing so much more here than just sharing your vacation — you’re showing people what living is all about!


Megan (Braise The Roof) February 10, 2012 at 9:16 am

I’m not sure what I love about Camille more, the fact that she openly admits peeing in the ocean or that she owns a tiny yellow fanny pack. Amazing photos, by the way!


Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not February 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I love this list! Sounds like you guys are having a great time :)


Damyon February 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Peeing in the ocean sounds
warmly enveloping.
Enjoy the adventure.


Emily @ Peel The Pieces February 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I am loving your blog! I just made your chicken noodle soup and fell IN LOVE! It is so light but hearty and filling at the same time. Thanks for all of the inspiration!


Alaina February 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Andie and Camille, this sounds so fun! I can only imagine what a fun adventure moving to BEAUTIFUL Costa Rica is! I am a (brand)-newbie to your blog, after making your Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls for the SuperBowl.
Thank you for all the recipes, and Costa Rica :)


Kristin Murdock February 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I just love that you are getting to do this! Eat it up and thanks for continuing to share with all of us.


johnny February 13, 2012 at 3:29 am



Lu February 13, 2012 at 7:44 am

I’m suddenly so over-the-top homesick that I can hardly stand it. Enjoy your time there. Costa Rica is perfect in many ways. Better than peeing in the ocean? Peeing in the ocean when it’s raining. Trust me. True story.


Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen February 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

Oh, how I love everything about Costa Rica! Even though I was working like a crazy person the entire three weeks I lived there, it still grabbed my heart and has never let it go! Pura Vida…


Sarah@The Flying ONION February 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

Oh, that looks like paradise! Absolutely stunning. And yes, perfect, just like you said. :D


Mindy February 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I’m late with this, but HAPPY BLOGGY ANNIVERSARY!! Here’s to 2 x infinity more years! :)


Shawna February 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Ahh, this makes me so happy!!! :) i am so excited and happy for you girls. i love the story about dear camille with the sea salt! i would totally do that. gotta have the salt!


Nichole Livengood February 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

I love reading a post that leaves me with a smile… much more so when it fills me with wonder… almost like a dream. Very nice post. Thank you for sharing your life!


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