In November 2012, I opened my Gmail account, like I usually do first thing in the morning, and noticed an email from an unfamiliar address. I wasn’t expecting anything from anyone but this email didn’t look like spam. So I opened it. I read it. It took a while for it to sink in.
I often enter contests on the internet and many of them are travel related. Many of them turn out to be scams and many of them get so many entries that it would be pure luck to be the one chosen to go on an all-expense paid trip. But lo and behold, this official-looking email did have to do with a contest I recently entered and it stated that I had won a trip to Costa Rica. The information in the email sank in, excitement ensued and than doubt set in. There was no way this was true…but it looked so official. Research commenced immediately. I searched for scams dealing with the company hosting the contest. I searched for complaints against the company. I searched for others who had won contests from them in the past. I searched for the retreat I would be staying at for complaints against them. Heck, I even searched for the person who sent the email to see if there was anything sinister being said about them. Nadda. Everything turned up squeaky clean but I was still in doubt. I responded to the email to get more information. Again, everything seemed very official and all the pertinent information was there with no hidden undertones that this was fishy. And they didn’t ask for my credit card number and that told me that this could be the real thing.
So when it was all said and done, I did, in fact, win a trip to Costa Rica and I have already been there and back and believe me, there was nothing sinister about my stay at Anamaya Yoga Retreat in Montezuma. I had an amazing time and this trip provided me with the opportunity to do something else while I was there; I took an extra week, on my own time and expense, to explore a country that is said to be among the most beautiful in the world.
And so it went like this for the next week. Early wake-up, fruit, breakfast, swim, lunch, go into town, return for dinner and relaxing in the common area…just minus the Yoga. I decided I was not advanced enough for the classes and exerting myself in that heat would be too risky. When my final day at Anamaya arrived, I regretted not jumping into it because I heard everyone else talking about how great they felt. I guess I will forever go down in Anamaya history as the “rebel” who played hooky during Yoga class and went to the beach instead. But I did take something to do with yoga home with me; a new found interest in it and the desire to learn more and even enroll myself in a beginner class this winter.