Go Beyond Your Borders! A Travel Story – by Katerina Edwards Roy

Have you ever wanted to just break out of your mold, jump out of your current life, and into an exotic, zesty, adventurous, and exciting existence in another part of the world? Are you afraid of making the leap to dream, to travel, or to start fresh somewhere else? This post is about what I discovered after taking the plunge, and being scared shitless of casting off into the great unknown. I hope it speaks to you wild and adventurous souls out there.




As I write this I am sitting with my feet dipped in a warm pool at a beautiful resort in Navarro Muñeco, Costa Rica. The sky has sun break shining through the clouds, and there is the soft hum of a waterfall in the distance. No one is here, and I sit here alone, enjoying this Wednesday morning in Paradise.

Feet at the Pool

There are many treasures to be found off the beaten path here in Costa Rica. The only reason I know of this place is because of a friend who knows the owner, who lets us have free access to the place whenever we want. Today I’ll be soaking in volcanic hot springs and swimming in the lagoon shaped pool.

“Costa Rica, Costa Rica”. The name just has a ring of exoticism to it. It sounds lush, beautiful, and like the perfect getaway. I had known some people who spoke highly of this country, and images of beaches and sinking my feet into the hot sand swam around in my mind for months as I went to bed, as I researched, as I talked about travel. I really really wanted to go, but I was secretly terrifed of failing miserably and having to come home. I wasn’t really trusting that the universe would support me in my heart’s desire.

Casa Blanca Hammock

There is magic in just coming down to a location and seeing the doors that open before you. In November 2013, cold, miserable, and fed up with the status quo lifestyle in the United States, I made my “one month vacation” trek down to Costa Rica with two friends. Hellbent on leaving Oregon for the winter, I headed southbound- just eager for anywhere that was warm and tropical. I never would have imagined how life would unfold with that one decision to purchase a plane ticket and go!

I totally fell in love. With the culture, but also an expatriate that had been down here for 4 years (we married in May this year). The culture here has a saying called “pura vida” which means pure life, and so much of the way of life down here embodies that. Clean air, happy life, ample social time, good food, and plenty of nature. As a lover of all things wholesome, balanced and healthy – life here really appealed to my sensibilities that had been so steamrolled by living in a bustling city like Portland for longer than I would’ve liked.

Paul Sunrise

In the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of living a semi-charmed kind of life. A life where I wake up with the sun, travel by motorcycle to places of such incredible natural beauty that I never cease to be awestruck, enjoy fresh and abundant organic foods at ridiculously low prices (the farmers markets here are incredible), am invited to lots of “gringo” parties with expatriates who are the salt of the earth kind of people, and get to enjoy a tight knit community of misfits from all over the states.

I get to live in a beautiful house on the side of mountain and run my coaching business from the balcony overlooking a lake. I also have the pleasure of volunteering for a local organization as a teacher of Creative Expression as Therapy for underprivileged and abused girls. It’s awesome how my life has just bloomed since being here.

Katerina

Since I live in the Central Valley, and most people when they come to Costa Rica really only think of the beaches, they miss out on the incredible beauty of the verdant jungle greenery and comfortable climate. The rainforest is a hop skip away from my mountainside home and it’s simply breathtaking.

I wake up in gratitude almost every morning for the life that I leapt into. It’s one filled with magic, nature, beauty, and vibrance. I can remember almost like it was yesterday waking up to police sirens and my housemates yelling at eachother over innane stuff, yet paying $750 for rent. The cost of living vs. quality of life I had in Portland is so disproportionate to the pure joy and excitement I have living here where the cost of living goes down and the quality of life went up. Central America is far less expensive than the states, and to live a healthy lifestyle in the US is quite expensive to maintain. Health stores take so much of your paycheck, and here at the markets you can walk out with 30lbs of fresh produce for around $20. I live so well here, and spend a fraction of what I did in the states! It’s ridiculous, but I am so happy I figured it out.

