ABOUT

How many times have you heard someone say I’m quitting my job and moving to an island.

I did…sort of. I moved to Costa Rica, and although it is not an island I did find my own paradise.

I’ve been bitten by a bullet ant, slept with scorpions between my sheets, and hiked into a cave where a frisky crocodile was waiting for me.  And you know what?  It is still better than a day in the office.

puravida (at) happierthanabillionaire (dot) com

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257 Responses to ABOUT

  1. Lauren Petrov says:

    Hi Nadine!

    I know my husband Val has already contacted you, however I felt compelled to do the same. I cannot tell you enough how much we enjoy reading your books. We are currently on the second one and find ourselves savoring it. Your books give us a little peek into what we hope one day our life to be. I find myself relating to you in particular, and am grateful for all the honesty you provide, and your comical delivery. It makes me feel a little more relaxed knowing that at least two other people on the planet feel just as we do. From the moment we saw the Expat show featuring you and Rob, we felt like you were speaking our minds. I got your books the very next day. I think it is so fantastic, brave, and commendable that you both decided to chose the path to true happiness. We are going to be in Costa Rica in January to look further into our own move. Val has been thinking about this for years, however it wasn’t until I saw your show that I really started to picture this life for us. Thank you so much. I am so grateful!

    Lauren Petrov

  2. Sandrine says:

    Hi Nadine,

    My name is Sandrine I just found your blog and i have decided to write you! I am French and work internationally since 16 years, I am now leaving in Dubai since 8 years and i am planing to move around…again!!!
    I would like to see with you if it would be possible to get some information regarding Costa Rica? I do not want to disturb too much…if you have time please email me directly on my email address and I would follow up with specific questions…
    Thanks in advance
    Sandrine

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Sandrine, you can email me with your questions, my email is on my about page. Or you can post them here.

      • Val says:

        Hi Nadine,

        My wife and I are reading your first book right now (a chapter before bed each night) and we’re enjoying it very much!

        One concern that we’re finding hard to research:
        How is your cat (we have 4) adapting to his/her new environment and how safe is it for them?

        I look forward to hearing from you!!

        Val Petrov

  3. Yoanna says:

    Hi Nadine!
    You are such an inspiration for us! My husband and I both consider making a change to our lives at some point :) We are 33 and 36 years old now.
    In the meantime, we will visit CR in Mar 2015, we are so excited! We would like to experience the local life, not necessarily the “touristy stuff” :) We will only have 5-7 days there, so it’s hard to pick what to do first. We enjoy the beach, but also love the mountains (hiking). We would like to be close to both. I am not sure how safe it is to rent a vacation house/apartment over the internet, we don’t think CR is the place where you should just check-in to a hotel :)
    Do you have any suggestions for us? Any help is greatly appreciated!

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Yoanna, If you visited Arenal, you can do the mountain and volcano thing. Then 3-4 hours away are the Guanacaste beaches, so theoretically you can do both mountains and beaches!! I love both areas and I think you will be very happy visiting both areas. There are a ton of accommodations, in Arenal I like the Arenal Observatory Lodge because it’s super close to the volcano…. I mean SUPER CLOSE. And Flamingo Beach Resort is a great place to do some beach reading time.

  4. Juan says:

    Stumbled across your book searching ways to make a living in CR. My first visit was in March 2010, I too like you and Rob got bit by the CR bug. I hope to make the same move in the next few years.

    • Nadine says:

      Thanks Juan! Good luck, it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. I never looked back and I’m just as happy as today as I was the first year I moved here!

  5. Bill Wickson says:

    I just read your first book and can’t wait to start the next one. (Purchased them together on iBooks). You had me hooked on the first paragraph with your witty banter interspersed with poinant moments that make your book a great read. Thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you.

    • Nadine says:

      Thanks so much Bill. It means so much for me to hear from you. I was in such a lousy mental state when I was working in the office, all of which was my own doing. I had to take a break and start prioritizing my life and live the way I wanted to. It may not be the right move for everyone, but I am blessed that I get to wake up to howler monkeys and parrots each day. I think that when I started looking around, and not through a “grumpy” filter, I realized that there is grace everywhere. I started being grateful for what I had, and stopped complaining about the things I didn’t. Big change for me, and boy did I need it.

  6. I really enjoyed your book and am really looking forward to visiting Costa Rica sometime. I found your book as I am looking to slow down and change my life and I am identifying with much of what you said! Thanks for the pep talk! I want to find what you found in Costa Rica wherever I am. I am cleaning out lots of the junk in my house and in my life and am getting happier all the time.
    Living la vida pura! Thanks again! Cynthia

  7. Steven says:

    Hi all

    In my personal opinion, Monteverde is an exciting place, where you can enjoy the wildlife and be cool at the same time.

    Since my childhood I have been traveling but I think if you want to be free in your live, it is necessary to create a healthy and peacefull enviroment where you can start again.

    For me Costa Rica has been that place

    I invite you to come and relax

    Also I have a tico friend that sells a beautiful property in monteverde

    Pura Vida

  8. Renee Vondle says:

    Can a high end stone mason make a living in Costa Rica?

    • Nadine says:

      Not sure, but certainly there is work for a mason. I would suggest you come down and visit and ask a contractor. You might be surprised and find out that there is a need!

  9. danielle says:

    My fiance and I from New Orleans are thinking of moving to Costa Rica but don’t even know where to start looking. What are the best sections to explore? I have a portal career as a resume writer/career consultant so all I need is internet access and a cell phone. He is an artist so we would like to connect him with a gallery or venue where he could sell his art. Any suggestions are welcome!

    • Nadine says:

      I would start in the Central Valley. I think Grecia is a great place to begin the adventure. But if he wants to connect with an art gallery, perhaps the more touristy areas are best. Like Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, and Jaco.

    • Steven says:

      I had the opportunity to meet a couple from New Orleans. They lived in Monteverde during 2 years, but at the end i believe they moved to Samara or Carrillo beach.
      I guess people change after all :D
      Some people enjoy the mountain life style however others see the beaches more attractive.
      At least, they enjoy life

  10. Norm says:

    Hi Nadine,

    I have a question that no one seem to ask, nor have I seen it in any guide books, but it seems that your husband works out, and you may have an answer.

    After going to the gym 5 times a week for 30 years, working out is a necessity. What does your husband do? Work out at home? Gyms in the neighborhood?

    I’ve been to Costa Rica several times. I know there are gyms in San Jose, and maybe some in other tourist areas. We went to one in Nicoya, but calling it gym is stretching the definition.

    Anyway, in the overall scheme of things probably not a huge issue, but if you have any information, I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

    Norm

    • Norm says:

      Hi Nadine,

      I have answered my question about how/where Rob works out by reading your book and watching the video on the web site. Still… if you know anything about gyms in Costa Rica, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

      Norm

      • Nadine says:

        There are gyms all around the country. Do you have a specific town you are considering on moving to? Some have the usual equipment, some are pretty sparse. But I’m amazed how much you can do at home when you have your mind set on it.

  11. Hannah says:

    Hello! I’m at a loss as I have read through a lot of different sites and information regarding working in Costa Rica…it sounds impossible! Everything I am reading is stating that you CANNOT materially participate in your own business unless you are a permanent resident (which has a long list of requirements, one of them being time). How is a young person who already has an established e-commerce business supposed to emigrate to Costa Rica without abandoning their business for a year or more? I am an artist and designer, and my business is already up and running…I sell on a variety of websites and ship all over the world…and have collectors that follow my work, contracts with companies, etc (not something I could just “pause”). Everything I have read basically states that I cannot work in my own business while I am in Costa Rica, period. Any tips, or am I missing something? Thanks!

    • Nadine says:

      You have to open a business, that is legal. But you can’t take a job away from a Costa Rican. You can work your own business, but if you opened a restaurant, you have to hire Costa Ricans to staff it.

    • Hannah says:

      Why do you need to stop your business. I am a broker, my business is across the US, I do not have to tell anyone, the gov does not care.
      I have been here a year and no problems so far. I bought a magic jack and took my US business # with me so all calls to US or from are free.
      Hope this helps…. work here . If not it will be a regret you will never forget.

  12. Lisa says:

    Hello Nadine
    I have been following you adventure for several weeks now. First I have to say congrats to you and hubby for having the courage to make this leap into this life change, and follow your dreams. Living in an area like Costa Rica has been a dream of mine for years. Often my thoughts wander to secluded beaches and tropical paradises to escape the “normal life” which to me feels a bit like forcing a square peg into a round hole… Thank you for sharing your experience. I need to ask a question which touches on the darker side of possibilities. What about the crime? If one searches long enough to find information about living in Costa Rica; Oh; the horror stories one can find to read..this concerns me a bit when I read that there is no real protection, police will rob you as quickly as anyone else, police reports might as well be filled out on napkins, houses and apartments are burglarized on a regular basis, one expat reported being robbed 22 times over a period of 6 months before he left Costa Rica; even read an article about a bus that was stopped in route by 6 men with sub machine guns and all passengers robbed…I do understand that as in the States, crime rates are higher in major cities..and San Jose seems to be the focus of many tales; but.. please give us your thoughts and feedback on the subject if you will share.. Have you ever been robbed or burglarized since your move to Costa Rica? Is the situation severe enough to deter someone from considering living there? Thank You… and again, congrats on following your dreams! Keep up the good work.

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Lisa, I’ve never been a victim of crime except having our license plate stolen off our car. Or maybe it fell off, who knows. I don’t know what goes on everywhere in this country. I’m just living a happy life and write about it. And believe me, if I was robbed, I would write about it. I probably would never shut up!

      • Lisa says:

        Wonderful! That is so good to hear. Costa Rica is calling my name.. and 5 degree temp here this morning just makes it sound sweeter. Living vicariously through you at the moment. Keep up the great work, and have a blessed day!

    • Josué says:

      First of all, I´m sorry for my english, I think is not good enough but I´d like to say some things about CR. Proudly, I was born and raised here, my name is Josué and I´m 33. CR it´s a nice place to live, we have a very strong social security program, nice schools, the best weather you´ll find, nice people. Ticos, are very ‘pura vida’ and dispite of what a lot of people think we love to have you guys (gringos, with all due respect) here. By the way, we are not just beaches and mountains lol. We have all the facilites you need to star a business on your own, or several job sources, you guys have one of the most important requirements to get a good job here…english. Life here is simple, cool and calm I highly recommend you to visit us

      • Nadine says:

        Josue, thank you so much for the comment. I’ve learned so much from the people in Costa Rica. It is so important to smile, to laugh, to take a breath and spend time with family. The Ticos and Ticas have been so friendly to me, helping me with my Spanish, laughing along with me when I say something ridiculous. They are the reason I stayed here. I love the monkeys and birds, but the Costa Ricans have changed the way I think.

      • Karon says:

        I love the water… which beach and where do you think I should stay during my visit? thinking August.
        I would love to see a whale… know where I might go to for that. U willing to be a tour guide for a day or 2? :)
        Karon… from Florida

        • Nadine says:

          I’m not sure when you see the whales, I think towards the end of the year. I don’t think you will even need a tour guide. This country is so much fun to travel through! There are so many beaches to choose from, but I would definitely check out the Guanacaste area. Playa Penca and Sugar Beach are a couple of my favorite.

  13. Beto says:

    Happier than a billionaire is a great way to describe living life in Costa Rica. I’m sure of it and I’ve never been anywhere close to being a billionaire.

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Beto! I’m really happy here, and I found that a simpler life is a better life. It might not be for everyone, but it was the perfect choice for me.

  14. Dave B says:

    Hi there. I love your stories. I have been researching retiring in Costa Rica for a while now as I have a friend who lives in Tamarindo half of the year and he has been recommending it. I just purchased both of your books after watching a you tube interview that you did and can’t wait for them to arrive. My wife and I are empty nesters and once our daughter is out of college in a year and a half I would love to get out of the rat race and cold of Pittsburgh. Retirement dollars seem to go further in CR. Keep on writing.

    • Doug Kolata says:

      ummm we live here in costa rica for 7 months the US money is NOT worth more here as we thought it boils down the same for each US dollar its 497 colonas…food is waaay more expensive here…taxis are super cheap….real easte is crazy expensive….

      • Nadine says:

        It definitely depends on the area. The longer I live here, the more my dollar stretches. I can do a budget of $1200 a month, I have friends that do cheaper, others friends are double. It really takes some time to learn the areas to shop and adopt different shopping patterns. I can’t afford a lot of the imported products, so most of my meals are heavy in vegetables. Fruit is my dessert. Every so often we will splurge for a frozen apple pie, that is usually $7. Eating out has been less and less lately. Just too expensive.

