As I reflect on our Costa Rica adventure: exploring the blue zone I have a huge smile on my face. We learned about the 9 lessons for living longer, explored the culture, the incredible biodiversity and beauty of Costa Rica and challenged each other to step outside of our comfort zone and try new things. What truly stood out to me this year was the community we created among 13 women that ranged in age from 51-81 years young, married to single, working to retired. We arrived as strangers and left as friends.

Heading into the trip I was a little nervous, I didn’t know what to expect with the age range and expectations as some where new to Happy Monkey Club. I wasn’t sure how the different personalities would fit together over the 12 days and with my mom on the trip and I didn’t want to disappoint her.

Here is what I learned…

  1. Age truly is just a number. Everyone left the trip with 3 new role models, Janet, Dodie and Betty, 81,81 and 80 years young respectively. They didn’t back down from anything that was offered, ziplining, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking. The biggest challenge they had was technology! Learning new apps, sharing photos, etransferring and they embraced all that too. We went to Costa Rica to explore the Blue Zone and meet healthy, happy, active elders. Who knew I had 3 Canadian happy, healthy, active elders we could also learn from.
  2. Watching someone else step outside their comfort zone and check things off their bucket list is even more powerful than doing it yourself. Ziplining, kayaking, bogey boarding and swimming in a waterfall were a few of the highlights. My favorite quote from Phyllis sums it up perfect. “My hubby wasn’t sure who I was!…I ticked many things off the bucket list without ever having had one! And who knew I was such a Russian nesting doll-full of closed boxes!”
  3. My Mom is the best. I’ll admit I was a little nervous having her coming on a “work” trip as it would be a little different relationship than on our family trips. However, it ended up being a perfect balance of work and mother/daughter time. She is the best role model, inspiration and friend. Thanks mom for sharing this wonderful trip with me and all the ladies. My next marketing line will include exploring the Blue Zone with the one and only Janet Ploen!
  4. A community of fun loving, adventurous women is good for the soul. We left Winnipeg with some knowing each other, some having met once and others meeting for the first time. We all came home with 12 new friends that we look forward to connecting with again. The positive energy of these ladies was contagious with many laughs, stories and hugs shared. Thank you all for making this experience so special.

Step outside your box and say yes to things that may be uncomfortable. I promise you will always come home learning more about yourself, the world and your community. Pura Vida

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