“A short story on how interconnected our lives are. There are soul nourishing messages everywhere if we keep our eyes and hearts open. When I found Costa Rica in Prague I was absolutely shocked yet I was left feeling inspired and nourished.”

My Love of Photography and Travel Inspired by my Dad

Growing up, my dad was an avid photographer, he had all sorts of cameras with a variety of lenses as well as a polaroid camera! Remember those? He used to snap photos of me when I was little, they would instantly come out of the camera, he’d wave the photo around and you could see the image come to life. I loved it when he took photos of me, it made me feel special. On every photo, he wrote down the date and place, capturing that moment in time. I enjoy looking through them to this day and since I don’t always remember that particular day or moment with him, I love that he captured it.

With the memory of him in my heart as I hold my own camera, I have come to enjoy capturing moments, whether it be people, places, animals and or anything that pops out as cool and unique. Of course with digital cameras, the time, date and place are all recorded for you, though any photo I print, you will find the date and place written somewhere on the back.

My dad also traveled the globe quite extensively, he believed that traveling and experiencing other cultures and countries was more educational than sitting in a classroom. (My teachers were not always impressed with those notes when he took me out of school to travel LOL!) I was always grateful to get out of the classroom but even more grateful today because that inspired me to travel and experience other cultures. These days, with camera phone in hand, it is so easy and fun to take pictures, no need to wait for film to be developed and black and white photos (my favorite!) are instantaneous.

Moving forward in time, in the last couple of years, I have had some amazing opportunities to travel and explore different countries. You can just imagine all the photos I have taken! The U.K., Portugal, Costa Rica and Prague – in fact I was able to go to Prague a second time and that is where I found Costa Rica!

Prague 2017

Being back in Prague for a second time was wonderful especially because I was familiar with the area, the underground trains and, I had a few words Czech words under my belt. This trip was even more rewarding due to the location of our hotel – it really opened the door to new possibilities for offbeat experiences. While traveling I spend a lot of time walking and jogging, I just love getting a feel for the earth under my feet in a different part of the world. You experience people, community, hole in the wall restaurants, markets, new languages, and of course great wine (beer is super popular in Prague, ha, it’s not uncommon to see women (and men) sitting on a park bench close to the Market on a Saturday morning enjoying a glass of beer!) And as a result, I feel my view of life expands and my soul is nourished.

Off the beat and path at park in Prague
A unique seating area I found while out jogging at the park in Prague
(Photo Credit Meredith Bowerman)

One of my last mornings in Prague, I went for a jog to a park that I hadn’t yet explored. I set off with my iPhone (and or trustee camera) braving the cold and the winds that Saturday morning. Even though the weather wasn’t great, families were out flying kites, dogs were playing in the off-leash area, I found some good steep trails to maximize my workout and it was great green space out of the hustle and bustle of busy Prague.

I did eventually go down one of these steep trails, I was really just thinking about my workout. However, I did find something unique and awesome at the bottom of the hill! There were a couple of buildings and a supporting wall, all of which had really cool graffiti – bright colors and big pictures. Bright colors always catch my eye, so I snapped a few photos and headed back up the trail. I figured I would look at them on my computer once I had returned to Texas. Remember what I said earlier – how often do we look at things, not see anything, then later it’s like WHAT did I capture?!?!

Back in Texas – I’m flabbergasted!

About four months after I return home from Prague, I am reviewing my photos. And what I found just blew my mind! One of the photos I took was not only someone’s art or story, but it was MY story painted on a wall and it was painted on a wall in Prague!! What are the odds??!!

Graffiti mural on a wall in Prague
Costa Rica 2017 – do you see that?
(Photo Credit Meredith Bowerman)

Costa Rica 2017, a whale in the ocean, a man in a spacesuit holding a torch, Saturn (the planet) and then at the bottom you can see Costa Rica 2017 written in black. What I haven’t told you yet is that two weeks after my trip to Prague, I had a first time surfing trip to Costa Rica!! How ironic that while I am in Prague taking photos I do not even make a single connection to my Costa Rica surf trip and I don’t even LOOK at the photo until way after both trips!

With this cool crossing of lines and me being who I am, I decide to “dig” into the photo to see if anything in this picture is relative to my life.

Prague Grafitti, Costa Rica Surf

The astronaut is me traveling to new destinations literally and spiritually, exploring new depths, new activities and new relationships. However the exploration is not just outer (literally traveling to new places) but inner. My inner landscape at that time, was also expanding – letting go of old and making room for new and really learning how to be confident in my own skin. Surfing will also teach you that as I found out! Your feet come off the earth and you learn to ride the waves and go with that powerful flow of ocean! Just like life – shit happens some of which is out of our control – I really think life is easier and more joyful if we can learn to ride the waves vs. resist them.

With Saturn being represented, I relate this to more expansion and growth on a consciousness level. In space everything seems unlimited and there are times in our lives when we hit a glass ceiling – we can look up and see there’s more but until we break through that “glass ceiling” or that limiting level of our own consciousness, we will be stuck there. Something that we are doing has to change, especially if we know that we are capable of more.

And what about that whale? After some research, I found that whales symbolically call us to wake up and realize there is more to our reality than we know through our physical senses. Yes, this journey is not just a physical one but one of remembering who I really am, a powerful being (housing a body at this moment) that has unlimited potential.

Blossom and Bloom

Isn’t it amazing that these photos jumped out at me months after those two trips? And how is it that I found Costa Rica off the beaten path in Prague? I guess there are signs everywhere, we just have to open our eyes and hearts to receive the beauty of the messages from beyond.

Graffiti on a wall in Prague
A blooming flower Costa Rica 2017
(Photo Credit Meredith Bowerman)

This blooming flower is just that – it grows to its fullest potential if planted in the right soil and given the proper nutrients. Well isn’t that how we are? We can all achieve and accomplish whatever we choose to do, we just need to make sure that we are planted in good soil and giving ourself the right mixture of nutrients, water and sunlight. And that is exactly what I want to do with my life – blossom and bloom to my fullest potential!

Finally, I end this story with my dad. Remember how I told you that he inspired my love for photography and travel? As I was writing this story, I found that I was aware of his presence somehow, just a small whisper of something, not quite sure how to even explain it and here’s the message that was relayed to me.

From a father to his favorite (and only) red headed daughter, adventure and explore with courage and grace. I will always be there from afar yet closer than you think. Love Daddy

First surf trip to Dominical Costa Rica 2017
(Photo Credit Costa Rica Surf Camp)

Cheers to new adventures! I am excited for what’s to come, especially now that I am learning to ride not only the waves in the ocean but the waves of life with more ease and of course total JOY all the while keeping my eyes open for those soul nourishing messages…