Costa Rica Cost Of Living Update: Property Tax— 0.25%

One of the best things about our life in Costa Rica is that now we can pursue hobbies that we didn’t have time for before. My passion has always been writing, while Rob’s has been his music. Some of our best memories are from when we were in college. Rob would play his guitar until late in the evening, and I thought our life would look that way forever. Then came the student loans, the business loans, then the loans for the loans. Before I knew it I was spending a majority of my time working just to pay back an ever-growing mound of debt. My writing got shoved in a drawer, and Rob’s guitar was demoted to the back of the closet.

When we finally decided to simplify our lives and move to Costa Rica, one of the biggest things I looked forward to was hearing Rob play his guitar again. He’s the happiest when he’s writing music, and I can’t help but be at my happiest watching him so happy. (There is a lot of happy going around for us these days.)

A couple of weeks ago he had the opportunity to play at Nibbana Restaurant in Tamarindo. There’s something inherently awesome about playing music on a stage at the beach. It’s like a summer movie where you expect Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon to pop up and dance the Mashed Potato.

Before the gig, Rob decided he would borrow a cowboy hat and boots. “How do I look?” he asked while tilting the brim over one eye. “I think it pulls the whole outfit together.” The outfit he was talking about was a white T-shirt, and a pair of jeans tucked inside his boats.

“Only women tuck their jeans inside their boots,” I laughed. It’s not everyday I witness Rob in cowboy gear, which is a good thing because there is nothing country about him. For example, Rob walks with a strut: a discerning blend of Vinnie Barbarino from Welcome Back Kotter, and JJ Walker from Good Times. I doubt Tim McGraw moves like that… ever.

Even the way Rob drives makes it apparent he is not from the country, leaning all the way back in the driver’s seat, so low it actually looks like no one is driving the car. At times I question he can even see over the dashboard. He insists that this is the way a relaxed guy from Brooklyn drives, and I insist that this is the reason not-so-relaxed pedestrians run for cover while crossing the street in New York.

I, on the other hand, drive while sitting at a 90-degree angle so close to the steering wheel that my upper ribs accidentally turn on the cruise control. It’s a pensive state that can only be compared to a Russian astronaut blasting off for the Space Station.

What I’m trying to say is Rob’s new country appearance left me speechless. And as you have probably gathered from my writing, speechless is something that rarely happens to me.

So when I watched him play that night, singing his original songs and some cover tunes with his friends, I couldn’t help but feel amazed that the night was happening. I have more and more occasions in Costa Rica that spark happy flashbacks. Somehow we got a life back that I thought was gone forever.

Happy times come and go, but sometimes when the moment is right, you land in a place that dusts off old memories. They flooded back to me that night while I watched him play on that stage in the sand. He looked more like that guy from twenty years before, with the same personality and smile.

Only this time he wasn’t my college boyfriend, but my Brooklyn Cowboy.

(Thank you to the community for coming out and making the night so special.)



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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4 Responses to BROOKLYN COWBOY

  1. Jim Farmer says:

    Hi Nadine and Rob,

    Your video, which I stumbled on by accident…..the one where you were showing around a woman who was probably a travel writer, caused me to break out in goose bumps. You see I have just flown to Theodosia, Mo, about an hour from Branson to support a great mentor of mine in fund raising to buy an Organic Farm in Costa Rica.
    He is going to open The Heartland Aramaic Forgiveness and Healing University.
    For more info about Michael’s work you can go to Since 1989 I have been studying with and been certified by Dr. Michael Ryce to teach his workshops at Intensives and travelling venues. The main body of his work is titled, “Why is This Happening to me…Again?
    Personally, I have been researching all of Central America with an eye towards retiring there. I have favored Costa Rica, although I have never been to Central America.
    I thoroughly enjoyed both of you in the video and if the opportunity presented itself, I would love to met you guys. ( I’ll bring Peanut Butter)
    Please send me the link to that video as, with your permission, I would like to pass it on to friends who are also considering becoming EX-PATS.
    Nadine, I am also from N.J. my last residence was 2 or 3 exits up the GSP in Montclair.
    Prior to that I lived in Green Pond, Rockaway Twshp. Morris County about 20 mins north of Morristown. Costa Rica is surely agreeing with you both as I did not hear one Fuggetaboutit or Yo Dude from either of you. Lol
    There is so much I would like to ask you, but I don’t want to take up too much of your time. OOPS! that’s right you are loaded with that most precious and elusive commodity we in the States fret over.

    Enough for now.
    I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Peace, Blessings and Love,
    E–I–E–I–O (a silly sign-off as my name is Jim Farmer)

  2. Laydon says:

    It’s obvious in your words that you folks are happy as can be.
    Heather and I both love seeing and reading your Facebook posts.
    We get to live a little vicariously and jealously through y’all.
    And it’s also a little ironic Hearher wants to write a novel someday, and I love music. I’ve wanted to record my drumming for a long time, and find folks to jam with. But like you and Rob once were life has them on the back burner. Keep posting those pics and stories. And I’ll keep spreading the word about the laid back life of adventure you have…

    • Nadine says:

      Thanks so much Laydon. It’s fun to start doing all those things you stopped because life got too busy. I’m so grateful that I have this time in Costa Rica to slow down and do more of the things I love. I’ve never been happier!

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