Every culture has its own unique story. The story seeks meaning, and when we live the story, it permeates through our lives, and blossoms into all corners. Here is a personal story about how to build with culture in mind.
After working in the health and spa industry in Santa Barbara, California for years ten years, I decided to move to Costa Rica. I bought a run down barn surrounded by nothing but lush jungle – no electricity, roads, or internet. I decided I was going to turn it into a retreat center.
My first guest was from France. I picked her up from the airport, and as I drove her up an down steep hills and through sharp turns, I could tell she was uncomfortable. Right before arriving, the road dropped, and we drove into darkness. This poor lady from France was mortified! This is not how anyone wants to feel when arriving at a retreat center. So I decided to continue building with culture in mind.
I wanted my guests to feel relaxed and inspired upon arrival. I wanted them to feel immersed in the jungle, yet comfortable. I began by planting flowers, and building a waterfall. I brought in high-speed internet into the remote jungle, so that my guests could be doing their remote work swinging from a hammock. I created relationships with the locals, and began offering detox meals, and built cabanas. Within a year, the run-down barn in the remote jungle became a blossoming retreat center. I continued to build with culture in mind.
Often builders make the mistake of creating structures first, and then considering culture second. Hopefully you can see with my story that it makes far more sense to build with culture in mind first. Look at the experience from the client’s perspective. See how you can build with their desired lifestyle and best interests in mind.