    • Nadine says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your support. It’s been a great adventure and are excited to see what this next year brings. I’m hoping to write more and get the third book out. It’s being edited as we speak.

  15. Philippe says:

    Dear Nadine
    I discover you blog, through your book that I just order by Amazon, I’m sure that you book will answer a lot of my questions?
    I’m ready for a change and looking to move. I live in Brussels, work for several years in Colorado, and love’d it. I’m looking for a big change in my live, I’m a chef self employed, give cooking classe, and help restaurant free lance. Do you think that Costa Rica can be a good destination for my dreams ?

    Thank for your responds
    Philippe

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Philippe,

      The book has information but it is more of my account of quitting the rat race and finding a happier life. I think you should visit Costa Rica and see if it resonates with you. Everyone is looking for something different. I like the slower pace and wonderful beaches, but perhaps you might be searching for something else.

  16. Sarah says:

    First off I am so glad I came across your blog, and site. So much great information and stories. I will be making a move to Costa Rica this January. I have been looking at places to rent, but am stuck on which side we may want to settle down in for the first year, the Pacific side? or the Caribbean side? Any information would be so helpfull! thank you and have a great day

    sarah
    :)

    • Nadine says:

      Both sides are great Sarah, why not do a couple months in each? The Caribbean side has that awesome turquoise water and incredible snorkeling. And the Pacific has some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen!

  17. moni rencher says:

    I am a single woman that would like to move there, I’ll be getting pregnant in a month or so, So i would be arriving in Costa Rica in march, about 5 months pregnant… Do you think its safe for a single woman pregnant there?? I sell insurance so I will be working from home, but I have my TESL and would love to volunteer to teach English to children also. Im not sure how child care works there

    • Nadine says:

      I don’t think this is the right time Moni. Expat life can be stressful when you first move. Plus you will have visa runs to do and I’m sure it can be exhausting for someone who is pregnant. I would suggest waiting until the baby is born and consider it then.

    • liella says:

      Hi Moni,
      Have u made ur decision about going to Costa Rica. I am also a future single mother and was thinking about giving birth in Costa Rica. I don t plan on staying there for too long…6 months then going back to England. I would be alone so was wondering how much it will cost to get somebody coming at home to help me. I don t plan in leaving on a hight standard…just renting a clean house and having some quality of life these few months

  18. Tiffany and jimbo says:

    Sent you an email. We are going to be expats. We just bought a large boat and can’t wait to start our adventure. We definitely want to visit Costa Rica. Love your book it was great and funny.

    • Nadine says:

      You are the best Tiffany and Jimbo. Thanks so much for purchasing my book. It sounds like you guys are going to have one heck of an adventure!

      • Tiffany and jimbo says:

        We are really excited to start our adventure. We just bought your second book and love it so far. My husband loves to sail and we just bought a 45 foot sailboat and we plan to travel around and eventually make a home wherever we feel fits us best . We actually just found out we’re expecting and couldn’t be happier. But this doesn’t put a damper in our plans :) we are looking forward to raising our kids on our adventure and homeschooling them. Hopefully coasts rica will be one of our many stops :)

  19. Greg Seymour says:

    Hey Nadine and Rob,

    Just wanted to drop you guys a line and thank you for the humorous stories. In 2011 I was looking for a change in career, found your book and started scheming. My thought was if these guys can do it so can we. So, over the last few years we sold damn near everything we had and in June of this year moved to Grecia and are enjoying early retirement very much (we are both early 40’s).

    Thanks again,
    Greg and Jen Seymour

    • Nadine says:

      Hi Greg and Jen! Good for you. I’m sure you will be having many adventures! It’s been such a wonderful experience so far for us, I am just so grateful for it all. I feel like I am the richest woman in the world at at time when I have the least amount of things. All I need is my family, my health, and a good cup of coffee. It can’t get better than this!

  20. I will be moving to Costa Rica in about 10 months! If I didn’t have my dogs, I would move there asap! But before I move, I want to make sure everything is properly set-up for my 3 children…I mean dogs, but they’re like my children. They’ve moved everywhere with me and do everything with me (well as much as the California laws will allow, I look forward to running freely with my dogs on the beaches).
    The town I’m looking at right now, is Tamarindo. I’m looking for a low-key, laid-back, surf/beach town with dirt roads and some paved. I want to ride atv’s to and from town with my dogs running beside me, hit the market and the next second be frolicking at the beach. Hiking one second in the forest to drinking at a local bar on the beach at the end of the day. Is this Tamarindo? I’m originally from Colorado, and lived in a small snowboard town after high school. I’ve always been a small-town/tourist town kinda gal.
    Currently I live in a beautiful beach town in California. But I’ve always wanted to live in another county and Costa Rica is fitting everything I’m looking for. And whether I’m making a lot of money or just enough, I always like to be financially smart. For about $1200/month you can maybe get a small studio. I’ve read that for $1200-$1500/month, you’re living pretty well in Costa Rica, mind you that you stay frugal (i.e. local, and not the tourist areas).
    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    • P.S. I can live anywhere! I enjoy luxury, but I’ve lived off of couches at one point, in my Jeep when I had one dog (by choice, until I found another friends couch), and now I currently live at a dog resort in a studio! Doing so as allowed me to save a lot! Travel to places like Italy and spend 7 G’s! and build my home business during the day.
      Oh two more questions; I ride motorcycles (street and dirt). Are there many street bikes there? And although I have my home business, I still enjoy working/volunteering for outdoor activities/events. Right now, I’m trying to find a way to get a job at an ATV/zipline/all-around adventures place. Without being there, I don’t exactly how to go about it, since I’m sure they get many of those type emails. But I plan on visiting before the move, so maybe I can check it out then.
      Thanks!

      • Nadine says:

        It is difficult getting employment here so I wouldn’t come betting on that. You may be able to start a business if you have enough capital. There are lots of bikes here so I don’t think it will be a problem finding one.

        I hope that helps. It’s a big decision to move here, but I love every minute. It’s been such an adventure.

        • Thank you! That’s what I’ve read about employment, I plan on coming down with my online business and I would like to open a physical business as well, I just haven’t decided (among the many) that I would like to open. I’m excited, and nervous (in a good way). But if I don’t, I’ll wish I did :) Thank you again!

      • Lori says:

        Alanna: We live in Nosara/Guioness. It is a laid back beach town with world class surfing (I don’t surf) The expats in the area are very community oriented and we help each other out a lot. It is very small compared to Tamarindo so might not be to your liking but there are atv’s and dirt bikes all over the place. Our roads are not paved yet but they are graded when they get real bad There are atv rental places, world renouned yoga and one zip line place in the area. We love it here. You might want check it out. I too am from Colorado. :)

    • Nadine says:

      You are thinking more on the lines of Potrero. Tamarindo is great but it is a touristy town. The farther you go away from it, the cheaper the rents get and the less populated. I would come down and check out areas a half hour in either direction of Tamarindo. You will be so surprised to find beaches that are completely empty, with laid back attitudes and friendly people.

      Also, check out Tamarindo Garage Sale on facebook and you will find listings for apartments as well as other items. It will give you an idea of prices. There is also a Potrero Garage Sale.

      • Wow, thank you again for all the information. I’ll definitely look into all it! I look forward to being around more people who enjoy a slower pace of life and not in a constant rush. Give me nature and my dogs, and that’s pure heaven :)

      • Just checked out Potrero, and just when I thought I found my town Tamarindo…Potrero looks even better aka fewer people…! If that’s possible!

  21. Jennifer says:

    I love Costa Rica! We are a family of 3 that would love to take the plunge and move as you did. One question, we have a 1year old Lab that we love and could not leave in Canada. Do you know anyone who moved down with their dog? Was it an easy process?
    Just purchased your book on my kindle, I’m loving it!!

    • Nick P says:

      Yes I know of a couple that has traveled with their dog several times. We did all the work to do it and then decided so far that that our dog may not like it there and we want to do what is best for the dog not for us. It is a process and you have to have it all just right. In most cases you need a broker for customs in Costa Rica. If the dog can travel as a passenger under the seat in a carrier it is much easier than if you have to kennel. There are many sites to use both in Costa Rica government site and on United’s site which has the best pet travel program by far. My suggestion to everyone is go there for 90 days before you “plunge”. We love Uvita but it is not for most and certainly not for everyone.

    • admin says:

      I didn’t have any problems. My dog had to go in with the luggage since she was too big to fit under the seat. There are heat restrictions so you must fly during certain months. But overall, not a problem!

  22. Al Bunge says:

    My wife and I are coming to the JW Marriott this Saturday for a week. A good friend of ours (and yours) is Jane (chiropractor from W.P.) and told me about your adventures. I have read both your books and loved them in preparation for our trip! If you and your husband want to have diner one evening shoot me back a reply. We would love to meet you.

  23. Leigh says:

    Congratulations to you & your husband! We visited Uvita, Costa Rica two years ago and LOVED it. The food, the lush greenery, the ocean & jungle views, outdoor activities, the slowed down way of life. We have been talking about leaving since we visited. I think Uvita would be too slow pace. Our daughter plays tennis and it’s very important to her…..We are 33 & 34 with a 9 year old daughter- any suggestions?

    • admin says:

      Uvita is such a lovely area. Have you tried the Guanacaste area? Lots of nice beaches and there is a school here in a development with tennis courts. I’m not sure if there is anything like a school team, but I’ve seen kids with rackets walking around.

      The school is La Paz Community school

    • Melodie says:

      Hello. I just wanted to share my experience of living in Costa Rica. It has been 6 years, and I’m 13. I have changed enormously here. Costa Rica taught me to love and appreciate nature. I really got to find my self here.
      I go to La Paz Community School. Which truly is a wonderful school. My very close friend is 9 years old. She goes to La Paz too. Her class is truly amazing. All the kids treat each other nicely. Every body helps each other here in Costa Rica.
      Personally I feel like Costa Rica is an amazing, ideal place for children, just as well as for adults. However, you should now that in the Guanacaste area, there are no malls, no movie theaters. One really has to learn to appreciate the activities Costa Rica provides. The ocean, beaches, jungle, animals, etc.
      As you mentioned tennis is very important to your daughter. There is a tennis court 2 minuets (by car) away from our school. There is a coach who gives tennis lessons.
      Sports in Costa Rica are very important. Mostly horses. In Guanacaste, every weekend there are horse events. I personally love horseback riding. There are various farms around, with amazing coaches. Another popular sport in Costa Rica is surfing.
      Anyways, I hope this helped. If you, or your daughter have any questions I’ll be glad to answer. From a child’s perspective.

      • Nadine says:

        Thank you Melodie for your comment. It was so thorough and will help many parents make the decision whether this is the right place for them. I appreciate your comment!!

      • katie farrell says:

        Melodie,
        Thanks for your comments! I have a few questions for you. Me and my husband would like to move to CR but we have 3 girls, ages 15, 12,and 8. We are American and would like to find them a good school where they can earn their high school diploma. Are there schools there that offer this? We would like to move to Uvita or somewhere close. We have visited Samara and loved it! Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  24. I have been reading your blog to my hubby for the past 4 hours and we have been laughing so much that our cheeks are sore! We are making arrangements for a trip to CR in the coming summer with our 3 children(13, 11 and 11). We are excited to find a place that has so many options for all types of activities that we are interested in. This , of course, includes lots of laying about on some lovely beach. I hope that we fall in love in person as much as we have from a distance! Keep sharing your amazing experiences please…you have a gift. I can’t wait to have a monkey ‘mooning’ me from the other side of the window. Take care and all the best to you in your journey.

    Love and Light,

    Heather

    • admin says:

      Hi Heather. Thanks so much for visiting my page and reading about some of the dopey things we do down here. It’s been quite the ride, and I still don’t understand why I’m always jumping out of boats.

  25. Doug says:

    Just finished the 1st book, amazing! I couldn’t put it down! After this post I am going to buy the 2nd.

    My family and I have already started our CR adventure here in the USA but cannot wait to land down June 25th. Perhaps I could pick your brain about a few things?

    Cheers!

    Doug

  26. I thought it was time for me to come by and say thank you. I stumbled on your site a year or so ago while doing a search for living in Costa Rica. I voraciously consumed your book in a matter of hours. It was the proverbial rock at the top of the hill. Stuck in the corporate rut, after reading your book I realized taking a substantial amount of time off work was not just a dream, but a real possibility. And even more so, it was worth it. We are in the middle of a year-off family sabbatical. We haven’t made the move to a lower cost of living country, but it’s next on the list of dreams to meet. So, thank you. Two little words, but they mean so very much. You made a difference.

