Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: 9 ounce bag of Sun Chips— $4.60 ( Should have bought the mangos)

A couple weeks ago I met an incredible woman who was traveling with her daughter. After retiring from her job, Karen was looking for adventure and found it by jumping from hostel to hostel throughout Central America.

One of the best things about my journey is I get to meet people like this. Regardless of their age, they still have wanderlust in their blood and a desire to explore this planet with only a backpack and journal. This style of travel is not only for twenty-somethings folks. I’m running into more and more intrepid explorers that are trading in their Sam’s Club membership for a  one-way plane ticket.

Karen interviewed my husband and I for her website Living Without Permission. We sat on Tamarindo beach and watched the sun set while we compared our travel experiences. One of the things we both had in common was how much more sense the world becomes when you strip off the excesses in your life.  Without that filter, it’s as if your life is viewed through a very expensive camera lens… everything is in focus.

This all brings me to what my New Year’s resolution should be. Maybe it’s to meet more people like Karen. It could also be to stop buying Sun Chips. Other than that, I can’t imagine changing a thing.

About Nadine Hays Pisani

Nadine is the author of the best-selling series, Happier Than A Billionaire. Join her as she navigates living as an expat in the sometimes confusing, always beautiful, country of Costa Rica.
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  1. Lamont says:

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  2. Lauren says:

    Hi Nadine,

    I’ve been following your blog since I stumbled upon it a year or two ago while searching for info about people who have moved to Costa Rica from the US. It has been my husband’s dream since we visited Tamarindo in 2002. I was thrilled to read your first book when it was published and I had been anxiously awaiting the sequel…I can’t wait to read it! Congratulations on all of your success. You have become a celebrity in my home…for your writing and especially for your courage to make the move.

    My husband has been slowly convincing me that living the life we have here is neither healthy nor a way to be happy. There are so many things in your book, blog, podcast, and interviews that hit home with us. I have felt a connection to you because you are originally from our area (I grew up in north Jersey) and you have done what we have only been able to talk about. Also, I saw that you gave up a lot to make the move…your practice, your nice home, the comforts of the US. These are things that we also have and that I am afraid to lose, which is part of what holds me back. Missing family, concerns about healthcare and education for my two young children, and loneliness are other worries. But, day after day goes by and I find myself wishing them away and “waiting” for when things will be easier and for when I’ll have more time to enjoy the things I love.

    My husband finally decided to do a short weekend trip to the Tamarindo area to check things out. When we visited 10 years ago there wasn’t even a paved road there, and he’d like to see if things are the way we picture and if it is still a place we might consider living. He and his brother will be there in a few weekends. I’m sure you are approached by many fans and I’m not sure how you would feel about it, but I know he would be thrilled to meet you and Rob and take you out to dinner. While he has been trying to convince me for years to move to a place with a healthier lifestyle, it has been your experiences that have opened my mind to the possibility. He owes you a lot! :)

    Congrats again, and thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

    • admin says:

      Thanks you for such a sweet comment! And a fellow Jerseyian to boot! (I’m exit 13 by the way). There is a lot involved in this move, some very unplanned things occur but with the right attitude it can all make for a grand adventure.

      Definitely tell your husband to email me when he is around ( Hopefully we can meet up! And thanks so much for following me over the years. It just seems to be getting better and better down here in Costa Rica.

  3. Merry says:

    Hi Nadine, I always look forward to your emails and like LS said, I read all three parts of Karen’s interview. It was good and I’ll take to heart, what need can I fill? Actually, I already know what that is. I’ve been balking at being a volunteer in an animal shelter because I think it would be so heartbreaking.

    Yeah, I remember you writing about your former neighbor; it was hilarious …was it on HP? I never see you posting there anymore.

    Did you establish residency in CR? The part about leaving the country for three days every three months sounded like too much trouble and expense. I’m not sure what qualifications meet the residency requirement…something like being able to prove that you have a guaranteed monthly pension was one. If you have a CR residency, do you still pay your USA income taxes?

    I guess I could google the answers, but was curious if you and hubby are officially CR residents.

    • admin says:

      Here is a great website for residency: . I still have to pay federal US taxes, but since I live in Costa Rica permanently, I don’t have to pay state. I am a resident now so I don’t have to do the visa run anymore. But those were some fun times and made for some great adventures.

  4. LS says:

    Read all 3! Good job! T minus 18 days to CR visit!

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