Paul with Produce

So many of my friends thought it was so wild that I chose to stay down here, but then again it probably wasn’t super unexpected because I am really adventurous, and I didn’t even mind that I didn’t really speak the language! I think a lot of people are really afraid of the unknowns, and at times myself included. What I like to tell my clients is that old zen proverb of “Leap and the net will appear.” You really really don’t have to have it *all* figured out when you set off to a new place either to visit or to live. You can do your internet due diligence all day long, and that won’t even scratch the surface of what you will learn just by going there and jumping in.

Our American culture is infatuated with security and stability, and they sacrifice the excitement and adventure of living for the illusion of safety. I have been determined to stretch my comfort zone and live a life that is more fulfilling and more “terrifying” than the norm because what can I say… I’m a thrill seeker and nothing excites me more than doing the unthinkable for myself.

Katerina with Bird

I love the Joesph Campell quote, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”. It’s beautiful, and it really speaks to the idea of being able to go out on a limb in faith. I never would have imagined how wonderful things could’ve turned out for me, especially when I thought that life as I knew it in the states was the best it could get. I hope I have done a bit to help you also start to dream up new possibilities for yourselves as well.

What places in the world are you wanting to go? What is stopping you from saddling up and heading on out? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author: Katerina Edwards
Katerina is a self-empowerment coach who guides others into the fuller and more expressed lives they’ve been wanting. Blessed with the gift of seeing through bullshit, Katerina helps you unravel yourself from the webs of lies and doubts you’ve been choking your creative spirit with. She is available for skype sessions and personal retreats in Costa Rica.
You can find her at her website www.katerinaedwards.com

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Getty Center, Los Angeles

I recently visited the Getty Center Museum and gardens for the first time in my life. Well not the very first time. I was also there briefly in 2003 to see DJ Spooky, but I didn’t wander around much so I feel like it doesn’t really count. This time however, I explored the gardens, and even went inside to check out some of the exhibits. I got to see Jackson Pollock’s Mural in person, and a bunch of interesting statues. My favorite part by far was the gardens. There are hundreds of different species on the property, and I couldn’t help taking pictures of many of them. The tram ride was also fun, although the air conditioner inside was turned up way too high. After exploring for a while, appreciating the views, and then spending some time lounging in the grass, I decided to check out their restaurant. The entire experience was lovely, and I’m really glad that I finally did it.

Tram Ride to The Getty
View of cafe tables at The Getty
Yellow Flowers at The Getty
Beautiful Succulent at The Getty
Red Poppies at The Getty
Windows at The Getty
Window With a Gorgeous View at The Getty
Interesting Flowers at The Getty
Getty Center Garden
Poppies at The Getty

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TazBoneS

TazBoneS is an awesome surf art project I have been helping out with over the last few weeks. I’ve been helping code their website, and things of that nature. Artists Jim Evans and Ned Evans combined forces to create awesome surf art rock posters featuring bands with hilarious names.

There is some really beautiful, colorful stuff. Check it out here! TazBoneS

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New Society6 Promo

If you want my art on a new iPhone case, wall clock, tote bag, rug, or some art to hang on a bare wall, now’s your chance to get a discount!

Society6 is offering free shipping plus $5 off anything in my store. Use this link!

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Yukimi Nagano Portrait

This offer is only good through April 13th, 2014.