    • admin says:

      You are the best Dianne. I think the hardest part of this adventure was that first step. To reinvent your life in midstream seemed so risky. But I really needed a change. I don’t think I would have lasted another 10 years in that office. I needed to get out and explore the world.

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    I do not know who you might be however certainly you are going
    to a famous blogger if you aren’t already. Cheers!

  28. Jennifer says:

    Hi, just found the other day that book number 2 was out! I downloaded it right away and just got done with it today. Great book, I laughed out loud so many times! I hope you keep on writing them because I will keep on reading them. Keep up the great work!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Jennifer, as long as my husband keeps doing funny things, I’ll keep writing! Lucky for me, I’m married to a hilarious guy.

  29. Valerie says:

    Stumbling across your website , reading about you and your story, confirms what I have known for some time…it’s time to make that move to Costa Rica or at least, start there on my way to my dream trip around the world. I have a friend in Costa Rica who keeps asking me to come down. I had been racking my brain about finances. But your website tapped me on the shoulder, whispering, “It’s time to make a change.’ How to make a living?….well, that’s another question, but somewhere deep inside, my spirit is saying…”Put your heart first and the money will follow”. Thanks for setting the example.
    Peace and blessings!

    • admin says:

      That is wonderful Valerie. I hope you follow your dream. This county might not be for everyone but it was perfect for me. I had to get out of that rat race and start living. And now here I am, writing to you while a howler monkeys is watching me outside my window.

  30. bfdave says:

    Just finished reading “The Sequel”; and loved it as much as the first. Eagerly await book number 3!!!

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much. I don’t think I could ever stop writing. It’s too much fun sharing my adventures with all of you.

  31. Sian from Oz says:

    Dear gutsy Nadine,
    I’m half way through your first book and trying desperately to ration my reading because I don’t want it to end! When I discovered that you have just released a second book I jumped for joy (and squealed just a little bit.)
    I found you thanks to my Google addiction. I’m visiting CR in March for the first time for my “Oh crap I’m turning 40″ trip. A 3 week trek and then a week’s yoga retreat. I’M SO FRIGGIN’ EXCITED! But also a tad anxious. I’m traveling alone, (Mr Wonderful seems to be having some issues finding me) and I don’t speak any Spanish. I’m planning to learn at least “I’m so sorry”, “Please excuse me”, and “Forgive me, my Spanish sucks”.
    Reading your book is putting the biggest smile on my face thinking about the adventures to come. Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much!! I didn’t have a “crap I’m turning 40″ moment. But it did happen at 41. For some reason 40 was okay, and 41 just didn’t sound right. Oh well, what can you do.

      The Spanish thing was one of my biggest fears and it turned out to not be the biggest problem. As long as you don’t have to do government things, then there is no problem getting around this country with limited Spanish.

      I hope you enjoy the Sequel. Lots of funny things continue to happen, and so much has changed in my life from that first day of walking off the plane with my cat and dog. And I couldn’t wish for anything more…

  32. Linda says:

    Hi Nadine,
    I feel like I know you personally after reading both of your books. You are right up there with Nora Ephron in my mind…heartfelt, very funny and so true to the human experience. I bought the books to give to my 28 year old son and his girlfriend who are about to embark on a year long trek through Central and South America. Before I gave them the books I perused the first couple of chapters and was hooked immediately.
    You give a very honest picture of both the wonderful aspects of living in Costa Rica as well as some of the difficulties and unexpected downfalls of being there. As a mother I’m concerned for their health and safety as our young travelers set off but know they are anxious and excited to be doing this and maybe my biggest fear is they will love it so much down there, they will also decide to make it their home.

    As you begin to build your house on the beach will you be writing another book to make it a trilogy? I hope so. Meanwhile I’ll follow your blog and look forward to your newsy posts and the smiles and laughs they bring me.

    • admin says:

      Wow Linda, just putting me in the same sentence as Nora Ephron puts the biggest smile on my face. I plan to write a third book only if I can give you new, fresh stories. I’m so grateful to all the readers, I don’t want to give anything but my best for the third book.

      Just posted a new story on my blog: My Husband Is An Idiot. If the year goes anything like this, I’m sure I’ll have a new book in no time!

  33. Poly says:

    Hey,

    Great to see another photographer there. I want to move to costa rica. Not because of the magical surroundings or the relaxing atmosphere of the “island”. Actually I can’t put my finger on it, the place feels right. I would like to live there on a temporary long term basis, but I’ve never been. We (my little family and I) will be visiting in the next couple of weeks for an extended vacation/touring central america. I am also a professional photographer with heavy work in post production. I suppose I’m wondering if I’ll be able to maintain a living there..as an event photographer and such….if we decided to make it permanent.

    I wish I had access to your book, seems like it has a lot of necessary information as accounted by previous comments.

    I’m glad you did something so “independent” of society’s expectation. Happy for ya…well good luck…

    -Poly

    • admin says:

      I’ve met a few photographers who make a living here. But not sure what they generate as far as income. Once you are here, ask around. People are very friendly and will share their experiences with you. I know there are plenty of weddings to shoot here, it seems there is an upswing in tourism this year and many beaches I visit have a wedding going on.

  34. Punta de Colon says:

    Does the $1,000 per month relate to a single person or a couple and does this include rent ?

    • admin says:

      It does include rent for us. Our budget went up closer to $1200 a month now that we live near the beach. It was cheaper when I lived in Grecia. The beach area is very touristy so I find that items are more expensive. Even the groceries are about 10-15% more.

  35. Shay ;p says:

    I have read your book and i have to say… I LAUGHED MY ASS OFF!!!! I am 21 and i have been to Costa Rica 7 times! This book was kinda helpful too!
    Nadine you rock!, Shay

    • admin says:

      You rock Shay. You’ve already been here seven times and you are still so young. Traveling at your age truly defines what kind of person you will be. I find that it’s where you learn some of the most important lessons in life. This journey has made me a kinder person and has really decluttered my head. Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in a materialistic lifestyle, you forget what made you happy in the first place!

  36. max70 says:

    Hi
    I read your book and I find it very funny.
    I have just 2 simple and straight questions:
    – can you please tell some advice about the budget is needed to move there;
    – according to the fact that I am not retired yet, how can I earn my money . Tourism only ?

    Thanks.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for stopping by! The budget we are on is around $1200/month. Living at the beach is a little more expensive than the mountains. As for a job, you can not work here but can open a business. The reason for that is Costa Rica does not want you taking a job away from a Tico. Some gringos I know have businesses in tourism while others can do their work with only an internet connection. If you can find a job where all you need is a computer, then I think Costa Rica is a great place to work.

      I would suggest visiting one of the tourist towns and ask around. You would be surprised how many people love to share their story and might help answer some of your questions.

  37. SMS135 says:

    LOVE your blog! I wish you would have had it up when I lived in CR . I haven’t had a chance to read your book yet, but plan to soon. The chapter posted online about buying a car reminded me very much of my own experience (without the underwear money!). I miss the pura vida lifestyle – totally worth the craziness that comes with it. Reading your posts almost made me want to quit my job AGAIN and move BACK to Costa Rica!

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much. Costa Rica is a beautiful place. Whenever I go back to the states to visit, I’m startled by all the concrete. It’s wonderful having all this nature and wildlife around me. It’s hard to imagine going back and living my old, hectic life at this point.

      And who knows, maybe you’ll be back again!!

  38. Carrie says:

    I just found your blog and love it so far! I’ll definitely pick up your book the next time that’s an option…. my husband and I left the States and moved down to Belize not too long ago, so I can relate a bit!
    Cheers!
    Carrie
    letterstomyfriendsbackhome.com

    • admin says:

      Thanks Carrie, love your blog. Isn’t it fun to live abroad. If you have a good sense of humor, you can turn any difficult situation into something humorous. It might not be for everyone, but I like living in a place that is completely different to my what I’m used to.

  39. Raymond Moritz says:

    Just found your site and must say enjoy your sense of levity.
    I visited Costa Rica about 6 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed my short stay in Manuel Antonio.
    As a mater of fact I have been considering a return visit and was looking for current information when I happened to find your site.
    I normally don’t have the luxury of spare time to just surf around the internet, but
    I have been stuck in my home for a couple of days due to Hurricane Sandy.
    Luckily I escaped much of the awful effects that were visited upon NJ. Unlike most of my neighbors I still have both electricity and internet access and as a result found you while surfing about
    I was considering a stay in the Guanacaste area this time and was wondering what your thoughts are about this location
    Keep up the good work. I have “saved” your site and plan on keeping up with your adventures on a regular basis
    Best regards from NJ
    Ray Moritz

    • admin says:

      So sorry to hear about Hurricane Sandy. My family was affected as well. As for Guanacaste, it has some of the prettiest beaches and I think you would love it. It’s only about 3 hours from Arenal, so you could take a day trip to see the volcano.

      There is also a great place called Rincon de la Vieja, where you can zip line, rappel, and tube down a river. It’s one of the best excursions I’ve ever been on.

      I hope that helps and all the best to my fellow Jersean.

  40. Brittany says:

    Hello! My fiance’ and I are in search of a much more simple life, “la pura vida”. We have done a decent amount of research and are hoping to make the move to Costa Rica next year after we get married. The problem we keep running into is income. Neither one of us (I am 25 and he is 22) is at an age to retire and kick our feet up on some sandy beach while money magically appears in our bank accounts, wouldn’t that be nice. In fact aside from plane tickets and backpacks I don’t see us bringing much else. After looking into working visas it looks near impossible to obtain. We don’t have money to start our own business as many other foreigners do and we would need to make money to live. We make a decent living here in the states for ourselves; he is a chef and I work in the retail zoo. Any suggestions on how to make a living legally in cr? My fiance’ would love to expand his cullinary knowledge. I’ve heard of resorts that will hire Americans and provide lodging but we were looking for something far less glamorous! Any suggestions would be helpful!

    • admin says:

      For you to work legally in the country you will have to become residents. This is a great link that give a lot of information about the process: http://www.residencyincostarica.com/

      I think the best thing would be to visit some tourist areas and ask around. Especially the people who are currently working in the field you are pursuing. I’m sure they can give you better information than I can.

  41. Jerry says:

    Oh my goodness, I think I need a “What Would Rob Do” bracelet! My wife just got stung by a bunch of mad bees in our back yard and I ran away :(
    I just finished reading “Happier” on my Nexus 7 reader, laughing all the way through, loved it! Can’t wait for your next one!
    However, Rob is making me look bad as it seems he always comes to his wife’s rescue when she is facing danger!
    I want to retire to Costa Rica, maybe I can “be brave in the jungle”
    -Cheers -

    • admin says:

      Ha! Yes…that would be awesome. A bracelet that will remind every man to reach for the duct tape first and ask questions later. Although, as for making you look bad…Rob GETS me into these predicaments of which he saves me from. It would be a nice change if he would say “You know, I’m not sure if we should do this” instead of “You know, what’s the worse that can happen?”

      • Jerry says:

        Right on……. I think you could title a new book “Shaking in Costa Rica”, an act of Rob, …er, I mean God, the 7.6 of 2012 saved only by duct tape!
        -Enjoying your “tweet” photos, wish I was there, keep-em coming!

  42. Shera says:

    I really enjoy your blog and find so many of your stories right on point with my life! I moved to CR in February and I am in love! The people, the culture, the weather, I could go on and on. We currently live outside of San Jose and although I enjoy the conveniences of the city I’d like to try life on the coast when our lease ends in January. We have traveled to Jaco, Herradura, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo and although we enjoyed them while vacationing I didn’t seem to get the feeling of “home” at any of those three beaches. I plan to travel to two or three other beaches before we make the decision. We have two major necessities: a good internet connection (for work) and a good farmers market within walking distance (we don’t have a car here). Do you have any recommendations of some places to check out?
    Thanks! Pura Vida:)

    • Johnny says:

      Have you considered Nosara? All the advantages of CR small town living

      • admin says:

        I love Nosara. It’s such a cute town and the beaches are great. I’m planning on taking a drive down there again in a couple weeks.

    • admin says:

      I loved our farmers market when I lived in Grecia. But we don’t have on as big as that out here near Tamarindo. As for internet, if you could find a house with a land line, you can at least get a DSL line. Now they have small flash drives that plug into your USB port so that is a way for you to get internet as well. I’m guessing you have something like that since you live near San Jose. But the beach can be tricky, sometimes it feels like a different country out this way.

