Building in Costa Rica

Building in Costa RicaCosta Rica Cost of Living Update: One huge papaya—$1.20

It’s been seven years, but we never gave up! I’m happy to announce that Rob and I just broke ground on our new home in the Mar Vista Community just outside Flamingo! But it gets even better: we decided to build a bed and breakfast so that others can enjoy Costa Rica as much as we do.

For sure there will be a pool, and Rob is already designing a garden with organic fruit trees. I would love to have an outdoor space for dining and barbecuing, and a patio off the second floor. My head spins with ideas, but I know how easy it is to get carried away with one’s budget. Rob and I have to be practical, but there has been nothing practical about our adventure from the start. Maybe for us, being “unpractical” works out the best. Continue reading “Building in Costa Rica” »

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5 Differences Between Expat vs Tourist Living in Costa Rica

Living like a local in Costa RicaCosta Rica Cost of Living Update: A six-foot yellow coconut tree—$12

I’m often asked for advice on how to travel like a local as opposed to a tourist. (It’s as if the word “tourist” is a vulgarity, one which summons up images of guys wearing sandals with socks or rocking undersized Speedos on the beach). I’m always eager to help but this is a tough question.

The answer is not cut and dry since it all depends on how long you’ll be here and what areas of the country you’ll be visiting. If you are only visiting for two weeks, it may be more difficult to accomplish the goal of living like a local. But if you are settling in for 6 months or more, you begin to understand the ins and outs of living in the areas you will be visiting. Continue reading “5 Differences Between Expat vs Tourist Living in Costa Rica” »

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Costa Rica Butterfly Conservatory Video: The Interview

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: New muffler (with labor and parts) for a scooter—$60

Do you enjoy butterflies? Do you like the idea of following a dream and starting a new life in Costa Rica? If so, you’ll love Glen Baines. A retired engineer, Glen made it his mission to regenerate an area of the rainforest  heavily deforested by cattle ranching. In doing so, he opened the largest butterfly conservatory in Costa Rica.

Watch our fascinating interview with Glen and learn what butterflies eat, why their wings are iridescent, and what it takes to keep them happy and healthy. And most importantly, what’s his favorite butterfly!

(You can read more about Arenal Volcano and Costa Rica in my latest book, The Escape Manual )

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Costa Rican Meal by the Sea

Fried Chicken CasadoCosta Rica Cost of Living Update: Fried Chicken casado by the sea— $5

We are getting near the end of the dry season, but at the moment things are nearly as dry as they can get. For locals this means two things: It will be very hot— and things will be very dirty—until the true rainy season is upon us. It’s this time of the year when unpaved roads become elongated dust trails. If you ride a scooter or take your bike to work, you’ll be inhaling a healthy dose of grit by the end of your ride. Driving in a car or SUV will not protect your nasal passages from the formation of clumpy dust bunnies either.

“Is dirt coming out of the air-conditioning vent?” I ask Rob while we’re heading out for lunch.

“No, I think it’s coming from the dashboard. Or maybe from the doors. Is there a hole in the floor?”

It’s not the strangest question. There could be a hole in the floor since there are tons of problems with our car. I think something is leaking and our transmission keeps slipping. I actually don’t mind the latter since it makes our engine sound like a Tyco Aurora slot car every time Rob steps on the accelerator. Continue reading “Costa Rican Meal by the Sea” »

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Costa Rica Podcast Interview

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: 32 oz box of McCormick Chicken Stock— $7

Would you like to know what it’s like to quit your job and move to Costa Rica? And would you like the person telling you this to have a New Jersey accent? Well, you’re in luck!

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by the host at Fearless Rebelle Radio, the fabulous Summer Innanen. It was a lot of fun and Summer has a delightful Canadian speaking voice. I, on the other hand, sound like I should be an extra on the Sopranos… like a consigliere or the bookkeeper at a labor union.

We discuss why I moved to Costa Rica and the reasons I stayed and made it my home. Not everything has worked out as planned, but it has definitely been a hilarious ride.

Click play button on picture, download it here , or grab it from iTunes.

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