Top 5 Unexpected Benefits of Costa Rica Weather

By | June 28th, 2016|Categories: Nature, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , |

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: New iPhone package with 140 minutes of phone calls, unlimited data, & 700 texts—$20

Top 5 Benefits of Costa Rica Weather

1. Creativity

75 Degree weather. Just writing that makes me feel good. When I lived on a mountaintop in Grecia, I was treated to wonderfully cool temperatures practically every day. Aside from saving money on air conditioning, the biggest benefit was a sense of outdoor/indoor living.  The temperatures were the same and  you had no sense of a barrier. And without that temperature barrier, the world feels bigger, better, and creates a swell of endorphins in your brain. You wake up smiling and go to bed happy. It’s the biggest gift Grecia gave me.

These temperatures had an effect on me while I was writing my first book Happier Than A Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, & Living the Zero Hour Work Week. I would even say they were conducive to the entire writing process. I felt great on that mountaintop, and in a way freer than I have ever been.

We lived so high up on the mountain that clouds actually rolled into our house. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. I’ve lived around so much pollution in my life, at first, I thought it was smog. Then this gigantic, puffy cotton ball smacked me square in the face and it was the most heavenly thing I ever experienced. Have you ever been hit by a cloud? I would suggest putting that on your bucket list. However, hanging your clothes out to dry in such high altitudes can be a challenge: This crazy thing happens.

These cooler temperatures come with a substantially longer and more intense rainy season, and the rainy season can bring a substantial amount of mold. It grows on everything and needs to be cleaned… a lot. And then there are weeks in October, the height of the rainy season when there is not one sliver of sunshine for days on end. These were the times I wished I lived at the beach.

Now that I’m living near Playa Flamingo, I’m are fully aware of the difference in temperatures once I step outside. There are times at the end of the dry season I feel like I’m living on the sun. This is reflected in our budget as well. Our allowance for dining out is non-existent, replaced with the additional cost of air conditioning. These are the days I wish I lived in the mountains. Continue reading “Top 5 Unexpected Benefits of Costa Rica Weather” »

Permaculture in Costa Rica

By | November 17th, 2015|Categories: Cooking Show, Nature, Tourism|Tags: , , , , |

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: 5.3 oz Greek Yogurt— $1.25

Watch this introduction to an upcoming interview with Nikko from Essence Arenal. Nikko is a fascinating person, so look for the full-length interview in the near future.

Essence Arenal is a hostel that utilizes the principles of permaculture to grow their own food. The hostel is perched on top of a hill beside the majestic Arenal Volcano. If the views aren’t impressive enough, Nikko’s commitment to a sustainable lifestyle makes this the perfect spot to visit and explore. If you’re a yoga enthusiast, there’s no better place for a sun salutation than on his recently constructed yoga deck. While standing at the edge a warm sensation washed over me. It’s easy to see how Nikko could rediscover himself in this place. Anxiety and worries have no adhesive power here.  Layers of troubles will wilt away, one by one. Life is wonderful when not burdened by the heaviness of stress.

Nikko is an interesting fellow. He’s from Germany, grew up in Spain, and sailed to Costa Rica searching for a new adventure. After fifty countries, he fell in love and decided to call the small town of El Castillo his home. But a small town can’t stop Nikko from having big ideas. He desires a kinder, gentler world: one where our surroundings provide us with all of the nourishment we need.

“When I was designing our landscaping I thought why not grow palms and plants that you can eat? Why not be able to eat your own landscaping!” Nikko said. He also grows his own coffee. Nikko is lucky I didn’t pitch a tent right on his coffee farm.

One of Essence Arenal’s goals is to provide their guests with healthy, organically grown food on their own property. They are also committed to educating their guests on the benefits of permaculture and healthy living. Everything has a purpose. While many are quick to point out the impossible, there are others striving toward better solutions. You’ll know these people when you meet them, they are passionate and generous with their time.

I look forward to sharing more of this Building Up an Appetite episode with you. Until then you can read all about Essence Arenal in my book, Happier Than A Billionaire: The Escape Manual.

 

A Walk in the Woods

By | October 21st, 2015|Categories: Nature|Tags: , , , , |

Costa Rica Ocelot

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: 10 lb Bag of Cat Litter— $6

There are many things one expects to find while walking through the woods: birds chirping, leaf ants gallantly marching in line, or lizards scouring under fallen leaves. However, this is Costa Rica and when you are strolling through the forest in this country, be prepared to come across animals that may, or may not, be happy to see you.

In my first book, I wrote about my husband’s unexpected encounter with a wild ocelot. This is a true story. And although people insist we staged this photo, I have to ask these non believers, do I sound like a person who risks being clawed to death by a wild cat? If so, than I applaud you for your confidence in my intrepid constitution. Internally, I believe I’m this kind of bad ass, and not the one that cries when she stubs her toe on the corner of the couch.

Please enjoy this free chapter from Happier Than A Billionaire in which my parents visit Costa Rica for the first time. I attempt to impress by taking them to see Arenal Volcano where the infamous cat encounter occurred.  Continue reading “A Walk in the Woods” »

The Monkey House is For Sale

By | March 2nd, 2015|Categories: Nature|Tags: , , , , , , |

Baby Howler Monkey

Costa Rica Costa of Living Update: 4 pudding snacks— $2.50

I’m thoroughly excited and a little nervous about building my new home. After living in Costa Rica for seven years—and having so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences—Rob and I are ready to sink deeper roots. There is also the sadness of leaving a rental home where I had so many wonderful memories. When our landlord decided to put The Monkey House up for sale, it was time for us to move on.

Continue reading “The Monkey House is For Sale” »

Secrets of Costa Rica Weather

By | December 19th, 2014|Categories: Nature|Tags: , , , , |

Tamarindo Costa Rica Vacation

Costa Rica Cost of Living Update: 2015 Marchamo on a 15 year old SUV (yearly Car registration and insurance combined)—$220

It’s six in the morning and I’m watching a flock of parrots land in one of the many almond trees outside my house. They disappear behind thick leaves, squawking their way through the branches.

I just moved into our new rental: one rich with dense landscaping and vegetation. Even though it’s only ten minutes from our previous home, it’s remarkably cooler. The almond trees battle back the sun’s rays allowing only a few to pass onto my terrace. When I open all the sliding glass doors, a breeze sweeps through the house carrying the smell of tropical flowers and fruit trees into my living room.

Costa Rica FlowerThis brings me to Costa Rica weather which can vary greatly. You can experience an extreme example of this when driving up into the mountains. The temperature can drop as much as thirty degrees the higher you go. Trees begin to change as well: palms turn into evergreens, tropical flowers turn into thick shrubs. When my husband and I lived in Grecia, we frequently went on scooter rides to the tippy-tip of the mountain just to see the different plants. Continue reading “Secrets of Costa Rica Weather” »