This new Pura Vida card is the latest in my travel inspired collection of stationery. This design was inspired by my 2007 trip to Costa Rica. For anyone who has been, I'm sure hearing this phrase brings a smile to your face as you remember hearing it there. For those who haven't been, pura vida is a phrase used in a similar way to aloha in Hawaii. It's sometimes used as a greeting, a farewell, or just an expression that gets thrown around for a whole host of reasons. It translates into pure life, but it often used as a "this is living" kind of expression.
I remember one of the last nights of our trip, a bartender asked us how we liked his country. We confessed to loving it, not wanting to go home and ended with, "ahhh, Pura Vida!" He smiled "Oh, you know Pura Vida?" We said we knew it from spending a week here, but what did it mean to him. He said it means being happy, leading a good life, not being so stressed. He thought those of us from the U.S. work too much to have bigger houses, bigger cars, more stuff, but we don't enjoy life, we're always stressed out.
The people of Costa Rica are often said to be among the happiest in the world, and it doesn't surprise me. While they may have less according to our U.S. standards of what is supposed to bring you happiness; they enjoy life and focus on the things that make living important.
It's easy to relax, enjoy life and smile at the sunset while on vacation, the challenge is to hold onto that when you get back home. Every time I think of Pura Vida I smile, and try to be present and slow down.
The illustration I paired with Pura Vida on this card is based on a photo I took of a ginger plant. This is one of my favorite tropical plants. I remember seeing it in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and I would love when it would show up in the background on Lost! The bright red color is so vibrant and so tropical. This design I printed on my Gocco printer and just listed in my Etsy shop, here. It will also make its appearance at the Open Markets this summer.