A Look Back: Tamarindo, Six Months Later
When I moved to Tamarindo – a buzzing beach town on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast – back in January, I made a resolution to keep a daily blog.
That goal didn’t last long. Wrapped up in apartment hunting, English teaching and sunbathing, I only managed three posts before resigning as a personal blogger.
Six months later, here I am again in the blogosphere and what better opportunity to finally take a look back at my first impressions of life in Tamarindo.
After my first week, I attempted to summarize my thoughts and feelings about the place writing, "I still feel like a tourist - staring open-mouthed at each sweeping sunset, inhaling a fantastic blend of dusty air, tropical fruit and wildfire smoke – indulging in a new place and new experience."
Reading those words made me think it would be silly to have continued with the daily blog because most of the time, I still feel like a tourist in Tamarindo.
The main difference today is that I know feeling like a tourist at times is not a bad thing at all. The fact that I still gape at the brilliant pink and vibrant orange hues of the sunset over Tamarindo Beach shows that I appreciate living here each and every day.
It’s easy to get caught up in the non-stop nightlife and inevitable small town drama in this town, but stepping back and seeing each sunset through the eyes of a tourist reminds me why I moved here in the first place.
That first blog post read, "Tamarindo is a small town unlike any I've ever known – and trust me, I know a thing or two about small towns. But here, you have the unusual blend of an incredible laid back village vibe where everybody knows everybody combined with a vibrant tourist feel. Hostels, backpackers, people from around the world flow in and out of this little town, some stay a day and some never leave."
That initial realization – the quick insight I noted about the fascinating and dynamic blend of people who call Tamarindo home – is still the part of living here I love the most.
I knew nothing of this town, but one week into my time here I knew, "the people here make the place – everyone has a different story to tell and so far, they have been extremely welcoming and friendly – a nice change from the fast-paced life I led back in New York."
Reading those words, I want to give my six-month-ago self a big pat on the back. My first impressions were right on the money. Besides settling into an apartment and getting a tan, I’ve spent the past half a year getting to know the diverse and quirky group of expatriates that call Tamarindo home.
It's unlike anywhere I've ever lived – with each day comes a new person and with each person, a new story – the very essence of why we travel. At least for me, we travel to have new experiences and to learn from others like us, tackling the road less traveled to land in a place like Tamarindo.
Although it's a tourist town, the comfort of community is never lost here. If anything, the tightly knit community grows stronger from the constant movement of people through this town. Old faces mix with new ones and there is a welcoming, open attitude shared by Tamarindo residents – an attitude and community I'm so proud to be a part of.