During the months leading up to my trip to Costa Rica, I stumbled across a powerful message from Pastor TD Jakes. The words “Nothing just happens” jumped out to me, and grabbed my attention. I pondered on it and began to reflect on my own situation. As a result, my perspective on the break-up did a complete 360. The message went on to say “nothing just happens and anything that does happen happens for a reason”. The funny thing is, I heard this message months ago, I was just not in the best place to receive it. Like Drake, I too spent a lot of time being in my feelings and was unable to see the bigger picture.
Time really does heal all, because I no longer saw the break-up as something negative, but necessary. In a weird way, I found closure and comfort in Pastor TDJakes message. It silenced all of those ‘what if’ questions that had taken up residence in my head. I now found myself at a true place of acceptance. Acceptance of what was, what remained and what was to be.
If I had not been so resistant, I would have been able to check out of Heartbreak hotel a lot sooner. But in life, nothing ever happens before the appointed time. By changing the way I looked at the break-up, it allowed me to give birth to a new me. I was no longer the victim that I had allowed myself to become. The best feeling in the world is when you arise from the dust that once consumed you.
Things quickly turned around for me as I went on to enjoy one of the best summers of my life to date. I truly lived my best life making the most of my summer days. I was on a roll and did not want to slow down. My trip to Costa Rica was at the end of the summer and I promised myself that I would recharge once I got out there. But not before I ran two last laps at the London Notting Hill Carnival. It was a great way to kiss goodbye to summer. Especially since my brother and I unexpectedly landed a live TV interview on Sky news during the parade. O M G – I never imagined something like that would happen to us, lol. Check out the interview below.
Catch flights, not feelings
Running on 3 hours sleep the day after carnival, I set off on an 11-hour flight to Costa Rica with my cousin Aaliyah. I was so excited because I had never been to that part of the world before and it was our first ever trip together. Spending two whole weeks in Costa Rica does not come around often, so we were both determined to make the most of it.
After surviving my first 11-hour flight, Aaliyah and I checked into Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica in Guanacaste. As we arrived, we were welcomed with a champagne/cocktail reception. You know I have a slice of Boujee in me, so this type of welcome was right up my street. I was all smiles because, within a few months, I went from passing out at work due to the stress of the break-up to sipping champagne in Costa Rica. What a way those tables turned and my oh my it sure did feel good. Our hotel had all the trimmings, 24-hour service, spa facilities, Wi-Fi, 4 restaurants, entertainment, two pools and an on-site photographer. We even had access to the sister hotel across the street.
There is no such thing as a coincidence
During our first few days, we wasted no time getting comfortable. We spent most of our mornings by the pool, chilling, snapping and sipping on our favourite cocktails. Aaliyah and I had become very popular at our hotel because of our distinctive British accents. The staff loved us and always went above and beyond to ensure that we were well looked after. Things were only about to get better once we discovered a Black Travel group had checked into our hotel.
We were super hyped to see a group of Black travellers and wasted no time finding out who they were. I love meeting new people on holiday, so I was happy to go mingle with the new guests. Aaliyah and I walked right over to the tallest person in the group, Ricky he was as tall and brown as the bear from Bear in the big blue house. Ricky who was the group’s leader, was cool, calm, loved our British accents and invited us to hang out later to meet the full crew.
Every year for labour day weekend, the crew who are based in America travel to a new country to explore and party. SAY WHAT NOW? this blew my mind because out of all of the places in the world, we all ended up together in Costa Rica. What was even crazier was that Aaliyah and I were supposed to go to Aruba but somehow ended up booking Costa Rica instead. Now if you have followed this post break up travel series you already know, that there is no such thing as a coincidence when it comes to me, lol. With the arrival of our new guests, it was clear that our time in Costa Rica was about to be lit.
Within 24 hours it was as if the hotel had been hijacked. Everywhere you turned, all you could see were our melanin faces. One thing I love about being Black is we always tend to flock together come rain or shine. It was such a beautiful sight to see and felt even better to be a part of. We truly brightened up the place and it caused other hotel guests to want to be down with the clique, lol. I had never experienced something like this before. I loved it, plus everyone in the group treated Aaliyah and I like their little sisters since we were the only two people in their 20s.
Our day parties by the pool were literally some next level shit. Just think of the pool party scenes in the ‘Juicy‘ music video by Notorious BIG. It was such a vibe and every day our laughs got louder. The atmosphere was just filled with good vibes only, nothing more and nothing less. I remember getting messages from people back home on snapchat asking me who these people were lol. Overnight Aaliyah and I had been sworn into this new travel family and they never left us out of any of the fun. We hung out during the days, had dinner in the evenings and partied throughout the night. It seemed like my plan to recharge was taking a detour. But that is the funny thing about life, it always turns out better than the way we plan.