      Samara was a nice town, have you looked there? Or perhaps down the Nicoya Peninsula? Nosara is a beautiful town, and the beaches are so pretty. But boy, it seems like their ground is really rumbling. I feel so many aftershocks over here, can’t imagine how they are doing down there near the epicenter.

  43. Hey I just stumbled across your very active blog! Kudos, will be reading your book.
    I just moved to Jaco .. about 50 steps to the beach and loving it. I see many people writing and asking how to support themselves from home here in Costa Rica.. three words Internet, Skype and Computer! As long as you have some decent marketing or sales skills you can work remotely anywhere in the world.

    I have an outsourcing business and I’m always looking for quality folks who want to live and work remotely. Feel free to hit me up on Skype: jamesrickbond or email james AT Globalsky.com

  44. Anthony says:

    Hey, I work at amazon, and I put books in carts all day, but your book stood out to me. I’m 24, and I was wondering before I bought your book. How much money would I need to survive daily? If the weather’s perfect, I could live in a tent and fish everyday :P

    • admin says:

      If you can drum up $1000 a month, you could have a nice lifestyle here. I haven’t done it on less (I know people who do) so I’m basing this on my own experience. If I were you, I would come visit and hang out in a surf town. These guys bunk up together and seem to live here on a lot less.

      I’m glad my book stood out! It’s a funny story about quitting the rat race and searching for a happier life. I’ve done it and never looked back.

  45. Kevin says:

    I just finished reading your book and enjoyed reading all about your adventures.
    My wife and I are planning a trip to CR next year and getting ready to move there shortly afterward. We are just getting started in selling things off and deciding if we really want to take much with us.

    I would like to pick your brain in the future about many things in a private e-mail not to be posted on your website. I would love to meet you when we come down, would you be open to that idea?

    Moving to CR will be the only way I can retire early, I can’t afford to do it staying in the states. My wife is retired and this will give us a chance to really enjoy life together.
    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you,
    From
    Tico in Texas

  46. CB says:

    Hi, I read your book last year or so and loved it! I am trying to set up a “tour” visit so I can get an idea if and where I would want to live in CR. (Really it’s just so my mom will stop worrying; I would just go if it was up to me :) ) Anyway I’m wondering if you recommend a tour that takes you to some good places that a person might want to live?
    Also, is it really humid by the ocean?
    And I get slightly over $1100 from Social Security plus “donations” from my mom, meaning my monthly income would be $1135-$1235. Does that sound adequate? And will I not be too isolated? When I look on craigslist costa rica, the apartments look more pricey…. Thank you in advance :)

    • Anonymous says:

      Try looking into the Armonia Ambiental in Providencia de Dota Province of San Jose. I stayed there for a few days during my trip to Costa Rica last year. The Mora Family built and owns this lodge, they run a coffee farm. Basically unlimited fresh fruit and organic coffee and an amazing family. They said a couple visited before I had and ended up working on their farm and staying for 8 months they loved it so much.

      • admin says:

        It’s funny how Costa Rica does that to you. It’s a simple way of living and people are much friendlier. Grecia is still one of the friendliest places I ever lived. I can’t help but smile every time I think of that place.

    • admin says:

      The best way to find a place is to come here. All the prices on Craigslist are high because it’s usually short term rental and they know they can charge more. Once you are here, you will be able to find a very nice place for $500 or under. Even cheaper if you stay away from the busy towns and touristy areas. When I lived in Grecia, most of my friends payed $400 and under for a house.

  47. Dr. "C" says:

    Hello,

    I have not read your book. In fact this is the first time to this site for me. The prospect of closing my business and moving to Costa Rica is Intriguing. My wife and I have a good life and a successful Chiropractic practice. However, living outside of Washington DC is stressful to say the least. My wife and I have decided to visit CR. In your opinion if my plan was to move and practice for at least a little while longer. Which area/areas would you suggest that we explore first?

    Do you know any Chiropractors that may be willing to speak or email with me?

    Thanks for you help in advance.

    • admin says:

      I don’t know of any chiropractors, but I’m sure if you stopped in on one they will be more than happy to talk with you. I believe there are two in the Tamarindo area.

      I think you should explore the Central Plateau and the beaches and get a feel for what you like more. The mountain areas have great weather, much cooler, and less tourists. The beach is really hot, more of a touristy vibe, but lots of ridiculously fun things to do. It’s just a matter on what your hobbies are.

      I would check out Grecia, Arenal, Manuel Antonio (and stop by all the cute beaches during that ride), and pop up to the Guanacaste area. They are all equally beautiful and one town might feel more like home than another.

  48. Jimmy Stewart says:

    Hello, Been to CR over 20 times since 2001. I retired 5 years ago and have another 4 years for my wife to do the same. We are still looking for the right area to settle in when we move there. We have been up north to Guanacaste, south to Quepos, San Jose, and many trips to Jaco. The cost of living in Jaco is much higer due to the Americans. We like the 1 1/2hr trip to San Jose from Jaco for a touch of civilation. Sounds like you live in the northern part , south of Guanacaste. Do you find much need to go into San Jose for supplies, The EPA home center, etc? Read the book and agree with everything you wrote, everything moves faster with a little bribe as I have been told by all the other Americans I know down there. Will be there shortly. Jimmy

    • admin says:

      When I first moved here, it was nice being near San Jose. But now I don’t need to be there as much. It was nice having immigration close, as well as motor vehicles. As a foreigner, you have to get your drivers license at the motor vehicles near San Jose. So it was nice we didn’t have to go so far.

      The beach area, although hotter, is a lot of fun to explore and do great excursions. I’m enjoying living on this side of the country and changing it up a bit.

      Your best bet is when you retire do 6 months in one place than 6 months in another. It’s funny how a lot of the times the areas you think you’ll move through quickly are the ones you end up liking the best.

  49. Subha Ray says:

    I stumbled upon your website from a comment of yours on Nora Ephron’s blog. Happier than a billionaire ? I thought that exactly describes me. Happy with less – well I was practicing that since 1982. Costa Rica – away from the maddening crowd of forever discontented people ? Not exactly Costa Rica for me but I bought a house that was 1/10th the cost my colleagues were aspiring for – and in a quiet cul-de-sac surrounded by un-looked after private gardens turned into mini jungles inviting at least 50 different varieties of birds round the year – in a culture where people are forever protecting their wealth from fictitious burglars.

    And then retired at 50 – earned a free 10 year holiday – that is if accountants pour their brains over will surely find worth a billion.

    Good luck to your and my family – I just love Maugham’s “Lotus eater” with all the holes plugged.

  50. Robert Levesque says:

    Hi!

    Your book is very inspiring. My wife and I moved to Costa Rica 21 years ago and we still love it! Back in Canada, Lucy my wife was a teacher and I was a journalist. We came here in the middle of nowhere in the canton of Osa (South Pacific now called Costa Ballena) and we started a small restaurant, after some years, Restaurant Exotica became one of the 5 best restaurant in Costa Rica ( Lonely Planet dixit). So, just to tell you that we made the right decision and that we are really” happier than a Billionaire”

    Bob

    • admin says:

      Love Osa! It was probably my favorite trip so far. I can only imagine what it looked like back then. Next time I’m down that way I will definitely stop by you restaurant. I’m so happy you too are living the Pura Vida lifestyle and found happiness here in Costa Rica 21 years ago.

  51. Lisaem79 says:

    I’m not very good at reading books (lose concentration) but I read your book in 48 hours! I couldn’t put it down. The chapters were nice and short. Plus you had me Laughing Out Loud! Thank you for writing about your adventures. When can we expect book #2?
    Passing the book on to my co-worker!

    • admin says:

      Book Number 2 will be out in a few months. Thanks so much for purchasing the first book and finding some joy in it. It was a lot of fun to write…especially since my husband gives me plenty of material to write about!

  52. Cynthia in Colorado says:

    I discovered your book about a week before my week long yoga retreat in Cahuito, CR. I loved your stories! And, it sounds like Rob is a great, supportive guy. I want to move to a beach someday where I can speak spanish. I think I may like the pacific side better. Our retreat did not have ice and the humidity was brutal without ice. We went to town and retrieved some. We zip-lined with a great company, http://www.terraventuras.com. 15 lines, and they served us fresh fruit afterward, just what we needed. We went out one night in Cahuita, and danced to a Reggae band with the friendly locals, and the next day one of them was our guide at the Sloth Sanctuary. Then, one of the zip line guides recognized us in Puerto Viejo. We were already getting to know the locals in just a few days. Our taxi driver , Rene, was wonderful. We had some local rum drinks in “just macheted” coconuts. I did get bitten by some of those ants, it felt like a bee sting! Also, I got attacked by a large land crab. What was it doing on our porch? The howler monkeys were not as rowdy as I imagined. We did yoga at night to the symphony of the jungle, I really miss the sounds of the insects, birds, monkeys, etc. Do you know of a CD that has those jungle sounds? I look forward to hearing more of your stories soon.
    Pura Vida!

    • admin says:

      Hi Cynthia, not sure what CD’s are out there but that’s a great idea. I also enjoy all the jungle sounds and couldn’t imagine going back to the states and listening to lawn mowers and leaf blowers in the morning.

      It sounds like you did a lot of fun things and had a great experience. The Caribbean side is so much fun, also a great place to snorkel. As for the bugs…well…what can you do right? If there weren’t all these tiny creatures, there wouldn’t be the howler monkeys. Everything is connected!

  53. Baldgirl says:

    Hi,
    I have been enjoying reading your blog. It is interesting to see what it is like for an American to live there. I am going to be traveling to Playa del Coco and Playa Ocotal. I have the dates and where we are staying set. I wanted to see if you have any suggestions of things that I can’t miss while I am in that area whether it has to do with food or beach or shops. Or, if you know of any particular great tours that depart from that area. I think I would like to do a zip-line tour and perhaps scuba diving. I appreciate any suggestions.
    Thank you!

    • admin says:

      I love Rincon del la Vieja. There are these Adventure Tours that will take you zip lining/ rappelling, horseback riding, waterfall swimming, and some fun tubing. I had such a great time doing it I even wrote a blog post about it. It was…by far…one of the coolest things I did since moving here.

      http://www.happierthanabillionaire.com/2012/01/30/dont-look-down/

      I’m not sure about scuba diving, but there are plenty of outfits in the area that can hook you up.

      • Maria says:

        Just came across your blog and I love it !! I did the same thing as you – quit my job and moved to Costa Rica! Only difference is that I’m 24 years old and i moved by myself not knowing anyone. Following my heart was the best thing I ever could have done :) I’m in the process of writing a book myself and I can relate to you on just about everything you speak of! It’s an amazing experience and I can only hope to inspire others just as you are doing !

        • admin says:

          Thanks Maria! All these experiences are funny if you have a good sense of humor. There are so many things in this country you have no control over, so you just have to say “Pura Vida” and go on with your life. Sounds great what you did, and at 24, you must have some great interesting stories as well!!

        • Stephanie says:

          Hi Maria!

          Your comment caught my eye because I am 24 as well, and I’ve been looking into moving to Costa Rica for a little while now. I come across a lot of stories about people who have done it, but they are usually a little older than us and have had more time to save money. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you do it? I hate my job here in the States and have been trying to figure out a way to afford living in CR, since I couldn’t legally work there. Is there anyway we could talk more? Thank you :)

          PS- Nadine, your book was awesome. I was laughing out loud at least every other page…thanks for a great read!

          • admin says:

            Your welcome Stephanie! Glad I can make you laugh!!

          • Brittany says:

            stephanie/maria please pass on what you have discovered! I am 25 and my fiance’ and I were looking to move to costa rica as well with little money saved.

  54. Rhoni says:

    Found your book while researching Costa Rica. Just returned home from a fabulous trip. I enjoyed reading it while I was there & learning more about a great place. Thoroughly enjoyed being on Tico Time and soaking up some Pura Vida!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Rhoni, almost finished with my book. But I’m on Tico time as well, so hopefully I can get it out within 6 months or so! These beautiful beaches keep calling my name and keeping me away from the computer!

