Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: New iPhone package with 140 minutes of phone calls, unlimited data, & 700 texts—$20
75 Degree weather. Just writing that makes me feel good. When I lived on a mountaintop in Grecia, I was treated to wonderfully cool temperatures practically every day. Aside from saving money on air conditioning, the biggest benefit was a sense of outdoor/indoor living. The temperatures were the same and you had no sense of a barrier. And without that temperature barrier, the world feels bigger, better, and creates a swell of endorphins in your brain. You wake up smiling and go to bed happy. It’s the biggest gift Grecia gave me.
These temperatures had an effect on me while I was writing my first book Happier Than A Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, & Living the Zero Hour Work Week. I would even say they were conducive to the entire writing process. I felt great on that mountaintop, and in a way freer than I have ever been.
We lived so high up on the mountain that clouds actually rolled into our house. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. I’ve lived around so much pollution in my life, at first, I thought it was smog. Then this gigantic, puffy cotton ball smacked me square in the face and it was the most heavenly thing I ever experienced. Have you ever been hit by a cloud? I would suggest putting that on your bucket list. However, hanging your clothes out to dry in such high altitudes can be a challenge: This crazy thing happens.
These cooler temperatures come with a substantially longer and more intense rainy season, and the rainy season can bring a substantial amount of mold. It grows on everything and needs to be cleaned… a lot. And then there are weeks in October, the height of the rainy season when there is not one sliver of sunshine for days on end. These were the times I wished I lived at the beach.
Now that I’m living near Playa Flamingo, I’m are fully aware of the difference in temperatures once I step outside. There are times at the end of the dry season I feel like I’m living on the sun. This is reflected in our budget as well. Our allowance for dining out is non-existent, replaced with the additional cost of air conditioning. These are the days I wish I lived in the mountains.
It’s the rainy season right now in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We don’t use air conditioning as much, and those endorphins manifest differently here. There is a palpable energy when you live near the ocean. You are constantly doing fun things. One day a friend will call and say he found another secret snorkel spot. Other days I’ll look out my window to check if the water is calm, grab a couple of kayaks, and head out to the ocean with my husband. There is never a dull moment when you live at the sea. It’s where I wrote my second book Happier Than A Billionaire: The Sequel, and where I persuaded a family of howler monkeys to move to my side of the street.
Living near the touristy town of Tamarindo is not only fun but can make you feel young again. The entire area makes you feel like you are part of a big social gathering. Everyone is having a good time, and you can spend an entire day watching the surfers while sitting on the beach.
Travel to Playa Grande and you get to witness a real show: more experienced surfers that bolt out of the water six feet before landing onto another wave. If it’s too crowded there, go a minute down the road to Playa Ventana and enjoy the beach all to yourself. Either way, it’s exciting living in an area with so many things to do. One should never discount the value in wasting a day away under a palm. It’s a worthwhile endeavor. Listening to the sounds of the waves crashing and palm fronds rustling overhead is about as good as life can get. If your life is high on stress and short on peace, this is where you need to be.
There are also more all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica on the Pacific side. So if you’re not up for driving in Costa Rica, and would much rather have everything taken care of for you, the Guanacaste part of the country is a great place to visit.
As different as the weather and my life has been living in these two areas, there are many microclimates throughout the country producing different kinds of weather. For example, take the Caribbean side of the country: It gets rain all year round in the form of short but powerful storms, and the turquoise water is heavenly.
Walking along these Caribbean beaches is like a hard reset, erasing all your past data, and giving your brain a clean slate once again. Float in the salty water and you’re transported to a happy place where troubles disappear, bit by bit, until you finally go back to who you were years ago. A Caribbean vacation is a powerful experience, one that may have you commandeering the nearest hammock and possibly ripping up your return airline ticket.
Whenever I’ve visiting the tiny town of Punta Uva, I start believing that anything is possible. The mixture of humidity combined with the tropical air brings whatever I was afraid to pursue, whatever I’ve been putting on that back burner, front-and-center. You feel as if you can turn your life around after sitting on that beach, with the added benefit of watching a sloth snooze in a tree overhead. The irony.
There are so many other places on your vacation to Costa Rica that you will want to visit. Drive down the Pacific coastal highway and you will hit Dominical, an area so green and biodiverse, it’s a top contender for relocating. Keep going and you’ll hit Osa Peninsula, the most remote and biodiverse area in the country. It’s rainforest living, with the chance of seeing a jaguar. Take that Royal Caribbean. And like every other part of this country, Dominical and Osa have their own unique weather patterns, harboring their own exclusive wildlife magic.
Whether it’s 75-degree weather all year round or the excitement of living at the beach, there is something for everyone in Costa Rica. The wonderful Costa Rican people have also played a part in changing my life. There are so many beautiful places in this world, at some point, I wish to live in every corner of it. I’m open to each new experience. My life is full, and the days just don’t pass by without notice. Every minute is accounted for, and I never feel like I should be anywhere else but in the moment. I’m sure part of it is because of the weather, generating all those endorphins, constantly scattering tiny molecules of happiness throughout my nervous system.
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and the future looks brighter every day.