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Delicious Almond Milk Recipe

This is the simplest, purest, healthiest, and most delicious almond milk recipe I have ever tasted.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups raw unpasteurized almonds
  • 3 Cups coconut water from young coconuts
  • 1 Cup pure, filtered water or spring water
  • Additional pure, filtered water or spring water, enough to soak and rinse almonds

Equipment:

  • High speed blender
  • Nut milk bag
  • Large bowl

Soak the almonds for 24 hours in pure, filtered water or spring water, changing the water and rinsing the almonds every few hours or so.
Add almonds to high speed blender
Add coconut water and regular water to blender
Blend until smooth
Pour through nut milk bag into large bowl
Squeeze all excess liquid out of the nut milk bag into the bowl
Transfer almond milk into pitcher or mason jar for easy storage
Enjoy immediately or keep in fridge for up to 2 days

opened coconuts

almonds-in-blender

almond-milk in mason jar

Posted in Gluten-Free, Nutrition, Raw, Recipes, Sweet, Vegan | Leave a comment

M.A.K.E. Santa Monica

In Los Angeles, we are blessed with many different restaurants that serve raw vegan gourmet food, with a dense concentration in the Santa Monica area. M.A.K.E. is probably the fanciest one. The location isn’t too uptight, but the food they serve is very beautifully presented, and complex flavor combinations comprise every dish on the menu.

I have been to M.A.K.E. a total of three times, and each time I have thoroughly enjoyed my meals. The first two times however, I ended up having a tummy ache later. Many of their dishes include nuts and fruit, which is not the best combination for efficient digestion. I tend to have a delicate digestive system, so on my third visit, I decided to avoid the fruit that was in the dishes I ordered. I ended up feeling great afterwards.

During my most recent visit, I ordered the carrot gnocchi, which were carefully shaped like tiny, little carrots with pea shoots sticking out the tops. Adorable! I also ordered a salad which was very beautifully placed on half of the plate, so it looked like only half a salad. lol! Gibran ordered kimchi dumplings, and some kind of bahn mi thing with little radish slices on the side that looked like tiny watermelon slices. So cute!

M.A.K.E. sells the most delicious-looking chocolate chip cookies. I say delicious-looking because I am allergic to chocolate. I know, don’t cry, it’s ok. If you live in the Los Angeles area though and are not allergic to chocolate, please go there and try them and report back!

Raw Vegan Plant-Based Carrot Gnocchi

Radishes That Look Like Tiny Watermelon Slices

Raw Vegan Plant-Based Kimchi Dumpling

Half a Salad

There is also a culinary school at the same location, so you can learn how to make these dishes. The owner of this restaurant and culinary school has also put out some recipe books:


           

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Masticating Juicer Vs. Centrifugal

We just got a new juicer. We have been very happily using a Breville Juice Fountain for a couple of years, but I recently read somewhere that this juicer and any other centrifugal type juicer oxidizes the juice almost instantly, causing most of the nutrients to be lost. After further research, I started to feel like I was the only one who was unaware of this.

The whole point of drinking green juice is to get all of the nutrients without having to spend all that time eating and digesting a huge pile of veggies. If I wasn’t getting all of the nutrients out of my juice, then what was the point? I decided we must get a masticating juicer as soon as possible.

We researched masticating juicers online and asked friends which ones they liked, and finally decided on the Omega J8004 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer, in white. There is a chrome one too, but it was slightly more expensive, and I imagined it would just get streaks and fingerprints on it and that would drive me crazy.

Our new Omega juicer arrived in the morning, and I was super eager to try it out. The whole juicing process took a lot longer than I am used to for the following reasons:

  1. The feed hole on the Omega juicer is narrow compared to the Breville, so all the veggies had to be cut up a bit more so they could fit in
  2. The Omega actually juices slower than the Breville

Clean up was however a lot quicker, I think, mostly because the screen that needs to be scrubbed is a lot smaller, and it didn’t seem like the pulp got nearly as caked on there either. We also use a nut milk bag to remove any fiber that might have gotten through, and the Omega did a lot better job of keeping the fiber out of the juice, so the nut milk bag was a breeze to clean as well.

I noticed that we got a lot more juice out of the leafy greens and the herbs we juiced with the Omega compared to what we were used to getting out of them using the Breville.

My first sip of green juice from the Omega was pure heaven. The difference was definitely noticeable. I felt like I could literally feel the nutrients seeping into my entire body, alkalizing it. I felt very relaxed.