  55. chris jewell says:

    GREAT READ, ENJOYED ALL THE DAY TO DAY IN LIVING IN ANOTHER CULTURE. I ALWAYS LEARN ALOT FROM MIMICKING THE LOCAL WAY OF LIFE.
    I PLAN ON SAILING MY LITTLE CAT DOWN THRU MEXICO, BELIZE AND HOPEFULLY ON DOWN TO C R . IT WOULD BE GREAT IF YOU COULD GIVE A LITTLE INFO ON THE LIVE-A-BOARD SCENE AROUND THE MARINAS. THEY’RE USUALLY A VERY INDEPENDENT BUNCH WITH MANY WILD STORIES AS WELL. ANY WAY, JUST A THOUGHT. MAYBE YOUR IN YOUR SEQUEL, WHICH WE LOOK FORWARD TOO. SAFE TRAVELS…..

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the suggestion Chris. I think there may be a marina in the Papagayo area. It’s always interesting learning about other ways of living. And hopefully I get asked aboard their boat!!

  56. Sharon Griffith says:

    I am a single teacher looking to retire next year. I have heard about Costa Rica and would love to try it. However, I’m worried about coming there by myself. I would like to rent a house in the mountains to start. I have had a very stressful time in the US and would like to de-stress for awhile. How hard is it to find a house to rent and where would I go to find one that won’t rip me off. Is it expensive to have a car? Anything you can tell me would be great…..Thanks!

    • admin says:

      I would contact Brook Bishop at brooke@godutchrealty.com . She is really sweet and nice and can help you out. Rents vary, but you can find a two bedroom house starting at $400 depending what area you live in. Buying a car is expensive here, but the bus system is incredible. As long as you are near a stop, you can get anywhere in this country. I know some people will rent their cars, but I’ve never done that so not sure how it works.

      By the way, my mom was a teacher and I understand how stressful the job can be. I have so much respect for the profession and you do not get paid nearly enough for the amount of work you do.

  57. Malte Zeeck says:

    Hello!

    I am Malte Zeeck with InterNations.org. While looking for great expat blogs on Costa Rica I stumbled upon yours and was instantly convinced by your great writing and contents! I am sure that the members of our expat network will feel the same way. I would love to share your great blog with our community on InterNations.org as part of our Recommended Blog on Costa Rica section. We will not only feature and link to your blog, but also give you the opportunity to tell us a little bit about yourself in our questionnaire. We have also designed a badge of quality for placement on your blog.

    If you are interested, I would love to hear back from you. Please contact me via mail: maltezeeck@internations.org.

    Best,
    Malte Zeeck

  58. Alexandra says:

    I came across your Facebook page and blog yesterday. I just love your cost of living updates! It’s a shame to see how expensive everything is getting compared to a few years ago. I lived in Jaco Beach when I was a teenager and my dream is to move back to Costa Rica some day :) Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • admin says:

      I bet is was cheaper years ago. I believe prices on food has gone up everywhere though. Last time I was in the states I got quite the sticker shock in the produce aisle in the states.

      But I often wonder what Costa Rica was like 20 years ago. It must have been pretty awesome! I’m glad you got to experience it!

  59. Mary says:

    Hi There, I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful book. I read it on my kindle while traveling back to Australia from the USA. I am an Indiana girl who lives in Perth Australia with her Aussie husband. I have been wanting to write some stories about my Australian experience, your book has been a real inspiration to get me started. Loved every chapter, and had some great laughs. I even read a few chapters aloud to my husband in bed at night. Thanks for sharing your story, and taking a risk. Life is so much better with calculated risks. You never know if you don’t give something a try!!
    Thanks again!

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much Mary! I loved writing it and working on my second book. I already have a dozen things my husband has done, him saying “Nadine, don’t put this in the book.”

      Well, you know how that’s going to end up.

  60. Lorna Parsons says:

    Questions Questions Questions! Greatly appreciate your help. I want to move to Costa Rica. My husband wants to move to Hawaii. Two things. 1) ability to work and 2) cost of moving our belongings or at least some of them. What is the process if you want to work while you live there? and is it expensive to move items into Costa Rica? Love your website and enjoy reading the e-mail updates! Thanks so much!

    • admin says:

      We also thought about Hawaii but it was cost prohibitive for us. But it sounds wonderful and would love to do it one day!!

      As for working, you can open a business, but from what I understand, you can’t take a job away from a citizen. So I believe if you want to work for someone, you will need the right papers. Shipping items can be costly. I didn’t ship anything so I don’t have any hard numbers on hand. I have friends who had a shipping container and it cost them $5000, but not sure how big the container was.

      I hope that helped, there is so much to think about, but the hardest part is making up your mind. Once I was on board, I didn’t let anything stop me.

  61. Jim says:

    Hey Nadine,
    Not sure if you remember but we went to school together at NYCC. Not sure how I came across your blog, but definitely enjoyed reading it. My family, friends, and patients all know that if I hit the lotto, I am moving to an island. I am very interested to get your book and read it. The rat race is not for me. I don’t want to look back and say boy I wish I worked less and enjoyed my life more. I will probably email you more once I read your book. I am glad that you found happiness. God Bless You!

    • admin says:

      Wow, it is so nice to hear from you Jim. I hope you healthy, happy, and enjoying life. I know what you mean, I too had to get out of the rat race. Time was flying by and I started to think where I wanted to be in 5,10, or 15 years, and being in that office wasn’t in that dream. So I did something drastic but it ended up being the best decision of my life. Costa Rica has brought me so much happiness, I’m not sure I can ever go back to that nutty lifestyle I had.

      I’m sending you some salty air and warm breezes your way. Perhaps you will end up on that island someday, relaxing in a hammock, and enjoying everyday with sweet smile on your face.

  62. LS says:

    Yours is the first book I have read with enjoyment in probably a dozen years! (Obviously I don’t read much, although I do buy books, ha!) I am a fast reader but have four children, a teaching job, a husband and a demanding schedule. I just wanted to say thank you for the window into your life… you are keeping the dream alive in so many people that US commercialism and the rat race are not the only option. Our plan is to vacation in CR in a coastal area/Guanacaste and get the feel from there. Thanks for the hilarious laughs and late nights with the book light! :-)

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much. I’m glad I could provide you with some late night giggles.

      And thanks for taking the little time you do have to read my book, I can’t even imagine how exhausted you are at the end of the day!!

  63. Elena Gellepis says:

    Found your blog while researching medical/dental tourism in CR, and I’ll be downloading your book onto my kindle asap. My hubby and I retired from jobs in FL last year and moved home to the Left Coast (Santa Cruz CA) to be near family and like-minded Liberals, but still dream about eventually moving to CR. NorCal is beautiful, but SOOOO expensive and crowded and crazy. Stories of the tranquil life led by retiree expats are inspiring. Thanks for being so informative and helpful!

  64. Carri Scuba says:

    THANK GOD I read your book before we came here! My husband and I are traveling with our 2 kids for a year and Costa Rica is our first stop. We’ve been here 2 months now and thanks to you we have had very few surprises. Love your style, wit and charm. Looking forward to the next book! Muchas Gracias!

  65. Mommy to 5 plus says:

    So glad to have found your blog and can’t wait to read your book. My husband and I have dreamed of moving to CR for years. We are also considering Panama and Nicaguraga mostly because I have read that CR is becoming over saturated with expats and Panama and Nicaragua now are like CR ten years ago. I think this is mostly pertaining to purchasing resonable beach front real estate which I have heard is next to impossible in CR now. Do u think this has any validity?

    Anyway we had a 5 yr plan and planned to move to one of the 3 countries above when our eldest daughter graduated in 2013. Times have been tough here in the states the past 3 years and I am considering throwing caution to the wind and nixing the plan. I just don’t feel like I belong here anymore and I need to somehow relive myself of the tremendous stresses in my life. I am considering making the move now with my teenage and 3 little kids while my Husband stays in the states for another year or two. I want my little kids to grow up in more of a natural, tranqual setting with a destressed Mommy. We are spending $4,000 a month on mortgages alone here. What kind of lifestyle would 3k to 5k a month afford us in CR?

    I also have a heart for Orphans and have heard there are many at risk children in CR due to poverty. I would like to be close enough to volunteer in an orphanage about 3-4 days a week but I am not a city girl. The beach and moutains are the two places II prefer. Do u know of any places that would be good to look into that have orphanges nearby? We would also like to adopt 1-2 more children in the next few years and wondering if u know any expats that have been able to adopt costa rican children while residing in CR? Do u know if we would have to be legal residents to adopt? I know these are probably not the traditional questions u get and I appreciate any info u can give me.

    • admin says:

      You can have a very comfortable lifestyle on $1000/month. My gosh…on 3-5 grand…..you could live like a queen. I’m not sure about adoption, I had heard that you cannot adopt here, but that was just from a conversation with someone. I’m not sure of the official rules, I suppose you would need to talk to a Costa Rican attorney about that.

      I do know there are plenty of charities to get involved in. Lots of schools to get involved in, and there are lots of events that give back to the community. You will surely find charitable organizations to join.

      As for beach property, the cost is all over the board. Check out welovecostarica.com and see what’s available there.

  66. Amy says:

    I just finished your book and laughed out loud the whole time. My husband and I are both chiropractors and have dreamed about giving it all up and heading to Costa Rica! When you said that “a patient just farted on me” I knew immediately what your profession was!! I nearly fell off my chair.
    The only thing stopping us from moving right now is that we have 3 young kids and I’m not sure how that would work! I at least want to take a vacation there in the near future to check it out.
    Thanks so much for writing the book and the blog- I’ll be following it now!

    • admin says:

      Thanks for purchasing my book!! You must have really enjoyed those first few pages….and related to it as well. I really did love my job, but it got to the point I was so burnt out…I forgot why I loved it in the first place. I needed a break, and thankfully this move has worked out.

      I hope you do visit, and you never know, you might end up being the chiropractor on the corner near me!! Adjust during the morning….surf all afternoon. Not a bad way to live!

  67. Jen says:

    I ran across your blog this morning, bought your book before noon and read it all day! Fascinating! My husband and I have jokingly (sort of) been talking about quitting our jobs and running to Costa Rica for years. Just this past week I applied for, interviewed for, and was offered a teaching job at an international school in San Jose. Now I have to make a decision and be on a plane with my 2 kids in less than a month! We have a house to sell and cars and furniture, etc. here so my husband will have to stay behind for at least 6 months ( or more depending on the house). I’m so nervous but your book has helped me to see that it will all be fine. I seem to want what you wanted…a simpler life. I can’t wait to go through my things and decide what I need to bring and what I can get rid of. We leave in two days for a week’s visit to see what we think of the school, area, etc. before making this huge life altering decision. Thanks for the funny stories and for helping me tosee it will be fine.

    • admin says:

      Wow, thank you so much for purchasing my book. It sounds like you are looking for many of same things I did….a happier and simpler life. I started looking at my life and realizing I didn’t really need all the things around me, what I needed was more time with my husband and to have more experiences.

      I hope the job works out for you. San Jose is a big city, not sure if you will be in the center of it or on the outskirts. The outskirts can be more expensive than other areas, more like the states so I chose to move about an hour away in the mountains.

      I live at the beach now and there are also international schools out here. It sounds like it could be an incredible experience! I wish you all the best. If you have any questions, you can email me at puravida @ happierthanabillionaire . com

  68. Brett_MB says:

    Thank you for your constant updates. I’ve visited twice for a total of five weeks and find myself longing to move to Central America but am reluctant to do so. Do you know of anyone who’s successfully moved to Costa Rica despite having just enough savings to live for just one year and/or until a job is found (and no debt) and knowing little Spanish? I so desparately wish to move out of the States.

    Could you post your experiences to become a citizen, buy property, etc?

    Thanks.

    • admin says:

      I would take a visit here and talk with other business owners and see what it took to set up one. You legally can’t take another job away from a Tico, but you can open a business. I would do a lot of research on that end first before moving here. Or perhaps you could do a business where you can work at home. I have a friend who is a hairdresser, got to know all the gringos in the area, and now cuts their hair in her home. She has no overhead and is doing very well.

      I wouldn’t want to advise you to move here with only a year’s worth of funds unless that’s exactly what you want to do…move here for a year and then move back home.

      For residency, you need to have an attorney to submit your papers to immigration. Then they sit there until they get to them. If you google residency in Costa Rica, you will find the items that you will need notarized in the US needed by your attorney.

      In addition, if you are considering buying property, you will need an attorney too. In my second book, I’m writing more about my property and the problems that ensue.

  69. Marc says:

    Hey, by the way…what initially got you over your fear of leaving everything behind and starting anew? I sometimes want to do that but am scared to take the first step. Any advice?

