Tara uses the written word & surfing as a metaphor to Identify and discuss a broader experience of women all over felt both in the water and on land… processes that include patriarchy and misogyny, and she uses her experience as a writer and surfer to give voice to women in her own work & in her collaborations with women all over the world (in the book she’s working on, Women's Surf Stories). She’s a well-published author and PhD student who’s specializing in Sustainable Surf Tourism & she travels the world & hosts various events & retreats. In this episode, she talks about putting boundaries in place with her art, the abuse and reactivity she experienced when speaking her voice, being silenced as a woman who’s voice doesn't go along with the mainstream, dating across cultures, coming to Costa Rica in the student abroad program & feeling “home”, being non-attached as an artist & writer, whether to positive or negative feedback, being a program assistant for a study abroad program called Surfing and Sustainability, and more!
Cristina Kalyani Paes found her path from a very young age & found herself asking primordial questions that weren’t typical of the time. She had paranormal experiences & was given resources to study about yoga & to work with a paranormal psychologist. From there, she deepened her studies for many years by learning about breathwork, hypnotherapy (from Brian Weiss & Dolores Cannon), yoga philosophy and lifestyle at the Bihar School of Yoga & meditation. A pilgrim, she traveled by horseback for a year and a half around South America, introducing fire dancing and yoga choreography to the unprivileged people in the mountains of Peru with Nomads United, before she settled in Costa Rica 16 years ago. Now, she practices the Yoga of Life, without putting labels or trying to market herself in an inauthentic way. Her work is a culmination of her experiences & knowledge. She wants to see yoga remain what it really is & shares the message that we don’t all need to quit everything, become yoga teachers and monks, and live in the jungle in order to be spiritual. “The world needs all professions, not just yoga teachers. We can always transform the work that we do into something beautiful. Anything we can do to go back to nature is they key - not that we have to release or get rid of our lives.” She talks about the need for community gathering centers in big cities where people can connect and experience a tribe, a place where one can LIVE yoga or spirituality. She’s frustrated with centers and studios that give employment to yoga teachers based on their social media followings and not based on their merit and it causes her to question the integrity of these places. She believes we need to find a balance with yoga as a profession and yoga as a philosophy, and always remain in our authenticity.
Maya DeGabrielle lives her life as a true example for all. Never a bad word to say about anybody, she is constantly smiling and brightening the lives of those around her. She left her parents’ house at 16 & went off into the wild, living in numerous paradise-destinations, including Indonesia, Ibiza, South Africa & more, before deciding to settle in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, where she has a Standup Paddleboard company - Sundah Surfers. She gets to be a mermaid all day long as she wows her guests with the simplicity of nature, being present & always having a positive mindset. Even when her beautiful car was stolen, I never heard Maya complain once or say anything negative - hear why she lives her life this way and what it’s done for her. She’s trusting the flow & the calling of her life to fulfill her deepest-rooted desires.
Mona grew up in Argentina where she was pressured to go to university immediately after high school. At 17, she wanted to be a fashion designer but decided, on her first day of university, to switch to studying architecture. Not a small feat, she spent 6 years studying & working to survive. She took a solo trip to Costa Rica and her perspective completely changed. She went home to take her final exams & after graduating, she came back to Santa Teresa & decided to follow her heart. She spent her days surfing & soon became a surf instructor and a little monkey or a “Mona”. She began designing her own personal surf swimwear & her students wanted to buy them. She went from sewing 10 suits at a time to a full-time team of partners and staff in Costa Rica & California growing the brand. She named the brand Mona, and the designs are now made from recycled abandoned fishing nets from the bottom of the ocean, is fully recyclable, & is so smooth & comfortable! So it turns out she became a fashion designer in the end! A true full circle story… Her story is so inspiring to the female entrepreneur chasing her dreams.
