With zero clue what was in store for me over the next 30 days I walked into this magical establishment that was Rosemary Dream, perfectly placed on top of the hill overlooking the small fisherman beach town of Barra da Lagoa. I stepped into the large wooden doors and immediately was in awe. Every detail of this adult playground had been thought out and created with such intention, from the beautiful dangling cloth asian lights hanging in the reception area to each quote and phrase that was painted around the entire home, I could tell this place was unique.
I walked into the reception room upon arrival and was immediately greeted by a swarm of beautiful people kissing and hugging me like they were welcoming me back home from a long journey away. From the minute I met these people I felt as if I was greeting my long time old friends. From the hammock ceilings, jungle tree houses, flying tents, views of Lagoa from the the decks, this place is nothing short of breathtaking and this isn’t even the best part.
I sat on my wooden block at the community dining table, chopsticks in hand, ready to dive into my beautifully crafted vegetarian meal. Yep, it tasted just as good as it looked, It was all too good to be true. I couldn’t help but laugh at how unbelievably magical this place felt. There had to be something I was missing. My curiosity got the best of me and I had to find out for myself if it really was all that it seemed to be. After two cancelled flights and a conversation with the team later, my day adventure at Rosemary turned into the next 30 days of one unforgettable adventure.
To value life, love the world, and live my dreams? Who came up with that as a mission I thought? Sounds like a whole lot of buzz words to me. It wasn’t until my last few days that these “buzz words” hit me square in the face and I understood what they meant. It’s because these words can only be understood once experienced.
I can’t speak for anyone as to the reasons why they come to Rosemary. I believe, regardless of the details, that each person comes looking for something. Whether its a place to stay for a few nights or people to connect with along their travels, more often than not its something outside of them selves. I came thinking I was looking for some kind of direction, clarity of purpose perhaps, a place to relax and unwind before heading back to my life that was waiting for me in the states. Little did I know what Rosemary had in store.
So what is Rosemary exactly?
Rosemary is taking off for a hike at midnight and letting the moon light the path despite every bone in your body wanting to turn on the headlamp. It’s meeting each traveler that walks through those big wooden doors with the same enthusiasm you’d greet an old friend. Loving the pants off of them throughout their stay, getting a glimpse into their soul and then letting them go when it is time to part ways.
Then there’s the chaos of Rosemary, preparing community dinner for 40 people from all over the world only to realize 50 showed up, and then having dinner an hour and half later than it’s scheduled to start because we forgot to put the fish on. It’s Friday afternoons cleaning up rosemary wild, hiking barefoot up the mountain to watch the sunrise and then making it back down for an early morning surf. It’s going into town sneaking in treats from the bakery, it’s the feeling of having so much time on your hands and then feeling like there isn’t enough for it all. It’s afternoons laying in the attic getting lost in books, it’s throwing dinner together in a crowded kitchen, hammock ceiling “work sessions” that turn into naps.
It’s dragging mattresses out to the jungle to sleep under the stars and learning what it means to appreciate and respect the land you’re living on and the people that works so hard to maintain it. Its learning how to live amongst an international community of the most non ordinary humans you’ll ever meet. Being a part of the Rosemary community is the fastest way to becoming a part of something much bigger than yourself.
However, the real magic lies in the imperfections. Yes I said it, this seemingly perfect version of never never land as flawless as it seems still has imperfections. It didn’t magically dissolve my inner challenges I was facing. I still found my inner voice telling me to think about the past, the future, money, time, all of the things that take us out of the only real moment we have which is the present. Rosemary simply provided the space for me to face what i needed to face, re evaluate what was important.
Through my nights in the jungle sleeping under the stars, early morning hikes up the mountain, afternoons working in Rosemary Wild, to late night hip hop classes, Rosemary showed me pure joy in each and every moment. This joy is what happened to me when I allowed myself to realize how good things really were and at Rosemary this is what hits you square in the face. You find yourself living differently in each moment so you start feeling differently.
If happiness were a place it would look a whole lot like Rosemary, but its not. Happiness cannot be traveled to, bought, or consumed. When you’re fully experiencing Rosemary with all the chaos, peace, fun, craziness and connection that it is, you can’t help but feel completely full of life and all of the relationships that give life this meaning. This is what its about, experiencing, seeing, honoring, and actually PARTICIPATING in life instead of standing back and judging it.
30 days at Rosemary didn’t give me all the answers I was looking for but it did give me a few. Now I not only know what it means to value life, love the world, and live my dreams a little more, but I know what this feels like and that is something that cannot be forgotten.
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