    • admin says:

      There really is no making sense of it. There is no way to prepare, no way to guarantee anything about what we did. You have to face that emotion head on. I wrote a lot about it in my book, the journey of hating my job, hating the thought of changing, but knew I had to if I ever wanted to get out of that office.

      What I have since learned was that fear was an opportunity hidden in really bad packaging. That high level of emotion was needed to get to the reward. When I am faced again with it, I will know to take more breaths, hold on tight, because something life changing is about to happen.

      Look into that comfort zone, say the hell with you, I’m willing to strive for something better.

  70. Marc says:

    Hey LOVED the book. I am an educator in Chicago and many times feel like doing what you both did. I’m glad you found peace and that everything worked out. I alo enjoy your blog posts. Keep the wonderful stories coming and have a long and happy life in your new home! :)

    • admin says:

      My mom was a teacher for 30 years, so I understand the stress you are under. Thanks for following the blog and good luck to you as well!

  71. JR says:

    Okay, yes, what you did is my ultimate dream. But, the ultimate reality is you still need to make a living (no matter which country you reside) to live. So, where does that part come in for you? Are you independently wealthy? How do you make a living to sustain yourself in that beautiful country?

    • admin says:

      You could perhaps check out the business opportunities here. I have friends who got involved in tourism and do that for a living. If you could come up with around $1000 a month you could have quite a nice life. Don’t know what your skills are or what type of business would suit you. I would take a few trips doing some research and seeing what opportunities are available.

      The book is a funny narrative on selling everything and moving here. All the ups and down of trading in a stressful like to ultimately find one that doesn’t include spending all my time in an office.

      Although I have nothing against people who have money, I’m not a trust fund baby. I took my own circumstances and worked hard to find a life that fits me. I’m happy for anyone, in any financial situation, who does that. Maybe that next person is you?

  72. John says:

    Just finished your book and enjoyed it alot. In case you didn’t know, the kindle version has a few typos.

    My wife and I just bought some land near Dominical and will be building a home on it and making our move in a few years. I’ve just found your blog about starting your new life in Costa Rica and enjoy it very much. Thanks for doing it and keep up the good work.

    • admin says:

      Thanks John, if you have time, would you mind telling me where the errors are? The formatting process for an e-reader is so difficult, it shows up differently for every device. I believe I will be able to provide an updated version with the corrections.

      Thanks once again for pointing it out.
      puravida (at) happierthanabillionaire (dot) com

  73. Chris says:

    Nadine,

    I just finished your book this afternoon. Awesome! My husband and I took a trip to CR in 2003, staying at Playa Conchal, taking trips to Tamarindo, Arenal Volcano and Nicaragua. You have captured the charm, humor and love of all of these areas. We would like to take the leap someday as you and Rob have done. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I look forward to keeping up with your escapades here and on FB!

    A new fan,

    Chris (and Chad, who has not read your book but had been read aloud and retold many passages from said book)

    • admin says:

      Wow, thanks Chris. I’m glad you got a few laughs out of our adventures. I LOVE Playa Conchal. Wasn’t it beautiful? Such a lovely place. I’m glad you had a good time here and got to experience some of the things I wrote about in the book. It is a special place with lots of adventure rolled into one.

  74. Dave says:

    Hi Nadine,

    I bought your book and I’m reading it now. Just got through the chapter about the food markets—can’t wait!
    I’ve never been to Costa Rica but I am looking for a lifestyle change with my girlfriend.
    I am coming to Jaco, Costa Rica because it was recommended as I need a good Internet connection to run my business. I can do business anywhere in the world as long as I have Internet and a phone. Just curious, is there any other area you’d recommend we check out?
    Also, from reading your book I found out my Blackberry with Verizon won’t work.
    What do you suggest as a solution if we decide to move there? (And we probably will!)
    Thanks,
    Dave
    P.S. Maybe one day Rob and I can jam on guitars. But I’m wearing pants!

    • admin says:

      I promise, if my husband jams with you, he will definitely be wearing pants. He does occassionally put them on.

      Internet is throughout Costa Rica now so there is not as much of a problem as before. If you are lucky to rent a house with a landline phone you can easily get DSL, and if you house has cable, then you get a really great cable connection. There are other satellite options as well.

      If you come down, you will have to have your phone provider unlock the phone for you. You can buy a sim card here. Right now I have a mobile phone that I charge every two months. I’m not sure how many minutes I get, I only pay $5 for the two months, and it is more than enough for me.

      I did have a regular plan that cost around $7.50 a month, but went to the pay as you go because it is cheaper.

      Since they passed Central American Free Trade Act, there is more competition now, thus more options. I doubt you will run into any long standing problems if you live in a relatively populated area. (more than 25 people)

      • Dave says:

        Thanks, Nadine.

        I just wanted to clarify about the phone. You mention having my provider unlock the phone. Do you mean my provider here with Verizon and my Blackberry or a phone there?

        What mobile phone and service do you use there?

        I’ve heard from others my Blackberry with Verizon won’t work there? So I purchase or rent a phone there right? I cannot own a phone unless I’m a resident, correct?

        Thanks for your help.

        I read about your using a scooter today in your book. I may have to do that too!

        Dave

        • admin says:

          You will need to go to your provider in the states and have them unlock the phone there. When you get here you can purchase a new sim card to install inside. My mobile phone is Kolbi, I haven’t see any that are in the US as of yet.

          You can own a phone if you are not a resident. You are now allowed to have pay as you go phones which function great. I pay $5 for two months of service. Not sure how many minutes that is, but it does last all the way until the end.

          It’s a little confusing right now because the free trade agreement just passed a couple years ago and competition is starting. Basically, I think the Chinese are coming in and taking the business. I’ve see that they have iPhones here now, but unsure what service you have to have to use them.

  75. Rich says:

    Just finished your book. Laughed my @!! off. Your 1970s and 1980s references brought back some great memories.

    As an injury lawyer, I know quite a few chiropractors…I can see why many would want to sell their souls and move to a foreign land….flatulence, CPT codes, and lien reductions all come to mind.

    A pharmacist friend of mine recommended Costa Rica for a vacation as he plans to retire there. Your book cemented my commitment to visiting really soon. I have your blog bookmarked and on my RSS feed.

    Thank you!

    • admin says:

      Hi Rich, thanks for checking out my blog and reading my book. I first liked my job, but I got burnt out fast, all those things you mentioned (speaking of CPT codes, I’m trying to get those out of my brain, but a few just won’t leave).

      If you are ever my way shoot me an email, we can discuss lumbar disc herniations, disability claims, and…..naw…..we’ll just hang out on the beach and get drunk.

      (if possible, could you leave me a review on Amazon. My husband wants me to ask anyone who has read the book to do that. And since I just wrote about his nuts in the surgery story, I’m doing what he tells me for a while.

  76. Heather says:

    Hi,
    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experiences. My husband and I have been doing some serious contemplating and researching a move to Costa Rica so coming across your book and now blog has been really helpful. In my research I haven’t yet read if Costa Rica has any form of state sponsered Medicare for when we grow old in paradise – do you know of anything? We are in our early 30s and do plan on working (teaching English or something like that) a little bit but just wondered what happens when we get to the traditional retirement age. Do you and husband plan on staying for the rest of your lives or moving back to the US at some point or do you have other investments you plan to use later in life? Sorry, for the questions it’s just one area that if I knew the answer it would put my mind at ease about making the move. We have booked a vacation at the end of November to start checking things out – though we’ll just have time for a day or so in Arenal and then the rest of the time in Puerto Jimenez . Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and thanks for the blog – it’s very inspiring.

    • admin says:

      I am a resident and pay $50 a month towards health care. But actually, some of that money goes into a social security system. Supposedly, when I get in my 60’s, I will be able to dip into this. I have not met any other gringo who is getting this monthly payment, so I don’t know how much you actually get. But that is what I was told when I gained residency.

      I plan on staying here, I found a place where I am very happy and found a lifestyle that fits. It’s a little hard for me when I am back in the states, it seems like there is concrete everywhere. I am from NJ and it is very congested, I start to miss all the trees and the nature. So if I were to move again, I would like to go where there is a lot of green around me.

  77. ROse says:

    Have just read your book. Found it laugh out loud funny. I have been thinking about a move to CR for awhile. I first felt a bit discouraged, when I read about the potential for problems. But really everyplace has its pitfalls. I dont know where to start loooking, dont know to buy property or rent, am trying to do a trade for my house in Oregon , so may not have a lot of choices. I hear the CR real estate market is slowing due to the worldwide depression. I plan to visit in Sept. soonest I can. I will be a woman alone, without the big hunk of a man you are lucky enough to be attached to , so want to settle in a place a could feel secure in.

    Someone emailed me about a possible trade for a place in Guanacaste near the Conchal Beach/ ???? Do you think the area would be suitable for a retiree, who wants privacy and solitude but also needs to be close into medical care, shopping. etc. I suppose the best thing to do would be to plan a tour of the country, so I guess my question is this. Do you know of anyone who has a business that you could recommend who would shuttle an individual or group thru the countries high spots who wouldn’t have a vested interest in showing them only certain areas. I don’t really want to do this alone, and I dont speak any Spanish.

    Thanks, Rose

    And glad you’re enjoying life.

    • admin says:

      Hi Rose, thanks for buying my book. I would absolutely do what you suggested, take a tour through the country. But you make a good point, a lot of companies shuttle you to specific things where they have an interest in. Perhaps a private driver would work out better.

      I love conchal beach, go there are least once a week, and one of the prettiest in the area. However, being at the beach leaves you further away from amenities. There is a new hospital being built in Liberia, so perhaps that will solve the problem of being close to medical facilities.

      Each part of Costa Rica has their own little vibe, so you should scout out some areas and see how you like them. I always love Grecia, Atenas, San Ramon. You are only an hour from the San Jose airport, great climate, and near everything. Lots of expats there so easy to make friends.

      It’s a big move, and there is a lot to think about especially as a single lady. But I know you will find an area here that suits you. The first time I saw a flock of parrots overhead….I was hooked.

  78. Les Waggoner says:

    I haven’t read your book and probably never will, nor did I see you on CNN. I know the basics of your story through welovecostarica.com as I am a frequent responder there.
    Our experience is totally different from yours in that we are retirees living in Costa Rica and we are loaded with the “stuff” that you have forsaken. We arrived not knowing the language nor were we aware of the difference in culture.
    I’m a Leo with a type “A” personality and the first year was difficult and stressful to the point that I went from a nice fat 185 pounds to a lean 130 shedding 25% of my bodyweight in trying to deal with everything that was so different.
    For the average American it takes a good deal of flexibility to adjust to living here and many find that they cannot deal with it. Finding ways to fit into the culture is a challenge but we have managed to do so with the help of many friends we have made here.
    The country is absolutely beautiful and the people are friendly, helpful and generous. We see things much differently than many who complain about the “crime, the roads, the government and the people”. What we have found is that they respond in kind to those who move here.
    From your lifestyle to ours and everything in between can be found here. All it takes is the right attitude and you can find your place and be happy.

    Life in Costa Rica is very good indeed.

    • admin says:

      I am surprised that you have not read the book, by the looks of your profile, you look like quite the thinker.

      Yes, it is beautiful here and so many different ways to enjoy it. And you couldn’t have said it better, the people return what is given to them.

      Perhaps that is why we assimilated so well, just kept a good attitude and looked at the move as one big adventure.

  79. Susanna says:

    Really enjoying your book… Thanks for writing it! Many couples writing init but any ideas on safe, verrry economical places to live for a woman in her mid 50’s, Massage Therapist, healthy, honest (partner staying behind in Southern Cal-ugh-fornia :-(

    • admin says:

      The mountains are a great place to live. Try Grecia, Atenas, San Ramon. Lot’s of gringos there and a ton of amenities. Best weather and close to hospitals.

      I can’t say there is a place I know of where there is absolutely no crime, but lots of these mountain towns are quiet, tico communities. I feel those are the best places to live and make connections with people.

      I hope you come down and find a place that suits you, it is a wonderful place and I am sure you will fall in love with it.

  80. Linda says:

    Love your blog and am going to buy your book soon! My husband, sister and brother-in-law went to CR last February for two weeks and loved it. Stayed in Playa Hermosa, Guancaste but did tours to Lake Arenal and the volcano area and hung out in Playa del Coco. We’ve rented a house in Nosara for 4 weeks this year. Any advise on that area? We love the beach, fishing and touring.

    • admin says:

      I’ve been there and it is a lovely town. A little isolated, at the time it was a dirt road which was very bumpy. But that’s what I liked about it. I believe there is an area not to far where the turtles nest close by.

