I am flying en route toward a new life.

Last year, the decision to go live in Nicaragua - where I would open a new Dkoko factory - led me to meet, completely unexpectedly, the person who I had secretly asked the Universe to send me.

I’ve heard it said many times that what we ask of our hearts becomes reality. And now, aboard the plane on my way to Australia, I am convinced that it’s true. Yet, I believe those wishes are granted to us mysteriously, in ways we could never imagine, with a world of unexpected lessons, blessings and rewards in their wake.

In the last two years, I have been practicing the art of listening to my intuition. And although I still feel like an apprentice, I have come to understand the immense inner power within us when we follow the subtle instincts in our consciousness. It’s as if a spark of great wisdom were to live inside us. There is a voice that always knows what is right, and also warns us against danger. Some people simply call it intuition. Others call it listening to our heart. I believe it’s a little piece of God that lives within us all.

For instance, there have been occasions in my life when that voice inside me has told me not to do something, and when I did it anyway, I suffered the consequences of accidents and injuries. On the other hand, I’ve made big decisions based on my heart’s impulses; a little whisper inside my psyche telling me to do something completely radical – something very few people would actually do. Going to live in Nicaragua and set up a business there, was one of those decisions.

One day, I felt frustrated because I didn’t know where I could get my designs sewn in Costa Rica. I had visited multiple factories without finding the quality or price point I was looking for, and I was completely burnt out. At the same time, in my personal life, I felt encumbered by my routine and wanted to make a significant change. I felt a strong pull to surf new places, different waves.

Suddenly the solution came to me, just like that. Without knowing why, I told myself that the next day I would drive to Nicaragua to surf new spots and search for a sewing factory. From one minute to the next, the idea of Nicaragua felt clear and strong inside me, like exactly what I was needing in that moment of my life. I went online and reserved a hotel for the next day. At 3am I woke up, packed the car and began heading north.

Stoked surfer girl in NicaraguaThis is me, stoked in the new paradise in Nicaragua that became my home for a year.

That initial trip of surf and discovery soon led to the decision I made a few months later to go live there. Opening a business in a developing country - new to me, where I was a foreigner - was not easy, and what I achieved didn’t occur by magic, but rather with a lot of hard work and even a few tears, here and there.

Some three months after I moved to Nicaragua, the man I knew was meant for me - from the first moment I saw him - moved into the very neighborhood I had chosen to live. I can’t help but laugh to myself as I write this, because if he were to read these lines - a man who swears he can’t stand anything romantic – my words would embarrass him, or make him feel uncomfortable, perhaps. But since I’m writing my story for the women of Dkoko, I can be candid in telling you that yes, it was romantic from the very first moment we met. We quickly became friends, and a few months later we were spending every second together. He told me he would soon go back to Australia, and I told him that I needed to return to Costa Rica. Despite our circumstances, we decided to enjoy those months together without overthinking the future.

We lived together in one of the most beautiful places in Central America, with perfect waves, paradise beaches and fresh food we would cook together. We listened to music and danced. We watched movies on rainy nights. Those months we lived in Nicaragua were perfect. I discovered the beauty of a simple and tranquil life. Nicaragua taught me that you don’t need much to be happy. Some nights when I came home from work and saw him sleeping beside me, I would close my eyes and think to myself that everything was too perfect to ever end. I asked the Universe for more time together, for what we had to never end.

Luke and Michelle watching the sunset in PopoyoUs, watching the sunset after surf in Popoyo.

The day came for us to leave Nicaragua, and he decided to stay a few more months on this side of the world. He eventually bought his ticket back to Australia, four months later than he had planned. We returned to Costa Rica together, and he stayed a few months with me living in my house in Playa Hermosa. We spent Christmas together and for New Year’s we went to Panama to surf Bocas del Toro. We surfed all day, we walked around the islands below the sprinkling rain, and we watched movies at night beneath the insatiable storms of the Caribbean.

In all of that time together, he never told me in words that he loved me. But he made me banana pancakes and coffee in the mornings; he took care of me for two months after I wasn’t able to walk from a surfing accident; he drove me around, he cooked for me, and he even helped me get dressed… I discovered that actions are much more powerful than a thousand pretty words, and I had never in my life felt so much love from and towards a man.

When I went to leave him at the airport for him to return to Australia, I wasn’t sad because that little something inside me knew that I would see him again soon. An hour after he arrived to Australia, he was already calling me. And a week later, he invited me to visit him.

We began to brainstorm ways to be together, and I was set on convincing him that he should come back to live permanently with me in Costa Rica. He accepted, but wasn’t totally convinced that it was the best for both of us, since for it would be hard for him to find decent work as a foreigner.

In the interim, I traveled to Australia for three months and we began devising a plan for creating a life together. In little more than a month, I realized that I could continue managing my business remotely, and better yet, I would have a brand new market for Dkoko. He was completely floored when I told him that I would be willing to live in Australia for a time, and we changed our plans for me to go, instead, to live there with him.

I returned to Costa Rica with a list of things I had to do to be able to go live on the other side of the world. From renting my house and selling my car, to preparing a new bikini collection, opening a new store and training the new personnel.

In the making of the Dkoko's shop in JacoWorking together to create the Dkoko's bikini shop in Jaco, Costa Rica.

For three and a half months I worked around the clock to achieve all of the goals I set for myself. While each objective was difficult, everything flowed so naturally that each day I was more and more certain that this new journey was an integral part of my life’s path.

When things get difficult, fear begins to consume us from within. Every obstacle that arises before we achieve our goals creates a space where fear seeps in, often silencing the internal voice that tells us to continue on despite the challenges.

I believe fear is the worst possible feeling, as it debilitates our dreams and stops us from doing what our intuition’s spark of wisdom tells us we are meant to do. Fear is a gateway to suffering other negative feelings that make us do the wrong things, distancing us from our true path. If every time we got scared we stopped doing what we were meant to do, we would never achieve any of the goals we set for ourselves. If every time we felt fear we stopped working toward our objectives, we would never make any of our dreams into reality, and our wishes would never come true.

When I’m scared, I cry for as long as I need to. Then, I take a deep breath. I wipe away my tears and continue on, getting closer to what I feel in my heart is right.


Originally written in spanish on November, 2017.

Traslated to english by Tara Ruttenberg. Tara is a writer, surfer, teacher, yogini, consultant and PhD candidate in development studies. Read her blog here http://www.tarantulasurf.com