Arriving in Playa Herradura: new friends and old friend uniting to cruise Costa Rica’s central and southern coast (Left to Right: Ed France, Jonathan Bastian, Robby Seid, Kristian Beadle)
How do I begin to recall my time spent aboard the fine pirate-class vessel named Aldebaran? It is difficult to sum up past feelings, so why dont I draw them direct from the source? Here is my journal entry on the day I was departing Costa Rica to return home to San Diego:
Apr 22: “In San Jose this last day with Jonathan, I felt a little blue. It is the same blank and bereft sensation I get when returning home from spending any time beyond 3 days in nature. Cutting the cord from the richness of activated senses, community engagement, and a feeling of dutiful adventuring leaves me feeling…unexcited. I draw a blank on life.”
Anchored in Manuel Antonio National Park, south of Quepos
In the airport, I knew I was soon returning to what had been put on hold at home: A corner office desk with ruffled papers, structured hours, and trying not to forget anything. And buzzing fresh in my memory were what I had left home for: exploration, nature, and a big dose of freedom.
These two contrasting realities did not mix well. So I browsed through my pictures to not let the memories slip: of the sunrises in solitary anchorages, the novel waves we surfed by ourselves, the postures everyone found as we hid from the sun and talked during the cruising hours. I boarded the plane and shortly thereafter, my battery died. Shoot, no more photos to get lost in, and soon I’m headed home at 600 miles per hour. I sighed and tried to sleep.
The Bohemian camp in full effect: sarongs and shading strung up for relief from the scorching tropical sun outside.
But to my great surprise, upon returning home, this blank and confused feeling settled into its place. I have traveled lots in the past, but this trip in particular meant something different to me. And that meaning became clear upon getting back to my home and work life.
I realized the joy of this trip was less about escape, and more about integration.
Tree roots on the coastal trail near Bahia Drake
It was more about feeling like the life I was living at home was allowing me to have the freedom I desired, and not preventing me from having it. For years, I had been reluctant to choose a location, a line of work, and a residence…all because I was afraid of the get-up-and-go freedom I would sacrifice.
(Backstory: About a year and a half ago, when Aldebaran was right amidst the hard prep for the Green Coconut Run, I bought a house. At the time, I was so torn. My heart wanted nothing more than to join the boat, for poor and fair weather, yet my mind was telling me to commit to something else. When the papers on the house were finalized, I was resigned to cheering on Aldebaran from the sidelines. Freedom deferred, I told myself, try to stay positive.)
Fast forward a year and a half, and at last, I’m aboard in Costa Rica. Two weeks went by in a snap. We were diving, surfing, fixing, in awe together, cooking, joking, working as a team, really just there together. But alongside those moments, I felt grateful that I was building a life back home that would allow me to keep doing these things I love so dearly.
And when I finally made it back home and got back to my house and my corner office desk, it came full circle. I felt so grateful for the enjoyment I had on the trip, which would not have been possible without (and I paused to reflect), the work I’m doing right now. My time on Aldebaran really opened the doors to looking at my work and play with a mutual appreciation. The feeling that my work can inspire my freedom, and my freedom can inspire my work?
Yes, yes, yes.
Free diving in the clear waters of Isla Caño, a national park island offshore from the Osa Peninsula
Captain K surfing Pavones near the end of our trip. Sailing to Pavones had been a dream of mine for over 10 years!
The feeling that my work can inspire my freedom, and my freedom can inspire my work? Yes, yes, yes.