      For being a little out there, they do have all the amenities that you need. And what I really liked about it is many of the houses are under these beautiful trees, giving the neighborhood a cool, shady feeling.

  81. Steve Voorhees says:

    Have fallen in love with Costa Rica even though never been there. Thinking of a week vacation soon to check out 3 months renting in the winter in a year, and maybe more! Don’t need a big city, love nature, mountains, oceans and SAFETY. What part of Costa Rica should we check out?

    • admin says:

      You could look at some of the inner towns, only an hour from San Jose: Grecia, Atenas, San Ramon. My book takes you through my beginnings in Grecia. The weather is perfect, especially if you rent something in the mountains.

      If you have to be at the beach, the Flamingo area is wonderful as well. Since it is touristy, you have lots of restaurants and activities to do. A good 7-10 day trip, driving around the country, and getting the feel of the areas will give you good insight to what you like the most.

      Don’t be worried about crime. I’ve never been a victim but I also never leave anything in the car or on a beach unattended. I also lock my doors at night. I can’t say I really changed at all since living here, I did those things while I lived in the states.

      Let me know where you end up visiting and I will surely advise you further. You will love it here…and who knows…maybe stay all year.

  82. Angela says:

    I read about your site on the Costa Rica forum of TripAdvisor and have loved reading your articles! I spent a good hour poring over all your blog posts last night. I also bought your book and am looking forward to reading about your experiences. You are a very talented writer! I think you’ll be able to make a good living off of your writing skills, truly…and your money will go even further in Costa Rica.

    I do have two questions for you:

    1) At the top of this page, you wrote: “So do what I did. Quit your job and move to Costa Rica. You’ll end up being happier than a billionaire.” I wonder if that’s a responsible thing to advise every reader of your blog. I can imagine that many, many Americans would actually be quite miserable in Costa Rica. You have the right temperament and attitude to deal with being away from family and having so many inconveniences in a developing nation, but not everyone does. I’ve read that about 70% of ex-pats move back within two years. I’m wondering if you believe that every reader should really quit their job and move to Costa Rica because they’ll be happier?

    2) I also wonder whether it’s fair to compare working a full time job you hate in the USA to hanging out and relaxing all day in a tropical paradise. I think if you quit your job and just relaxed in Siberia, you’d be happier than you were as a chiropractor, no? Do you think that if you were working a full time job which isn’t very fun (like many Ticos) you would be as happy as you are now?

    I’m asking these questions not to criticize you but because I genuinely wonder. Maybe you answer them in your book (I’m only on page 3!) I’d like to know where you’re coming from before I really delve in.

    On your blog (maybe not your book, I don’t know yet), there definitely seems to be a tone of feeling sorry for those of us who are still stuck working and living in the U.S. Personally, I love living here. My husband and I are self-employed and make our own schedules. We are not caught in the rat race and have the time and money to get away once or twice a year to beautiful destinations like Costa Rica, but we couldn’t imagine ourselves living there. We split our time between NYC and Florida, and love having the variety and constant change of the city as well as the beauty of the tropics. We just got back from a trip to Costa Rica and loved it, but I think we would be unhappy at this point in our lives if we lived there. Maybe if we were past retirement age…but for now, we like the fast pace and the conveniences and variety and opportunities of living in the US…AND we love what we do professionally here.

    I appreciate the time you took to read this, and hopefully, to respond. I wish you and your husband nothing but the best in the years ahead. I love reading stories of people who found their own personal paradise, who stopped existing and started living. I believe there are many, many ways to do this (including some which include remaining in one’s home country) and am looking forward to reading more about your journey. :-)

    • admin says:

      Thanks for buying the book. It’ll provide many late night giggles…warn the husband.
      I will try to answer your questions.

      1) If I have that much power of persuasion, instead of quitting one’s job I would like to use my superpowers for other more pressing issues. One that tops the list is Steven Seagal’s endless made for DVD movies. Although I can appreciate, like the next guy, a bloated / aging action movie star….I just can’t get past his inability to get out of a chair to beat up the nefarious individuals that come at him with num chucks. I think there should be some minimal requirements when entertaining an audience, and unfortunately for Mr. Seagal, that includes actually standing up.

      2) You don’t know me well. I hated being in the office so much that Siberia sounds like a Sandals vacation. A nice brisk walk through the Ural mountain, a little ice fishing, nice chats with my Gulag neighbors….sign me up. And after talking with my sister today and hearing her three children fighting in the background, I can predict she has already bought a ticket.

      My blog is filled with stories about the good times here and the bad. Sometimes it’s about the fun I am having with my husband, others it chronicles the depletion of my bank account because I bought American style mustard. After reading the book, I’m sure you will find I give a fair balance of the challenges vs the rewards of living in Costa Rica.

      I hope you continue to follow and enjoy these little tastes of life from someone who packed it up and moved to a foreign country. Especially since I have a tendency to write about my poor husband without him knowing about it.

      • Angela says:

        You are awesome. I started reading your book last night, and yes, it is very balanced. I had to pace myself and not read the whole thing in one sitting. I don’t want it to end. Fortunately I have the blog as an ongoing saga. Pura vida. :)

  83. Candy says:

    I would also love to hear your opinion on moving to CR with young children. My in-laws live there so we’ve been to visit numerous times and are building a small house, but we think we can’t actually move until the kids are older. We are making that assumption based on nothing, though! Please share if you know any expats with little ones and if seems to be working out or not.

    • admin says:

      I will post to my blog a story soon about schools. But here is a link that can help. I know lots of people with kids here, and the all seem very happy. In fact, where I live now by the beach, the kids seem extremely happy. Wouldn’t you be if after school you go surfing with friends? Such a cool way to grow up.

      http://www.welovecostarica.com​/public/1072.cfm

  84. Annie says:

    What do you think about the feasibility of doing what you did for a couple with a young child? Do you know any ex-pats with children? Do they send their kids to the local schools, or homeschool? Also, I’d love to see a picture of your home. I haven’t seen one on your blog yet.

  85. Mary Pendergast says:

    I ran across your article on CNN.. so glad to read about your choice.. my husband and I are working towards this.. nice to know we aren’t crazy.. congratulations on your great decision and I know that sometime soon we look forward to doing something similar.. Thanks for the inspiration.. I live in MD now but happen to hail from same town that you left… Continue enjoying your life !!! Thanks again..

    • admin says:

      Thanks for commenting. It all seemed nuts at the time when we made the move, but I truly felt like my life was not going in the direction I had hoped for. And the more things I bought, it seemed the unhappier I became. The rat race can do that to you, scramble your head and make you reach out for things that will never make you happy.

      It’s nice I’ve finally found a balance. Interestingly, that balance just included a monkey “mooning” me this morning.

  86. Darlene says:

    I’m like Hugh and checked out your blog after reading the CNN article. Love your stories – we almost feel like we’re there. We’re semi-retired and looking forward to doing some different things while still young enough to enjoy them. Right now we’re building a small aquaponics system – hydroponics but with fish as the nutrient supply – and just wondered about the food there. Organic? I know they take pride in their parks, etc. Our minds are working overtime in regards to maybe trying something like that there since the climate is so temperate.
    Then again when we get there we may just decide to sit on the beach and read!!!
    Keep writing – you’ve got a great feel for it!!

    • admin says:

      I believe there are some hydroponics growers in Vista de Valle near Grecia. It seems more and more people are looking into this.

      I am not sure what is organic here. There are vendors who say their product is organic, but I am not sure if there is an agency that overlooks these things. So I can’t accurately say what is or what isn’t grown organically.

      I believe you have a great idea and comes at a good time. I know one year my husband grew so many tomatoes (the old fashioned way) and we couldn’t keep up. Isn’t it a wonderful thing when you can eat something grown right from your garden?

  87. Hugh says:

    Just hopped on over here from the CNN article that a friend sent me. What an amazing story and blog! My wife and I will do this same thing within the next 3-5 years, although it will be a part time gig, not full time/permanent. We’ve vacationed in CR twice recently – one time in Puerto Jimenez and once in Malpais, and love the laid back vibe of both. We’ll probably look down on the Osa since it’s quieter. I look fwd to reading more of your blog and adventures. Congrats on the move and thanks for proving that this is possible. I already know it’s entirely possible, but unfortunately there are too many people out there whose reaction is, “That’s so awesome, I wish I could do that.” Little do they know, they can :-)

    • admin says:

      I understand why people are hesitant to do what I did. Not everything was easy and it was a huge risk. But I just wasn’t happy and was trying to figure out what I could do to change me life. Right now I feel like my life fits. Like this is what I am meant to do….and this is where I am meant to be.

  88. TRhett says:

    I stumbled upon this via HuffPost, and have enjoyed reading your blogs (I’m especially enticed by the chance to get away from the current political climate here). I noticed some years ago that Costa Rica seemed to be becoming a trendy destination for well-to-do Americans who want to “decompress” and “escape.” It all sounds fabulous, but I’ve always wondered, how do Costa Ricans feel about this onslaught of American expatriates? And what makes it different from other “island paradises” (which, of course, we’d all like to escape to)?

    • admin says:

      Thanks for coming by and checking out my site. It is nice to get away from all the political commentary, even if it is to look at a couple pics of cute monkeys!!

      Most of the gringos down here are middle class. They live off their social security, so I would say most live on $1500 a month. That’s a lot of money here, so you can live really nice. Of course I have met wealthier people too, but I would say 90% are just regular people who retired and wanted to add a little spice to their life.

      The Costa Ricans are very nice. They help so much with my bad Spanish and have been so kind to me. I think we assimilate well, and I’ve always been pleasant to them so my perception is they don’t mind I am living in their country. If there is a prejudice I haven’t felt it.

      Anywhere I travel I try to be respectful of the people around me. I think that might be why I usually have positive experiences. Maybe if I were not as nice, but pushy and nasty like some people here, I might get a different reaction.

      If not to live, then you should at least visit. The beaches are wonderful, the nature is breathtaking, and the people are lovely. It’s a great place to unwind and take a breath.

      And everyone could use a little of that.

  89. Dale says:

    I don’t know how i stumbled across your blog – but it is one of the funniest things i have ever read! It is so funny because every “Tico” encounter, food, experience, etc. that you mention is so accurate and true.
    My sister-in-law is from San Jose, currently lives in Michigan, and returns every June to visit her family. We have been tagging along since ’07 and have enjoyed every minute we are in Costa Rica. My wife and I purchased land south of San Ramon near Santiago (i think there are about 20 Santiagos in CR).

    • admin says:

      I am so glad you found me! I really do love living here and the people have been so nice to me. If you are able to “see” the funny, then relocating to a foreign country is a blast. There are many obstacles, but often times I take a second and think “Well…haven’t seen that before”. Usually that is followed by me standing there dumbfounded.

      Please come back! I am so glad you love Costa Rica as much as I do.

  90. Nayubel Chavarria Garbanzo says:

    Your blog is amazing. In so simple words, you can describe how amazing is living the simple life!
    Love it.

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much for commenting. I love this place and the people here. I urge anyone to come and visit and experience what Costa Rica has to offer. I still can’t believe I have monkeys outside my window sleeping on a branch.

      It’s hard for me to have a bad day here. Such a wonderful way to live.

  91. admin says:

    Perhaps you only read the last 10 or so entries on my blog. If you have followed from the beginning you would see that I just recently moved from the interior to the beach area of the country. I write about how expensive some things are, while others are very cheap. There is a wide range here, you can make it on less if you try, or blow it all on a bottle of imported mustard. But there is a balance inbetween.

    My food bill each week from the farmers market is around $25. The post you are referring to is when my husband and I went out for dinner. The hotels here are very expensive so I recommend to people if you want to feel like you are staying at a $250 a night place, maybe just have lunch and take a dip in their pool. More affordable and usually they don’t mind if you ask. When you say you can get that for half the price, is that just buying groceries? I think you confused an experience at a restaurant on the beach for actual grocery shopping. If you can have that experience for half the price where you live, then you should start a blog and write about that. Everyone is looking for a cheaper place to live.

    Also, thank you for your interest in whether my book is compelling enough for you. Although a blog is fun, they are just short pieces of one’s experience. If you read the longer true stories, maybe you would have a better idea on my journey from quitting work to moving here.

    I write this blog as a fun way to share my life with people who are looking to do the same thing. I don’t give advice on 401K plans, nor what savings to have, etc. If you have the funds to do this, then that’s great. Plenty of people move here and open businesses, only stay half a year, etc. That is your choice and ultimately your decision. Only you can map out your destiny and take the chance in reinventing your life.

