Jungle, forest, coast. The sumptuous panorama of Costa Rica—a place where nature knows no bounds. The mornings were unparalleled in their magic: a conspicuously quiet yet alive time, sketched out in every imaginable colour. I remember so many eventful ones on the water, as the sky enveloped our boats in cascading orange hues. There was still a cool softness to the sand at that time; a special indulgence that came with having a simple breakfast on the beach.

If there’s something Costa Rica brings me back to, it’s the fascination found in the day-to-day. Being by the water or in the mountains has always felt like a return to something—an earlier self, in a place that feels primordial and empty of modern world expectations. The sounds of the primary forests are almost therapeutic. Walking through them means encountering a labyrinth of ancestral knowledge—and the ease of what feels like having all the time in the world.

Mandy Sham is a journalist and photographer who has travelled to nearly 70 countries to document stories. She has a special interest in human culture and the natural world. Her work has been featured in Afar, Travel + Leisure, GQ, and Voyageurs du Monde. Aside from her editorial and photographic work in far-flung corners of the earth, Mandy runs a side project looking at food traditions and stories inherited around the dinner table.

Photographer, writer, voracious eater: Mandy Sham @peach.punk