Nancy road tripped down the coast of Mexico through Central America over 20 years ago before settling in Costa Rica, where her family had already moved to live a different life. Together, they built, sold & built another successful hotel which they now run together in paradise. Nancy was a devout Ashtangi for many years before becoming a certified yoga teacher by popular demand - she was already teaching classes in town because everyone loved her style and there was a huge demand for yoga! After losing her toddler in a car accident 17 years ago, Nancy has learned countless lessons on grief, transformation, the importance of family, community & a support system, and understanding that “what we have is here and now. The more we can open up and be less attached to what is in the future, there’s a deeper sense of happiness.”
Laurie figured out at a young age that society is trying to place us into a box and that she didn’t want to be in that box. French Canadian, she came to Costa Rica for the first time with her mother and found her love for surfing, speaking Spanish & being connected to nature. Her heart remained when she went home & after returning to travel around Costa Rica & central America for months, she decided to return to Costa Rica. She’s been here 11 years & describes herself as a mermaid that loves to dance, surf, dive & play. She hosts Ecstatic Dance biweekly in our beach community, creating a safe space for us to dance our hearts away with judgement, drugs or alcohol. She creates magic in many other ways. We talk sunsets, astrology, following your passions & dreams, not settling into what others want for you & more. Listen in for jungle girl boss inspiration!
Originally from Italy, Giulia moved around the US before settling in New York City. She worked for Diesel and was in the fashion industry for many years. She reached a point in her life where she wanted a sense of freedom & fulfillment. She visited Costa Rica with her partner & she fell in love. Soon after, she experienced a devastating earthquake in Nepal & was traumatized. Instead of going back to her life of structure and routine, she was getting ready to get married & move to the jungle. She was worried about healing from her trauma but soon found that nature was her ultimate healer. Here, she’s able to explore her creativity, to let her entrepreneurial side run wild and take risks, and partner with people she loves. She’s one of Rima’s business partners and they share a few anecdotes and stories on making it as a female entrepreneur in the jungle!
Heidi opened a huge nightclub in North Carolina at 24 and ran it successfully for 11 years. The club had it all from a Tiki bar to a mechanical bull; she hosted huge musical acts & raging parties while keeping everything running smoothly. She came to Nicoya on a vacation and immediately felt like she was home. From the monkeys overhead, the waterfalls, the blue butterflies, the weather… before she knew it, she was putting an offer in on a house. She bought the house & five years later, she’s still calling Santa Teresa home. Now, Heidi spends her days rehabilitating animals with Wild Sun Rescue Center in Cabuya & uses her business skills to find ways to make the rescue sustainable. She balances animal rescue will lots of adventure, fun girl time, community & love.
When I met Emily, she was a pregnant woman in the jungle. When I heard her story, I was amazed! A double Aquarian like me, she spent 15 years in Venice Beach (where I lived for many years!) and followed the traditional path - working for a fortune 500 and spending 1000s of dollars on clothing and shoes. She had the picturesque life but her heart still yearned for Costa Rica - where she had spent 6 months backpacking out of college. She finally returned to the small surf town she fell in love with before, Santa Teresa, over a decade later, and ended up falling in love with a charming French surfer. Soon she returned, they had a baby & the rest is history. Listen in for more details and epic quotes like this: “It’s like if motherhood is a video game and doing it in the jungle is the hardest level.” Emily is amazing!
This bad ass jungle girl boss is an inspiration to Rima & many others. She cracks tourists & locals alike wide open with her famous Kundalini yoga classes in Santa Teresa. Originally from the US, Tammy first touched Costa Rican soil in 2002 & she knew she was home. She was living the daily grind in corporate America but she decided to create a different life for herself. She was introduced to Kundalini yoga, the Mayan calendar, Destiny Cards & western astrology... she delved deeply into these areas & now teaches to thousands of people worldwide. She is birthing a book & is highly revered in the community she’s spent over 10 years growing roots in & shares with us how to go after what you want & why community & self-care are so important.
Andrew Keegan is a Hollywood actor (10 Things I Hate About You, ID4, 7th Heaven, Party of Five) & founder of Full Circle, a spiritual center that inspires people to create & join authentic communities & to be active members of those communities as a means to intentionally heal the world.