    Pura Vida

  92. Anonymous says:

    So you really haven’t answered any questions pertaining to income or what line of work you and your husband used to be in. $15,000 a year is fine but what is the plan for once savings run out? Or are you a millionaire, have a trust fund, or are a middle aged retiree, etc.?

    Frankly the prices for all your drinks and meals don’t sound that affordable. $25 for 2 sandwiches and a bottle of soda? I can get the same quality, locally grown, organic for half that price (sans the soda).

    I’m all in favor of people quitting the mainstream and living the alternative, but if you don’t provide real details and a story more than drinking in the sun, it won’t make a very compelling blog (or book deal). And it doesn’t sound like a minimalist lifestyle at all – more hedonist. Nothing wrong with that but I don’t think your message is in alignment.

  93. janie says:

    I am so happy to have found your blog! I currently teach English in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but am thinking about relocating to CR or Nicaragua or David, Panama. I am coming to the area for the month of April. I have no idea what to do first so I am reading all I can online. Can you give me any direction?

    Thank ye kindly!!

    • admin says:

      Wow…it sounds like you have the adventurous spirit. I’ve traveled to Nicaragua and David, Panama. Each have their own rhythm, I just happened to like Costa Rica the best.

      The beaches are beautiful here as well as the volvanos. I would definitely go see Arenal Volcano and check out that area. Lots of expats there. I would then travel down the coast and hit some of the beaches as well. I would skip Jaco, and go further south to Playa Bejuco, and finally check out Maunel Antonio. This trip would take about a week to ten days and you will get to see a good bit of the country without spending a lot of time in the car.

      I hope this helps. Thanks for checking out my blog!

  94. Aja says:

    Hello! Are you earning an income now? My husband and I have been thinking about moving for a couple years but we are worried about what we will do once we get there. We can sell everything and have enough to get us by for awhile but we are young and won’t have any type of income.

    Thanks!

    • admin says:

      Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. The great thing about living here is that you can enjoy a wonderful lifestyle at a low income. My husband and I spend about fifteen thousand dollars a year. But we know other couples that spend a lot less.

      You need to ask yourself if you were to cash out and sell everything how much interest could you make per year in short or long-term CD’s? Are you familiar with other type of investments that guarentee a decent yield? Would you enjoy running a small business like kayak tours or fishing and how much would it cost to start a small business like that?

      Everyone situation is different. I know a lady who started cutting hair in her home. All the gringos now go to her and she is doing great. She took what she did in the states and just networked here to grow her business.

      Doing what I did was the best choice I made, but make sure befor taking the leap the timing is right for you and your husband.

  95. Todd says:

    My youngest is 14 months, I’m taking that leap in 18 years.

    • admin says:

      It was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s not for everyone, but if you are able to get past some of the obstacles, you can be very happy here.

  96. Scott says:

    Love the blog.

    Can you post a bit about how you decided to move to CR, when, and that sort of background?

    Keep up the posts!

    • admin says:

      Around five years ago I started re-evaluating my life. Everything that was supposed to make me happy, the possessions that you are convinced will bring you happiness, didn’t. Once realizing that I knew my life had to change. Costa Rica was a good fit because I can live here for $1000 a month and still have great health care. Few places have both.

      Taking a leap out of one’s comfort zone is risky, not just financially. Many people were harsh, said I would be back in a year, that responsible people don’t do things like this. But I knew deep down that working those crazy hours in an office was not how I wanted the rest of my life to look. When I started researching this, I saw lots of people do it.

      After I sold off everything and moved here I realized how ridiculous it is that we spend so much in the states just trying to be happy, get happy, etc. In Costa Rica, so much is about the outdoors you never get bored. It’s been 3 1/2 years since I moved and I have never regretted it. I’m glad I took the leap and didn’t listen to all the people that said to stay put.

      It’s not for everyone, but if you feel like there is something inside you irking for some adventure, that maybe you have more dreams for how you want the rest of your life to look, I would give Costa Rica a try.

      • Lorna says:

        I’m new to your website and my husband and I have enjoyed the day reading your blog! We’re moving to CR next spring. Mayish. He is thinking that we should rent in Escazu for about 3 months first in order to be close to those things needed to get our papers and finances in order such as driver’s license, buying a car, applying for retirement Visa, setting up bank accounts, etc. What do you think?

        • admin says:

          Thanks for checking out my site. I love it here! It was absolutely the best decision for me. I am excited for your adventure, it brings back plenty of memories.

          I think you are right on track with your plans. I moved to the Central Valley, lived there for 3 1/2 years before moving to the beach. Escazu is a great place to start, a little pricey, but if you are just beginning there, and can afford it, I would go for it.

          It is important to be close to San Jose so you can get those things accomplished. Our residency process had us going to Immigration half a dozen times. So it was much easier that we were close.

          My book will be up on Amazon shortly, I will post it when it is ready. I write about all the funny/crazy adventures that occured when we decided to sell it all and head south. Buying a car, motor vehicles, residency, etc. It’s like Under the Tuscan Sun but with more bugs.

          If you have any questions feel free to email me puravida@happierthanabillionaire.com Good luck, you will be enjoying the pura vida lifestyle in no time!!!

          • Anonymous says:

            Would love to know which beach as that will be our next decision. We visited Playa Hermosa and Coco but would also like to take a look at others!

          • admin says:

            Thanks for stopping by. By far, the prettiest is Playa Conchal. You have to drive through Brasilito, onto the beach to get to it. On some days, it is so clear you can snorkel right off the beach. Playa Flamingo is nice as well as Sugar Beach (very quiet).

            That’s the problem with living here, they are all so pretty. And people can get in heated discussions on which ones are the best. But usually the consensus is Playa Conchal.

            Pura Vida!!

          • Lorna says:

            Next question – how difficult is it to bring the pets along…. we have two large furry cats!

          • admin says:

            I flew Continental and had my cat under the seat and my dog had to go off with the luggage. Everything went well. I did make sure we flew during suitable weather, I know there are months they don’t recommend it due to it being to cold or too hot.

  97. Dan Fajardo says:

    I’m enjoying your blog. It’s very informative.

    I spent about three weeks in Costa Rica back in 2004. My trip was dual in purpose. I had some dental work done in San Jose plus I wanted to get a feel for the country. I was fortunate to rent out an apartment near University of San Jose with an American family. Jim and his wife have been living there for more than 30 years. He operates an artist school studio in one of his apartments. Jim is a very talented artist and his wife does fashion design work. Jim does make the artist circles throughout the greater San Jose area. I was fortunate to rent one of his apartments which is also where he has his home. My dentist recommended him.

    As for my dental work. What would have cost me over $4k in California, where I live only cost me $900. My overall costs for my airfare trip, lodging, food, plus a few trips inside the country totaled about $2400. My dentist was super. He’s also an oral surgeon.

    Jim invited me to attend a craft fair run by the American community at the Spanish House in San Jose. It was great to see how Americans have adapted to the country. The crafts were all types from art, jewelry, knitting, to wine producing to name a few, and of course, Jim’s wife participates in this every year. Of course, I met many retired Americans here, and I learned why so many chose to live in Costa Rica.

    I’m a retired high school teacher with some international business background. I was born in Honduras, but I grew up in the States, since about age 2. I’ve visited there plus some additional family in El Salvador. I spent two of my three years in the US Army in the Panama Canal Zone back in the 1960’s. So, for me to get around was rather easy because I’m fluent in Spanish, but I noted that English is spoken in most places in San Jose.

    Some close friends of mine decided to move to Panama some years ago. They’ve invited me there, and I hope to visit with them before too long. Panama, like Costa Rica, is now a retirement haven for Americans as well as other foreigners.

    I’ve been trying to get my wife interested in either country. She’s from the Philippines, and I think she’s interested in visiting either Panama or Costa Rica. We’ve thought about retiring in some overseas locale. We’ve not made up our minds. While I’m officially retired, she’s still working full-time, and she intends to take early retirement.

    I will continue to be one of your fans. I think many Americans really need to learn about other options for retirement.

    • admin says:

      It sounds like you’ve done a lot of traveling! I am sure you will love Panama, I visited there a few times and met many expats. Some like it there more than Costa Rica and vice versa. It’s just a personal preference; I feel in love with Costa Rica and choose it as my home.

      Good luck with your search and maybe you and your wife will pack up and relocate like the rest of us gringos.

      Life is short but beautiful, enjoy every minute of it!

    • sher says:

      what is the name of your dentist please? May need to do this soon and do not have a clue yet.

      • admin says:

        I have not gone to one yet but there is one that all the gringos go to. She charges around $25 for a cleaning and speaks very good English, I will try to find out her name. Also, if you are looking for extensive dental work, there is one they go to for that too. I will try to get that information for you as well.

        • anne says:

          The dentists’ names/info would be very helpful to me too! Love your blog and sense of life. I was in CR in ’87 for a month and think it’s time to return….

          • admin says:

            I’ll get the information. Thanks for reading, I hope you come back. I wish I saw Costa Rica in 1987, I bet it was lovely. The beaches must have been spectacular with less people around.

  98. admin says:

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I really want people to have a reliable source to come to if they have any questions about moving here. I do not advertise anything, just give my own unique experiences and hopefully inspire someone else to do what I did.
    Last night was when the Kinkajou came calling. Really was one of the best experiences of my life. I truly love living here.

  99. Judy B says:

    Thank youi for this blog. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to move to Costa Rica but we just don’t have the wherewithall to get started. I wish I had done this in 1996 instead of choosing Florida, but family stuff was in the way back then. So, I will live vicariously in Costa Rica through you and your blog. Thank you once again.

  100. Lori says:

    Love your blog from what I have read thus far. My husband and I plan on retiring in Costa Rica, and I hope my blog reads similar to yours at that point! :).

  101. Lynn says:

    I’ve been doing some thinking about a move . The politics here are killing me. My husband and I are retired and live in a very nice retirement area in the US. Can you tell me where you live in Costa Rica, and what it might cost to rent a small house not too far from a beach? I do speak Spanish but my husband doesn’t.

    • admin says:

      Hi, thanks for visiting my site. I live in the Central Plateau in the mountains near San Ramon. I prefer the cooler 75 degree weather over the beach, however, nothing beats a Costa Rican beach.

      You will probably pay more once you start out, like $600 or $700 a month. But once you live here, then you will find a place for more like $400 to $500, especially if you speak Spanish. There are deals everywhere and once you live here a while you will find the perfect place.

      I suppose it all depends on how much you need. One bedroom, two bedrooms? 8 bedrooms with a in-ground pool and butler? It sounds like you would be fine with less, and really, who needs a butler anyway.

      Good luck on your adventure. I am like you. I couldn’t stand all the negativity, all the politics, I just wanted to live the rest of my life in peace. Sometimes you have to fight to get the happiness back, but it was worth it for me.

  102. donna says:

    I would love to move there, seriously, I live with the cold. I am 58, broken down a bit, and a hospital ruined me, so I quit work. I don’t have enough to live on SS dis. until I get my retirement in 4 yrs from working for the state as a secy. I’m trying to also work in a phone room doing political surveys for 23 hrs per week, but even with minimum wage adding that to my month SS check it’s over the amount. so I can drive my car, cause I won’t be able to insure it and buy gas. can’t stand all day cause of back and neck disks. I really admire anyone who can formulate a plan and do it. if you need any help, I’ve done everything, practically, telephone operator, a little spanish, secy, basic training army, bakery, daycare, eviromental quality for 10 yrs w/ the state. loved flauna and flora and all animals, cept for spiders and those bugs that live there. spent 5 yrs in the 60’s on oahu, dad was navy. really take me on, i’ll clean your house lol

  103. Melyssa says:

    Inspiring. You do what we are all afraid to do. Following your blog now.

  104. CHOCOLATE!!!!:] says:

    I love your blog. Total awesome materials you have here. EVERYBODY THAT GOES ON THIS WEBSITE, TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  105. noodlebrain4330 says:

    Cooleo DUDE!!!!

  106. happierthanabillionareisawsome320 says:

    I love your blog lady! I give it five stars and everyone should agree =)

  107. Clawedpadme says:

    Oh wow! These people are hilarious. Your blog is genius.

  108. Diana says:

    I love the stories about the crazy people in Costa Rica! And the pictures that he took were amazing! They’re gorgeous!

  109. Diana says:

    Your blog is awesome!

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