I love our little Breville, and I am grateful to it for its years of service, but from now on I will be drinking juice from the Omega every day, as long as I have anything to say about it. If you’d like to try this magical juicer in white or chrome, I’ve added some links below for you.


         

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Free Shipping on Society6

Society6 is currently offering a free shipping coupon on all orders from my store* when you click this link:

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This coupon will be good until July 14th, 2013 at midnight Pacific time. This is really great timing because I just added an awesome new design to my store; a pretty, rainbow-colored Sri Yantra. ^_^

*Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Throw Pillows with insert.

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Quick Easy Raw Vegan Sprouted Pumpkin Seed Cheese

Yesterday I had some pumpkin seeds that I sprouted and wasn’t sure what to do with. Pumpkin seeds do not keep for very long, so I had to figure out something to do with them fast. What they turned into was extremely delicious, so I thought I would share!

  • handful or two of sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • dulse to taste
  • vegan probiotics

Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor with just enough water or other liquid so that it will blend up nicely. I used aloe juice. You could also use some kind of nut milk.

This recipe would be amazing to dip veggies in, or spread onto a sandwich. I personally just ate it with a spoon because I did not have much in the fridge at the time. It was delicious on its own of course, but I would have loved to dip some cucumber slices in it or little pieces of celery! Enjoy!

Posted in Gluten-Free, Nutrition, Raw, Recipes, Savory, Vegan | Leave a comment

A Vacation Within A Vacation

I’ve been in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the past month or so. One of the reasons I came here was to get outside into nature and enjoy the tropical climate. The condo I rented however, is in the city, and not very close to any parks. As much as I love the condo and the part of town that it’s in, I decided to take a short vacation from my vacation, and stay at a hotel about 20 minutes outside of the city by taxi so I could enjoy the jungle.

Upon arriving, the very first thing I did was accidentally step in a busy line of big, red, fire ants. Two of them bit me right away, and I knew I had indeed arrived in the wilderness.

The hotel grounds were beautiful, with trees and grass everywhere, as well as some tropical flowers, and sounds of birds and other animals I’d never heard before. The air was much cleaner and smelled a lot nicer than the city air I had been breathing. I didn’t smell the slightest hint of exhaust, cigarette smoke, or even cooking meat.

Once in my room, I found a lovely little private patio with a table and chairs. I wanted to keep the door open to let all of that wonderful fresh air in, but unfortunately there was no screen. The hotel had opted for a solution much cheaper than putting screens in all of the rooms; a sticker on the patio door advised guests to keep the door closed in order to keep insects out. By this point, I had noticed that there were definitely a lot more insects out here than there had been in the city, so I reluctantly heeded the sticker’s advice.

There were actually so many insects that I did not feel safe putting my feet in the grass for too long. I was bitten by mosquitoes about ten times over the course of my two night stay, but luckily did not contract malaria that I am aware of. I noticed a gecko in my room on the first night. He probably helped to keep the indoor bug population down a bit. Who knows how many times I would have been bitten without him around.

At night there were several different animals making sounds that I had never heard before, and I honestly couldn’t begin to imagine what these animals looked like. One of the animals made a sound like someone was tapping on my patio door, which was a little disconcerting until I realized that it was an animal, and not an actual person tapping on my patio door.

This hotel had the most gorgeous, epically huge salt water pool ever. It was the best pool I have ever been in. I think salt water pools are the standard in Thailand, which is great. I really think more people in the US should have them. I don’t understand the idea of swimming in chlorine… why would you want to do that?

olympic salt water pool

poolside umbrella Chiang Mai Thailand

htoel in the jungle Chiang Mai Thailand

tropical flowers Chiang Mai Thailand

a sticker instead of a screen saves lots of money

trees Chiang Mai Thailand

elephant fountain Chiang Mai Thailand

koi pond Chiang Mai Thailand

statue Chiang Mai Thailand

Posted in Nature, Travel | Leave a comment



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