Chase the adventures
Our hotel was literally in the middle of nowhere, so we made plans to do things off the hotel complex. We hopped on a local bus into one of the oldest beach communities in Costa Rica, Playas de coco. When I ran out onto the beach and saw how beautiful the scenery was, I became very emotional. I realised that in order for me to be where I stood, I had to go through all that I did. I had come such a long way and even though I did not understand why the break up happened the way it did. I knew that it served a greater purpose.
This just reiterated the Nothing just happens message that I heard a few months earlier. Sometimes in life things may happen to you and you may never know why. You just have to trust and believe that things all things will work together for your good. I don’t know why but in Costa Rica, everything just seemed to make a lot more sense to me.
Costa Rica is known for its tropical beaches, wonders of nature and Caribbean influenced culture. Aaliyah and I wanted to make sure we got to experience it, so we spent about $300 each for three days of excursions. One of my Jenna’s Travel philosophies that I truly live by is ‘there is no price tag on experience, so spend whatever is necessary‘.
The first excursion we did was the open Catamaran Ocean tour. I love ocean water because it has so much healing benefits and I always feel a sense of peace whenever I am around it. Sailing along the gold coast was refreshing. It is not something you get to do on a regular basis, so I took the time out to really enjoy it. I channelled my energy and took in the natural views of the ocean. It was peaceful, but very short-lived because I was eager to get my body into the water and go snorkelling. You already know that your girl is unable to swim, so I had to be accompanied by an instructor. There is no shame in my game though, I put on my protective gear and went out into the water like a G.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
The next stop on the list for Aaliyah and I was a day tour at the Vandara Hot springs and adventure. This included a 10 lap Zip-line tour, horseback riding, waterslide and the Vandara Hot Springs. Unknown to Aaliyah I secretly planned to skip the ziplining. The truth was, I did not think I was capable of doing it. But I did not want to tell my little cousin that I was feeling inadequate because of self-doubt. The break-up had bruised my confidence and as a result, I had been questioning myself and my capabilities. I somehow convinced myself that the failure of the relationship was a reflection of me. Now I do not know how I came up with that bullshit, but there I was, lol. I had internalised the break-up in such a way, that it made me forget who the fuck I was.
There I stood tweedling my thumbs, feeling petrified and contemplating whether or not to go through with it. Aaliyah took one look at me and said: “Jen, you have come too far to turn back now boo. You have nothing to be afraid of, you can do this”. There were no lies told because she was right, I was capable of doing anything that I put my mind to. The break-up did not define me and I had to stop letting what happened in my past, stop me from moving forward. I had to start undoing the damage and this moment was the perfect opportunity to make a start.
I thought to myself it is what it is at this point, let do this. So I strapped myself up and completed 10 full zip line laps. It gave me an instant adrenaline rush, that boosted my energy as well as my confidence. I was so proud of myself for going through with it. I proved my self-doubt wrong and I felt like a Baddie. People can encourage you, uplift you and tell you that you are capable of doing great things, but if you do not believe it for yourself, it means nothing.
God makes no mistakes
I spent the rest of my time in Costa Rica reflecting. I thought about the girl that I once was and I thought about the woman that I was becoming. I felt inspired more than ever to get my blogging journey off the ground. I told myself that I when I got home, I would create a website for #Jenna’sWorldView. Costa Rica spoke to me in many ways and I really wanted to share more about my travel journeys. I also felt very eager to go out into the world to seek new experiences. Travelling has opened me up in such a way that has changed my perspective on myself, life, love and the world.
I never thought that I would ever end up visiting Costa Rica. I never imagined that I would be single at this age either, but hey life comes at you fast. My post-break-up travel journeys were filled with many highs and of course some lows. I travelled to escape my reality. Yet, with every country that I visited, I had no choice but to face it head-on. Most people say that after a break-up you must take time out to go find yourself. But the truth was, I was never lost, I just needed to be broken in order to uncover the hidden layers within me.
Anything that happens to us in life will never be wasted. Everything and everyone serves a divine purpose that only pushes you further into your destiny. I have no regrets, hate or anger in my heart because I now understand that in order for new things to come together, old things must fall apart.
Thank you to my vocal and silent readers for keeping up with my Post-break-up travel series. When it all started, I had no clue about how it would all play out. Giving you a glimpse into my past challenged me in ways that I never imagined. Although the wounds have healed, the scars still remain. I no longer hide them because I wear every scar with pride and gratitude.
Many times, I questioned whether I made the right decision bringing this series to light. I have now come to know that although it was painful, it needed to be endured, in order to be shared. Use my experience as an example, take from it what you will remember God knows best and life GOES on.
To follow the full journey from the beginning, click below:
Lots of Love